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Re: URNs for personal documents?

From: Felix E. Klee <felix.klee@inka.de>
Date: Mon, 03 Apr 2006 00:52:04 +0200
Message-ID: <87psjzmvzf.wl%felix.klee@inka.de>
To: Michael Mealling <michael@neonym.net>
Cc: uri@w3.org

At Wed, 22 Mar 2006 15:11:29 -0500,
Michael Mealling wrote:
> But now that you've been inundated with the "use HTTP!", "use DOIs!",
> "use XRIs", "use PURLs!" suggestions I'm sure your more confused than
> when you started. ;-)

Well, none of the suggestions really matches my requirements (except

* Short URNs (for example, I want to use URNs in text documents, and
  long URN names hamper readability).  Violated by: tag URI, duri, DOI,

* Ability to create new URNs free of charge and without having access to
  the outside world (e.g. the Internet).  Violated by: DOI, personal
  domain, PURL.

* Precise identification of documents and independence of a particular
  environment (OS or whatever).  Violated by: Yahoo desktop, Google

* Persistency.  Violated by: personal domain.

So, I plan to indeed apply for an informal URN namespace, as you
suggest.  The specification for "urn-4" comes pretty close to what I
have in mind.  Thus, I may largely reuse it.

I'm almost finished with writing two little tools.  One is for quickly
resolving URNs to local documents using a special cache file.  The other
is for extracting URNs from meta information of documents and putting
them into the cache.  This tool also checks cache consistency, i.e. it
checks that no two documents have the same URN, and that each URN
previously assigned is associated with a document (one document may have
multiple URNs).

Furthermore, I've written a simple EMACS package for browsing documents
associated with URNs:


All in all, this solution seems to work pretty well: I'm already
employing it for everyday use, so far with the namespace identifier
"urn-6" which I may eventually get.  As a side note: At the moment I'm
limiting myself to URNs of the form "urn:urn-6:a..." (note the "a")
where "..." is any string composed of characters permitted according to
<urn:ietf:rfc:2141>.  This allows me to later specify further sub name
spaces with special properties, though I may rarely if ever need this.

Felix E. Klee
Received on Sunday, 2 April 2006 22:52:30 UTC

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