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RE: Announcement: The "info" URI scheme

From: Larry Masinter <LMM@acm.org>
Date: Wed, 01 Oct 2003 22:37:28 -0700
To: "'Roy T. Fielding'" <fielding@apache.org>, "'Hammond, Tony (ELSLON)'" <T.Hammond@elsevier.com>
Cc: uri@w3.org
Message-id: <000201c388a7$4485ef10$6401a8c0@MasinterT40>

> I think a general rule of thumb should be that any URI scheme
> proposal that defines a meta-scheme, such that removal of that
> scheme in favor of separate schemes for its underlying names
> does not change the validity of the identifiers, should be rejected
> out-of-hand because uber-schemes are a waste of bytes on the wire
> and a political pain in the ass.

I don't think this is a good rule of thumb, because is
hard to evaluate and wouldn't apply retrospectively.
My criteria for a good "rule of thumb" is that it's
easy to tell whether it applies, even if the results
are imperfect.

I also think your reasons for proposing it ("waste of bytes"
and "political pain in the ass") are questionable; whether
something is a "waste of bytes" depends on the application,
and whether something is a "political pain in the ass" or
a "system of enormous value" depends on whose side you're

Not that I don't think you have a good idea hiding in here
somewhere, I just don't think you've hit the nail yet.

Personally, I would have much less trouble with "info" as
a URN namespace, named "us-niso", since it in effect sets
up a delegated naming authority with no operational semantics.

I've been pretty happy with the rule of thumb that says:

  Namespaces whose definitions are: "there is an authority,
  and the authority says what the name means" 
  should be URN namespaces.
  Other namespaces where there is an operational definition
  for how to interpret the URI (independent of how the URI
  might get assigned) can be new URI schemes. The value of
  a new URI scheme depends on the clarity and likelihood
  of implementation of the operational interpretation.

I wouldn't mind instituting a new rule-of-thumb that URI
scheme proposals should come with examples of implementations
of the operational definitions.

What do you think of my proposed 'rules of thumb'?

Received on Thursday, 2 October 2003 01:38:23 UTC

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