Of course it's possible.  But if you're counting on all (or a majority) 
of actually in-the-wild resolvers to do a certain thing, you should 
probably do some investigation to see if that assumption is true. Some 
probably do some probably don't. If the usefulness of your technique 
depends on most doing so, then you should check it.

And if the usefulness of your technique does NOT count on being 
inter-operable with existing link resolver infrastructure... PERSONALLY 
I would be using OpenURL, I don't think it's worth it.

Incidentally, I have been unhappy with the "pre-check a http URL before 
giving it to the user" technique. First of all, WAY too much stuff on 
the web still returns an HTTP 200 OK response message for what are in 
fact error pages (including MOST of our licensed scholarly content 
providers). Secondly, even if it's not an error page, there's no way for 
pre-checking to tell you WHAT the page has, what it represents and how 
useful it might be to the user. I don't think it serves the user well to 
say "Here's a URL that'll give you something related to this citation, 
click on it to find out what." I want to tell them if it's going to be 
full text, or just a description, or what.  As well as have the software 
be able to display it differently depending. I think that's important to 
making the service useful.


Eric Hellman wrote:
> I can't imagine that SFX has some fundamental assumption that  an http  
> URL in rft_id is never ever something that can be used for access, and  
> even if it did, it would be letting the tail wag the dog to suggest  
> that other resolvers should not do so; some do.
> There are also resolvers that pre-check urls, at least there were  
> before exlibris acquired linkfinderplus. So it's possible for a  
> resolver agent to discover whether a url leads somewhere or not.
> On Sep 14, 2009, at 2:23 PM, Jonathan Rochkind wrote:
>> I disagree.   Putting URIs that unamiguously identify the referent,  
>> and in some cases provide additional 'hooks' by virtue of additional  
>> identifiers (local bibID, OCLCnum, LCCN, etc) is a VERY useful thing  
>> to do to me.  Whether or not they resolve to an end-user appropriate  
>> web page or not.
>> If you want to use rft_id to instead be an end-user appropriate  
>> access URL (which may or may not be a suitable unambiguous  
>> persistent identifier), I guess it depends on how many of the  
>> actually existing in-the-wild link resolvers will, in what contexts,  
>> treat an http URI as an end-user appropriate access URL. If a lot of  
>> the in-the-wild link resolvers will, that may be a practically  
>> useful thing to do. Thus me asking if the one you had knowledge of  
>> did or didn't.
>> I'm 99% sure that SFX will not, in any context, treat an rft_id as  
>> an appropriate end-user access URL.
>> Certainly providing an appropriate end-user access URL _is_ a useful  
>> thing to do. So is providing an unambiguous persistent identifier.  
>> Both are quite useful things to do, they're just different things,  
>> shame that OpenURL kinda implies that you can use the same data  
>> element for both.  OpenURL's not alone there though, DC does the  
>> same thing.
>> Jonathan
> Eric Hellman
> President, Gluejar, Inc.
> 41 Watchung Plaza, #132
> Montclair, NJ 07042
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