Panlibus Blog

SRU / OpenSearch get together

Well at least the people behind them…

De Witt reports in the A9 Developer Blog the visit of Dr. Robert Sanderson to the A9.com’s offices. With Dr Sanderson the co-creator of the SRU search standard visiting A9 the home of OpenSearch, it obviously wasn’t just a pop-in chat over coffee and bagels.

Rob and I were both pleased to find that we see eye-to-eye on nearly everything we discussed. We both view SRU and OpenSearch as complementary, not competing, technologies. The SRU (née Z39.50) community has long been tackling some of the toughest problems in search syndication, and they have done a commendable job at working out many of the intricacies of integrating and exposing diverse and distributed collections of rich data. The OpenSearch philosophy has always been to leverage other formats when possible, and the incorporation of SRU and CQL elements into OpenSearch via extensions will help create a smooth gradient connecting the two technologies.

As regular readers of Panlibus will be aware, I’ve been predicting the rise of OpenSearch for quite a while, whilst recognizing its limitations and that it could learn from the library search world and protocols such as Z39.50 and SRU. Similarly the complex, to most non-library developers, library protocols have much to learn from OpenSearch.
So it is with great interest I will be watching Palo Alto and Liverpool to see what develops.

I believe that this is just the first step along a path that will ultimately benefit both search providers and searchers alike. Expect to hear a lot more over the months to come about ways in which SRU can be leveraged by OpenSearch users and vice-versa.

Thanks to Lorcan Dempsey for the heads up on this.

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