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

Re: URx Questions

From: Michael Mealling <michael@neonym.net>
Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2002 09:25:36 -0500
To: "Daniel R. Tobias" <dan@dantobias.com>
Cc: uri@w3.org
Message-ID: <20020121092536.F7674@bailey.dscga.com>
On Mon, Jan 21, 2002 at 09:14:36AM -0500, Daniel R. Tobias wrote:
> 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.

That _is_ one of the requirements of URNs. They were _never_ required
to be resolvable in the first place. Many of the currently registered
URNs will never have a resolution method because non will exist.
So the lament that "nobody seems to really know how they're going to be
made resolvable" is missing most of the point of URNs to begin with.
But maybe that was our fault as well...

But there is an infrastructure being deployed right now for resolving
them if you want to (if its possible that is... I doubt if anyone will ever
try and create a UUID resolution infrastructure.)


Michael Mealling	|      Vote Libertarian!       | urn:pin:1
michael@neonym.net      |                              | http://www.neonym.net
Received on Monday, 21 January 2002 09:29:48 UTC

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