Right, they are not the same, which is why I wondered if there was
opposition to an abstraction layer in principle.

A major problem for institutions who cannot afford to build is that they
license systems.  Licensed systems are often less than ideal.

When an institution is in that scenario it either doesn't have the
resources to tweak the system or the system is so closed as to be
un-tweakable (or both).

So your options, unless I'm missing something, are to stick with the bad
urls your system provides, or to invest in an abstraction layer.

I realize that the abstraction layer doesn't solve many of the problems
(SEO, harvested indexes, user's re-use from the object they are looking
at), but it does seem to solve some problems.  Published urls (say in
Worldcat, Open Library, and elsewhere).  Taking advantage of linked data
locally when you do have resources (e.g, an enhancing interface that
extends functionality, or a preservation layer where a persistent
identifier in the form of links would be handy).

mod_rewrite assumes Apache, and that you may configure it.

So I'm wondering if an abstraction layer is frowned upon in principle (as
opposed to specific dislike or PURLS or handles).

And, even if it's not ideal, whether it still presents utility, even in
less than ideal implementations.


On 1/26/11 5:09 PM, "Robert Forkel" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>as far as i can see, dislike of handles and PURLs doesn't mean
>commitment to one system which will work in perpetuity, but only
>commitment to own one domain in perpetuity. once you commit to that
>you may create an abstraction/redirection layer with mod_rewrite :)
>On Wed, Jan 26, 2011 at 11:01 PM, Shearer, Timothy J
><[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Peter, are you opposed to an abstraction layer in principle?  My reading
>> of your response is that there's an assumption that there is one
>> and that it will work in perpetuity.  We are in the unfortunate but I
>> think fairly common position of having multiple systems, of aspiring to
>> pare that down, and fully expectant that we'll need to migrate at some
>> point even if we find perfection in the near to mid term.  Having a link
>> abstraction layer would make those transitions easier on our users, and
>> the world of linked data in general.
>> Tim
>> On 1/26/11 4:51 PM, "Peter Murray" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>On Jan 26, 2011, at 3:24 PM, Erik Hetzner wrote:
>>>> At Wed, 26 Jan 2011 13:57:42 -0600,
>>>> Pottinger, Hardy J. wrote:
>>>>> Hi, this topic has come up for discussion with some of my
>>>>> colleagues, and I was hoping to get a few other perspectives. For a
>>>>> public interface to a repository and/or digital library, would you
>>>>> make the handle/PURL an active hyperlink, or just provide the URL in
>>>>> text form? And why?
>>>>> My feeling is, making the URL an active hyperlink implies confidence
>>>>> in the PURL/Handle, and provides the user with functionality they
>>>>> expect of a hyperlink (right or option-click to copy, or bookmark).
>>>> A permanent URL should be displayed in the address bar of the user零
>>>> browser. Then, when users do what they are going to do anyway (select
>>>> the link in the address bar & copy it), it will work.
>>>...which is why I intensely dislike Handles and PURLs.  Man-up
>>>(person-up? byte-up?) and make a long-term commitment to own the URLs
>>>mint with your digital asset management system.
>>>Peter Murray         [log in to unmask]        tel:+1-678-235-2955
>>>Ass't Director, Technology Services Development
>>>Lyrasis   --    Great Libraries. Strong Communities. Innovative Answers.
>>>The Disruptive Library Technology Jester