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Session 17 - Data Archives & Tools.
Display session, Wednesday, January 07
Exhibit Hall,

[17.05] The CDS GLU: how to maintain a comprehensive Web service in astronomy

P. Fernique, F. Genova, F. Ochsenbein, M. Wenger (CDS, Strasbourg Obs.)

The web hypertext links introduced a new paradigm in the interoperability between data bases. But if creating links (URLs) is easy, maintaining all of them is, in fact, the real challenge.

For one and a half years, the CDS (Centre de Données astronomiques de Strasbourg) has developed the GLU (Gérérateur de Liens Uniformes - Uniform Link Generator). This tool generates automatically hypertext links, avoiding the well known drawbacks of hard-coded URLs. To realize this purpose, the GLU implements two concepts: \beginenumerate \item the GLU dictionary which is a compilation of symbolic names with their corresponding URLs; \item the GLU resolver which replaces symbolic names by the relevant URLs on the fly. \endenumerate In this way, data managers can forget the URLs and just use their symbolic names in all their web documents.

The basic difference compared to other similar projects (URN concept, PURL developement) is that the GLU has been designed to act as a local resolver by building a view of the overall GLU dictionary on each participating web site.

The GLU is currently being used by the CDS for its own data bases. It is integrated in the AstroBrowse project, and in the Space Physics database project of the French Space Agency (CDPP). The GLU is open to a large cooperation with other astronomy partners.

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