Opaque String syntax

weibel@oclc.org
Tue, 29 Aug 1995 13:20:15 -0400


From: weibel@oclc.org
Date: Tue, 29 Aug 1995 13:20:15 -0400
Message-Id: <199508291720.NAA05547@ws02-00.rsch.oclc.org>
To: uri@bunyip.com
Subject: Opaque String syntax

The recent discussion about persistence and naming schemes leads me to 
raise a question about opaque strings in general.  The question is...
Why does this group care?  

I see no reason why an existing naming scheme cannot be
brought into a URN convention:

  NA:ISBN
  NA:Library_of_Congress_number

Let the naming authority decide what the string should look like.
We don't call it an *opaque* string for nothing.

There may be legitimate issues that DO need to be agreed upon by all naming
authorities:

What, if any, constraints need be placed on opaque strings to assure
that they will be processable by interoperating network applications?
Such a discussion would, I think, be limited to issues of character
encodings, and not the philosophy of naming.

stu