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[ih] Copy of first web page discovered

John Day wrote:
>> Z39.50, at least as of a couple of years ago, is still the bases for 
>> federated search among library catalogs worldwide - "limited" is not 
>> the word I'd use.
> Yes, I am afraid Z39 is still out there in force and heavily used in 
> the library world primarily because LC uses it.  I have to take some 
> of the blame for setting that off.  It was quite an interesting 
> sociological study.  In the mid-70s, there was a National Commission 
> on Libraries and Information Science.  One of the recommendations was 
> that enacted was to develop a library protocol.  I was asked (I don't 
> remember how it came to us) if I would advise them.  This happen in 
> 1975/6, just as I was moving to Houston for my wife to post-doc and 
> was working at Univ of Illinois and commuting over the 'Net. (Telenet 
> from Houston to Multics;  ARPANET back to Illinois).

Interesting sociology lesson.

Having said that, Z39 is nothing to be ashamed of - if anything, just 
the opposite.  It's a reasonably well designed protocol, it does the 
job, and it seems to have scaled and evolved reasonably well (and begat 
things like CQL, which is a perfectly reasonable query language for 
library metadata).  [Though the protocol documentation leaves a bit to 
be desired - like explicit sections on each PDU type, and a good state 


In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
In practice, there is.   .... Yogi Berra