Re: Request to register "identifier" relation type

Ed Summers <ehs@pobox.com> Sat, 05 August 2017 12:00 UTC

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Subject: Re: Request to register "identifier" relation type
From: Ed Summers <ehs@pobox.com>
In-Reply-To: <54CA5E71-F469-4FD9-AF29-21985B454CAE@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 5 Aug 2017 07:59:58 -0400
Cc: Peter Williams <pezra@barelyenough.org>, Geoffrey Bilder <gbilder@crossref.org>, Michael Nelson <mln@cs.odu.edu>, Simeon Warner <simeon.warner@cornell.edu>, "John A. Kunze" <jak@ucop.edu>, link-relations <link-relations@ietf.org>
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To: Herbert Van de Sompel <hvdsomp@gmail.com>
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> On Aug 5, 2017, at 3:38 AM, Herbert Van de Sompel <hvdsomp@gmail.com>; wrote:
> 
> The answer is in the I-D and in a blog post that is referenced in the I-D. Please have a look. 

I think a crisp one or two sentence reply to Peter's question ought to be possible. He rightly points out that the shared use of 'preferred' by your I-D and canonical could cause some confusion for web publishers. It also begs the question of preferred *for what*.

The core issue with canonical seems to be less a matter of semantics and more a practical matter of web publishers not wanting to assign a canonical or bookmark link to another domain (e.g. dx.doi.org) because of uncertainty about what this would mean for their Google juice. There is an SEO infrastructure built up around canonical, which has led to it being used quite a bit.

I wonder if rather than adding another link relation to the mix if the HTML folks would be willing to update rel=bookmark to allow for usage with <link> which ought to make it amenable to use in an HTTP header as some other HTML relations are (e.g. alternate). The semantics of bookmark speak directly to the issue of persistence that your I-D seems to be addressing.

Also, while the name 'identifier' is elegant in some ways, I find it a bit hard to swallow since all link targets are technically identifiers.

//Ed