[Twisted-Python] ldaptor feedback

Andrew Dalke dalke at dalkescientific.com
Wed Jul 2 17:03:57 EDT 2003

Tommi Virtanen:
> 	Just about the only use for LDAP anywhere is to store
> 	users. It's cool. When you have thousands of them on
> 	different boxes, /etc/passwd gets boring. But still,
> 	it's only accounts. (The only real exception I know is
> 	certification revocation lists.)

There are a few projects in bioinformatics which make sequence
records available via LDAP

>  Directories of Bio-data for efficient, high volume, Grid distribution
>  of bio-data. This is based on LDAP for a computable, networked
>  search/retrieval of bio-objects (as opposed to flat file databanks
>  or web pages). This includes an experimental LDAP-SRS gateway for
>  query and retrieval of biosequence and genome data housed at IUBio
>  Archive (/srs/ and /eugenes/ data sections).

>  The Biomolecule Naming Service (BNS) is an LDAP-based directory of
>  gene and protein information derived from NCBI's LocusLink database.
>  The main purpose of BNS is to quickly and easily convert between
>  different name and identifier schemes commonly used for specifying
>  gene and protein sequences.

> 	Think about it. LDAP isn't used to publish spam blacklists.

There's at least one posted idea for doing that at
but it's only in the "wouldn't it be interesting if" stage.

But I know rather little about LDAP's uses.  Being googlesmart,
I did find
which describes where LDAP is/is not appropriate.  It says
 > LDAP isn't a replacement for relational databases (and never
 > will be). It's not a substitute for a file system. It wasn't
 > built to knock DNS (domain name server) out of the ring.

and elsewhere that it's not good for BLOBs, so while you said
it's not good for replacing a DB, DNS, etc., well, that's
already well-known, and not what it claims to be good for,
which is managing information about resources.

For me, I have about as much need for LDAP (right now) as I
do for ICQ; none.  Maybe next year for LDAP, when looking into
some of those sequence databases.

					dalke at dalkescientific.com

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