W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-webarch-comments@w3.org > July to September 2004 URI Ownership

From: Williams, Stuart <skw@hp.com>
Date: Thu, 9 Sep 2004 19:47:05 +0100
Message-ID: <8D5B24B83C6A2E4B9E7EE5FA82627DC920E215@sdcexcea01.emea.cpqcorp.net>
To: <public-webarch-comments@w3.org>

At the Ottawa F2F I expressed some reservations about what the is now
the LC#2 draft has to say on URI Ownership (the section 2.2.2). The TAG
challenged me to offer an alternative that I would address my concerns.
I did so [1] however my proposal was too late to be discussed and
considered for the LC draft.

I repeat it below (with minor typographic corrections) for the purpose
of putting it in a public archive and asking the TAG to consider it as
an improvement on the current text (now section during its Last

The current text discusses URI ownership as an approach to avoiding URI
collision. The concept of URI ownership discussed indirectly and in
something of a 'roundabout fashion'.

The proposed replacement text speaks directly to the concept of URI
ownership. It frames URI Ownership in terms of the rights and
responsibilies of URI owners. The text it is proposed to replace
currently discusses URI ownership as an approach to avoiding URI
collision and discusses URI ownership in something of a 'roundabout

The proposed text gives the data URI scheme as an example where
ownership is vested in the relevant URI scheme specification (and the
community that maintains it) and is not further delegated. This view
does risk further review comments and I'd like some feedback on whether
it is a view that the TAG can support.

The proposed text maintains the concept of a social entity and the last
two paragraphs of the original.

I think that it may also contribute to response to the comments from
Peter Patel-Schnieder in response to our 1st LC [2]


[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Member/tag/2004Aug/0038.html
[2] http://www.w3.org/2001/tag/2003/lc1209/issues#pps1

-----Original Message-----
From: Williams, Stuart 
Sent: 17 August 2004 06:53
To: Norman Walsh
Cc: tag@w3.org
Subject: 2.2.2 URI Ownership (was Re: LC2 Candidate Review)


As promised at the F2F and more recently... I've done some thinking
about the sort of language I'd expected to see on the topic of URI
Ownership. I have tried to avoid completely the concept of authority
because I cannot determine whether ownership and authority are synonyms.

I have also written this from the point-of-view that a given URI is
associated with a single resource over time - ie. the identify: URI x
Resource relation is context independent - which seems to be the
mainsteam position held by the TAG. [Personally, I remain open to a
context dependent identity relation - but I will not push that here].
The last two para below are taken form 2.2.2. What's offered here covers
the scope of 2.2.2 and 2.2.3 making 2.2.3 largely redundant, although it
could be intergrated as another example in the 3rd para. It also risks
the author of the data URI scheme (L. Masinter) rejecting the notion
that those URI are owned by the scheme specification (and the community
that maintains it).

Let me know what you think! Other TAG members might also chime in with
support or opposition to the suggestion below.


-- URI ownership

URI ownership is a relation between URI and a social entity, such as a
person or an organisation. URI Ownership gives the relevant social
entity rights to 1) pass on ownership of some or all owned URI to
another owner - URI allocation; and 2) to associate a resource with an
owned URI - URI assignment.

By social convention, URI ownership delegated from the IANA URI scheme
registry, itself a social entity, to IANA registered URI scheme

Some URI scheme specifications further delegate ownership to subordinate
registries or to other nominated owners - and so on. For example, the
URN URI scheme [RFCxxxx] delegates ownership of portions of URN space to
URN Namespace specifications which themselves are registered in an IANA
maintained registry of URN Namespace Ids.

Other URI schemes or nominated owners retain ownership within the
relevant scheme specification (or some other specification registered in
a subordinate registry) such that that specification and the community
that maintain it serve in the role of URI owners. e.g. the specification
of the data URI scheme [RFC2397] serves as owner of all data scheme URI.
It does not further delegate ownership of portions of data URI space. It
associates each data URI with an resource, a representation of which is
embedded with each data URI [or the representation is infact the

URI Owners have a responsibility to avoid multiple URI assignments that
associate equivalent URI with multiple resources. Thus, it is also
necessary that any approach to URI allocation, which passes ownership of
individual or organised sets of URI through delegation, ensures that
ultimate ownership of a particular URI is vested in a single social
entity (which may be a specification, a person or an organisation).

URI Owners may organise or deploy infrastruture to ensure that
representations of associated resources are available, and where
appropriate interaction with the resource is possible through the
exchange of representations.

There are social expectations for responsible representation management
[section 3.6]  by URI owners, discussed below. Additional social
implications of URI ownership are not discussed here. However, the
success or failure of these different approaches depends on the extent
to which there is consensus in the Internet community on abiding by the
defining specifications.

See TAG issue siteData-36, which concerns the expropriation of naming


Norman Walsh wrote:

> / Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org> was heard to say:
> | On Mon, 2004-08-16 at 08:25, Williams, Stuart wrote:
> |> In the time available I have not managed to review beyond the 
> |> beginning of section 3.2.1 "Details of Retreiving a
> |> 
> |> Overall... and I wish I could say otherwise, I think this would be 
> |> fine as a WD publication, however, I think it is premature as an
LC2 publication.
> |
> | Thanks for the thorough review, Stuart. I find your comments 
> | somewhat persuasive.
> |
> | I'm interested to know if they convince Norm, Chris, or Paul that we

> | should slow dow a bit...
> I think Stuart makes some good points. There's no doubt that the 
> document could be improved. As I was acting chair and acting editor 
> when we decided to publish this document, I'd like to hear from some 
> other folks.
> In any event, I'm reluctant to press forward over Stuart's objections.
>                                         Be seeing you,
>                                           norm
Received on Thursday, 9 September 2004 18:47:39 UTC

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