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Re: namespaceDocument-8: possible interaction with Namespaces in XML 1.1

From: Tim Bray <tbray@textuality.com>
Date: Wed, 09 Apr 2003 10:38:15 -0700
Message-ID: <3E945A87.70203@textuality.com>
To: Larry Masinter <LMM@acm.org>
Cc: "'Paul Cotton'" <pcotton@microsoft.com>, www-tag@w3.org, "'Paul Grosso'" <pgrosso@arbortext.com>, roy.fielding@day.com

Larry Masinter wrote:
> In the long run, I think it's easier to make a URNs retrievable
> than it is to make HTTP URLs permanent, and that the W3C should
> stop trying to make an anti-URN policy.

Why is that?  It seems to me that the "permanence" of a URI has two facets:

1. a community of people agree on what it means, e.g. a namespace
    name for XHTML
2. a publisher commits to provide representations of it

Nothing in heaven and earth can ensure the permanence of #2.  And I 
don't see that #1 has anything to do with whether the URI is a URN.

> For people who don't want to or can't commit to maintaining a
> permanent web resource in perpetuity, URNs may be a better choice.

Since *nobody* can *ever* commit to maintaining anything in perpetuity, 
given that in the short run we're all dead and in the long run there's 
the 2nd law of thermodynamics, do you thus feel that all URLs should 
abandoned forthwith in favor of URNs?

> So explain the advantages and disadvantages, and move on.

The trouble is, we seem to lack consensus; in particular on the claim 
that URNs have a superior quality of "permanence" in some sense.  Our 
interchange right here is evidence of that.
Cheers, Tim Bray
         (ongoing fragmented essay: http://www.tbray.org/ongoing/)
Received on Wednesday, 9 April 2003 13:38:17 UTC

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