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

Re: URx Questions

From: Daniel R. Tobias <dan@dantobias.com>
Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2002 08:46:44 -0500
To: URI <uri@w3.org>, URN <urn-ietf@lists.netsol.com>
Message-ID: <3C4D26F4.25248.E3900D9@localhost>
> tag:timothy@hpl.hp.com,2002-01-21:ikaika, which is a name that I have just 
> assigned for my dog, is guaranteed to be unique now and forever, because I 
> own that email address on today's date. No-one -- in particular, a 
> timothy@hpl.hp.com at HP in the year 2034 -- is allowed to mint a tag for 
> any date other than one on which they own the email address/domain name, so 
> they can never legitimately choose the same name.
> In contrast, the person who holds abc.com in 2034 might 're-mint' 
> hrn://abc.com/288918293/3/en/global/docbook. At least, there may be no 
> records of what previous owners of abc.com have minted, so the new minter 
> can't be sure.

Actually, the "guarantee" of uniqueness is only as good as the 
minting authorities make it... the spec doesn't require you to use 
today's date in the URI, only some date when you were in control of 
the given address -- in 2034, ABC would be able to continue to issue 
tag:abc.com,2001 URIs if they wished (whether or not they still owned 
that domain name in 2034, given that they owned it in 2001), and they 
might reuse one due to forgetfulness or because URI issuing was 
placed in the charge of some knucklehead marketing type who says "I 
don't *care* if we used that same URI 20 years ago for something 
else... nobody remembers that ancient history, and I like how it 
looks, so I want to use it now, and I'm the boss!"

Even when people use today's date in tag: URIs, some might be 
sufficiently absent-minded to use the same one twice within the same 
day, or have the issuance be done by a discoordinated organization 
where one hand doesn't know what the other is doing and different 
people keep stepping on one another's toes.

Thus, no standards document is truly going to guarantee uniqueness of 
URIs... it's up to the people who issue and use them.

> By the way, tag: is in the RFC editor's queue. It's also somewhere in the 
> urn nid registration process.

I'd like to know just "what's the deal" with these dual URN namespace 
/ URI scheme registrations.  If they're approved this way, which form 
are the users and developers supposed to use, the urn:foo: one or the 
foo: one?  Does it depend on whether the user anticipates that the 
resource will, some day, be possibly resolvable on the Internet?  It 
seems like these dual-nature URI schemes will result in there being 
multiple URIs for the same resource as the urn: part gets added and 
dropped capriciously.

== Dan ==
Dan's Web Tips: http://www.dantobias.com/webtips/
Dan's Domain Site: http://domains.dantobias.com/
Received on Tuesday, 22 January 2002 08:47:34 UTC

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