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Re: Uncool Gov URI's

From: Eric Brunner-Williams <ebw@abenaki.wabanaki.net>
Date: Tue, 14 Dec 2010 07:43:32 -0500
Message-ID: <4D076674.4090100@abenaki.wabanaki.net>
To: chris@e-beer.net.au
CC: Gannon Dick <gannon_dick@yahoo.com>, "W3C eGov Interest Group (All)" <public-egov-ig@w3.org>
On 12/14/10 6:37 AM, Chris Beer wrote:
> Hmmm. An interesting conversation as I come back off holidays (yes - I
> owe people some other replies - Gannon - watch out for one on LDA's in
> Aust. tomorrow sometime :) ). And one that ties in nicely with the
> earlier discussion on URI's and other tech's such as handle.net etc.
> To throw some thoughts in the mix:
> 1) Technically, the US started all this by opting to take over .com,
> .net, etc instead of using .us - for shame. That instantly broke the
> idea of TLD's being country specific.

Other than inverting the sequence of events in 1), the generalities in 
2) through end) are sufficiently correct.

> 2) Quite a number of smaller countries, or states with small internet
> presences, such as Greenland, Tonga, Libya, Colombia etc allow
> registrars to openly sell second level domains in these TLD's to
> anyone (or to those who cut appropriate deals) - therefore, as a
> straight up business transaction, I don't see how Denmark (.dk) loses
> out.
> 3) On top of this, you have the http://to./ shortening service, run by
> the .to TLD authority themselves - and you thought goo.gl was a
> problem re: IANA Root Zone and 3166-1. On top of this, Tonga doesn't
> even operate a whois registry - it's like the Cayman Islands of the
> Internet.
> 4) To further stir the pop on this discussion, I give you .tv -
> Tuvalu. Now here is a case where A country pretty much sold off/leased
> the rights to it's domain completely - Google is a bit player compared
> to VeriSign in this case. In short - there are examples of atleast 50
> TLD's which are used as vanity URI's by commercial interests, or sold
> by registrars for this reason.
> Ok - so where am I going with all this.
> *EVERY* URI (or old school URL) is a redirect - they all ultimately
> resolve to an IP address. Even handle.net permanent URI's. Which makes
> the UK and US approach to thier archiving and permanence as discussed
> by Anne and David in another thread very valid - there really isn't a
> one size fits all approach to redirects and Cool URI's - its horses
> for courses and even bit.ly can work for some governments after
> appropriate scoping. Sure we might debate whether go.us.gov is better
> than gov.us as a shortener - end of the day we'll trust and use either
> knowing it is a government service, without complaint.
> The thing about a Cool URI isn't that it's permanent - after all -
> permanence is an illusion - companies can go bust, countries can cease
> to exist, IP addresses can simply go down. And it isn't it's semantic
> - no where in any of the key Cool URI documents does it say that
> example.com has to be semantic - in fact, Internationalized TLD's
> forces a rethink of the semantics of the actual second level domain.
> The semantics come AFTER the TLD. It's all the bits after the first /.
> In that sense goo.gl/person/alice_brown is a perfectly valid Cool URI
> - it has trust (I know it is reputable), it has provenence (I know
> it's pretty reliable in terms of what it returns), and it makes for a
> perfect permanent search query (google me everything about people
> called Alice Brown.) And way easier to remember than
> http://www.google.com/search?q=alice+brown
> I'd expect that imdb.tv/person/alice_brown will return me an article
> on Alice Brown, the actress. Or that t.co/person/alice_brown will take
> me to the twitter account of Alice Brown. And that
> w3.org/person/alice_brown will take me to the home page of Alice Brown
> who works at the W3.
> The domain gives context in a perfect Cool URI world, and assists in
> determining uniqueness - it certainly, in reality, in the now, has
> nothing to do with actual countries, no matter how much we want it to.
> If it does, it can only really be seen as a pleasant coincidence.
> Thoughts and flames always appreciated.
> Cheers
> Chris
> On 12/14/2010 5:45 AM, Gannon Dick wrote:
>> A recent contest involving Google's Chrome OS featured a contest
>> which involved recognition of the "Google URL Shortener" at
>> http://goo.gl/
>> The "only" problems are that this convention conflicts with both the
>> IANA Root Zone [1] and ISO 3166-1 [2].
>> This highlights the problem of "hand offs" between Central
>> Governments and Local Governments. In this case, the Kingdom of
>> Denmark (an EU Member), has lost a measure of control of a
>> subdivision (Greenland) in Cyberspace.
>> --Gannon
>> [1] http://www.iana.org/domains/root/db/gl.html
>> [2] http://www.iso.org/iso/iso-3166-1_decoding_table
Received on Tuesday, 14 December 2010 12:44:08 UTC

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