W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-rdf-interest@w3.org > June 2001

Re: Location vs. names

From: Sampo Syreeni <decoy@iki.fi>
Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2001 11:58:02 +0300 (EEST)
To: Seth Russell <seth@robustai.net>
cc: <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.SOL.4.30.0106121147180.25277-100000@kruuna.Helsinki.FI>
On Mon, 11 Jun 2001, Seth Russell wrote:

>> Probably. But once people start thinking about URLs as URNs, and abandon
>> the effort that has gone to resolving generic URNs as opposed to the ease
>> we can deal with URLs, I think the URN effort dies a horrible death. I
>> think that URLs and URNs are two different things, neither of which is
>> becoming obsolete very soon. On the contrary, people should work to get
>> URN resolution working.
>Huh?  I thought that URNs were designed to be names and only names.

Some of them are, some of them aren't. Tags-URIs are, for instance. But
there are other examples, like IETF's own URN scheme for Internet standards.
A lot of thought has gone in the IETF into how to use the current DNS
infrastructure to resolve schemes like that. See e.g. RFC2915.

>If we attach a global resolution meaning to names then we will have URLs.

No. Even if a URN is resolvable to a set of URLs and/or other metadata, it
certainly does not mean that the URN itself is dereferencable. The point is
to get names which, in addition to being neat, persistent and well managed,
are usable they way URLs are, now. You should be able to paste a URN of an
online resource onto the browser address bar to get to the resource. As for
other resources, there are different needs, like ISBN=>publisher mappings,
all of which can be facilitated by DNS lookup techniques.

>Me thinks a name should resolve to what it identifies only in the memory of
>an agent hearing or speaking the name.

Sometimes, yes. Sometimes, no. For instance, how do you propose getting from
a resource name to its attached metadata if the pointer itself cannot be
dereferenced?  You will have to have some mechanism to get you to the data,
and that would be something like a URN=>metadata URL (not the URL of the
resource itself) lookup.

Sampo Syreeni, aka decoy, mailto:decoy@iki.fi, gsm: +358-50-5756111
student/math+cs/helsinki university, http://www.iki.fi/~decoy/front
Received on Tuesday, 12 June 2001 04:58:14 UTC

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