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July 29, 2009

Enhanced PURL server available

A while ago, I posted about plans to revamp the PURL server software to (amongst other things) introduce support for a range of HTTP response codes. This enables the use of PURLs for the identification of a wider range of resources than "Web documents" using the interaction patterns specified by current guidelines provided by the W3C in the TAG's httpRange-14 resolution and the Cool URIs for the Semantic Web document.

Lorcan Dempsey posted on Twitter yesterday to indicate that OCLC have deployed the new software, developed by Zepheira, on the OCLC purl.org service. Although I've just had time for a quick poke around, and I need to read the documentation more carefully to understand all the new features, it looks like it does the job quite nicely.

This should mean that existing PURL owners who have used PURLs to identify things other than "Web documents" - like DCMI, who use PURLs like http://purl.org/dc/terms/title to identify their "metadata terms", "conceptual" resources - should be able to adjust the appropriate entries on the purl.org server so that interactions follow those guidelines. It also offers a new option for those who wish to set up such redirects but perhaps don't have suitable levels of access to configure their own HTTP server to perform those redirects.

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