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October 21, 2008

ORE 1.0 published

I'm pleased to note that, at the end of last week, Carl Lagoze and Herbert Van de Sompel announced the publication of version 1.0 of the OAI ORE specifications. I was travelling for most of the week, and had very little time to keep up with email, so the last minute dotting of i's and crossing of t's fell to the other editors and I'm grateful for their efforts in pulling things together.

(Of course, we're already noticing various minor things which need correcting!)

I think the main changes from the previous (0.9) release are:

As it happened, I was talking about ORE in a presentation last week (more on that in a follow-up post) and I expressed the opinion then that, leaving aside for a moment the core ORE model of Aggregations and Aggregated Resources, I think one of the significant contributions of ORE may turn out to be its emphasis on what I think of as a "resource-centric" approach and (at least some of) the conventions of the Semantic Web and "Linked Data" communities. In particular, I think this is a potentially important change for the "Open Archives"/"eprint repository" community, where to a large extent - not entirely, but to a large extent - repository developments on the Web have been conditioned by the more "service-oriented" framework of the OAI-PMH protocol and an emphasis on XML and XML Schema. It's also probably fair to say that I don't think the ORE project really started from this perspective, but rather things evolved and shifted - perhaps not always in a straight line! - in this direction as the work proceeded.

The ORE model itself is quite general in nature, and, as Herbert acknowledges in a presentation here (a nice set of slides which provides a good overview in itself, I think), it's not easy to predict how ORE might be applied: a number of experimental/test applications are noted in that presentation, but many others are possible. For my own part, I'm particularly interested in seeing how/whether ORE can be used in association with other models, like FRBR.


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I'm pleased to see this announcement :)

I'm probably going to reply to your jisc-repository email (so that others can gain from my own vast ignorance)....

I want to use an example: shibboleth. when people started talking about shibboleth I asked "what is it", I knew it was an identity and authentication system, but was shibboleth a platform, a protocol, a program, an project???? Finding out what it was (which, if I understand it, a application which talks SAML), took a long time!

So in the same vain. I know many bright and very clever people have been working on ORE. So I have no doubt that it is a good thing. But I still don;t quite understand that 'thing', I read the high level description blurb, but not sure how it will work in practice... is it a protocol like OAI-PMH or a file standard?
I read a primer (somewhat quickly) and it seems to be almost a XML file specification to be read over HTTP, which describes a resource such as a repository? is that right?

And I'm not sure how it fits in with OAI-PMH does it replace, or improve, or cater for different needs (they both seem to cater for getting an item from one system to another). And what about things like SWAP and SWORD?

I've tried to read a bit about ORE, but just not understanding a few basic concepts to really picture what it is.

Anyone with any pointers or help would be appreciated!



I'll try to answer (or at least offer my opinion on) some of those questions in another post.

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