Wednesday, August 05, 2009

OCLC's PURL Server

OCLC has a new version of their PURL server running.
The software is open source and was written for us by Zepheira. The original specifications for the new software allowed for some variation in the exact operation of PURLs. Our thinking was that part of the reason we were redoing the software was to make improvements to PURLs, and we wanted to impose as few restrictions on that as we could. As we attempted the transition, however, reality collided with our best intentions and we found that changes that seemed quite reasonable had too great an impact on existing users. Working through those issues took quite a bit of work and a lot of testing, but I think we finally managed it.

Probably the most important new feature in PURLs is the ability to create advanced PURLs for which you can control the HTTP status code (e.g. the new 303-See Other redirection code used in the semantic Web). You can also delete PURLs. Once you have done this the PURL is tombstoned so there is a record in the PURL server, even though the PURL no longer is available for redirection.

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