[ZOOM] Re: Scope of ZOOM (was Hello etc)

Robert Sanderson azaroth at liverpool.ac.uk
Wed Nov 7 15:42:40 CET 2001

On Wed, 7 Nov 2001, Sebastian Hammer wrote:
> At 12:41 PM 11/7/2001 +0000, Robert Sanderson wrote:

> We can sit here and decide that ZOOM will only be an introductory toy for 
> first-timers who need to write dead-simple applications.. I've even felt 
> that was the best way to go on occasion.. but it just won't work, because 
> people WILL want to write fancy, richly featured apps with ZOOM... and we 
> will not turn them away, because Some of Them Will be Us.

I'm not proposing that it be relegated to the level of a toy and not
useful in practice, but that we set a relatively low bar for what is to go
into the ZOOM specification and what is to be left to the products that
use ZOOM as their base.

So long as the ZOOM base allows the extensions and hence the richly
featured apps then there's no problem.  But to build all the rich features
into ZOOM, I feel, defeats the point.  It's then -not- an Abstract API
with some implementations, it's a client written up the same way in
various languages.

IMO, ZOOM should lower the intellectual barrier to entry of Z39.50, not
provide people with a fully fledged Z39.50 implementation that simply
needs a GUI dropped on top of it. There's no reason to implement multiple
clients in multiple languages in that case and we should simply decide on
one implementation and called it ZOOM.  No one wants to deal with ASN/BER,
the complexities of this and that and the other -- that is the niche that
ZOOM should fill in a way that makes sense, using an abstract API that can
be implemented in a language of choice.


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