W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > uri@w3.org > January 2002

Re: URx Questions

From: Daniel R. Tobias <dan@dantobias.com>
Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2002 09:14:36 -0500
To: uri@w3.org
Message-ID: <3C4BDBFC.11661.9300DFB@localhost>
Patrick Stickler <patrick.stickler@nokia.com> said:
> Having both 'xxx:foo' and 'urn:xxx:foo' is sure to result in
> alot of needless overhead.

True... I've noticed a current trend in Internet drafts to try to get 
both forms of each new scheme... this is rather confusing, and leaves 
me wondering which I'm supposed to use if I decide I want to use one 
of those new schemes to give unique names to things.  Do I use the 
"urn:" prefix if I want them to ultimately resolve to some Web 
resource, and leave it out if I don't expect such resolution to ever 
happen?  But what if I change my mind later?  Does that mean I end up 
with two different URIs for the same thing?  But even if I want them 
to resolve, how wold they... none of these new schemes seem to be 
giving the slightest clue as to how they would actually be resolved 
as URNs.

Actually, in general, that seems to be the biggest problem with URNs; 
they're a good concept in theory, but in practice even after years of 
discussion nobody seems to really know how they're going to be made 
resolvable.  Some of these new proposed schemes offer namespaces 
whereby anybody can create names at will, but in the absence of any 
registration system that puts them all in a big database, and with 
explicit definitions to the effect that the use of domain names to 
identify the minting authority does not imply that this authority is 
actually reachable currently at that address, there simply does not 
seem to be any reasonable mechanism by which a user agent might try 
to resolve them into a resource.

By those standards, URPs may make more sense, since they are 
explicitly defined not to resolve into anything.

== Dan ==
Dan's Web Tips: http://www.dantobias.com/webtips/
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Received on Monday, 21 January 2002 09:15:18 UTC

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