URN namespace

Michael Shapiro (mshapiro@ncsa.uiuc.edu)
Tue, 15 Aug 1995 21:19:29 -0500 (CDT)


From: mshapiro@ncsa.uiuc.edu (Michael Shapiro)
Message-Id: <9508160219.AA14502@void.ncsa.uiuc.edu>
Subject: URN namespace
To: uri@bunyip.com
Date: Tue, 15 Aug 1995 21:19:29 -0500 (CDT)

> Jim Conklin wrote:
>    I respectfully disagree.  URL's worked and were  accepted  and
>    used, and people remember them (yes, REMEMBER them!) precisely
>    BECAUSE people very INTENTIONALLY  attach  semantic  names  to
>    them.
> 
> Karen R. Sollins wrote:
>    I'm afraid I disagree with you at least partially.  Yes,  URLs
>    were  accepted  and  used.  But I don't consider them terribly
>    successful.  First, because they do often  include  semantics,
>    we  expect  certain  URLs  to  work.   But,  we  get  too many
>    surprises.  For example, www.mit.edu was grabbed by a  student
>    computing  organization early on, so now MIT uses web.mit.edu,
>    much to many people's  confusion.   Because  it  is  a  single
>    namespace  and  we  are  using a great deal of abbreviation to
>    make it compact, there is  contention  and  disagreement  over
>    allocation of names.  That's the first problem.
> 
> Brian Behlendorf wrote:
>    Any place with a common namespace that is expected  to  handle
>    everyone is going to have namespace collision problems as long
>    as the goal of the namespace is to provide pneumonics.  If you
>    remove  the  need  for  pneumonics,  then  you  don't have the
>    namespace collision, but you  make  the  reference  much  less
>    transcribable.      MIT     could     distribute    the    URL
>    http:///18.72.0.31/  instead  of  http://web.mit.edu/  if   it
>    really  wanted  and  solve  that  problem  without  URN's, but
>    obviously they're willing to live with the "drawback" of using
>    web.mit.edu.


Isn't the fact that the existing hostname  space  is  also  being
used  for  URLs  a  major  problem? Wouldn't a separate namespace
(perhaps within DNS with a new toplevel domain) be a step in  the
right  direction?   The  existing  hostname is used for mail (and
other services).  Why should email and URNs share the  same  name
space?   The  U.S.  post office and the phone company don't share
the same name space.  Neither  do  drivers  licenses  nor  social
security numbers.


-- 
Michael Shapiro                   mshapiro@ncsa.uiuc.edu
NCSA                              (217) 244-6642
605 E Springfield Ave. RM 152CAB  fax: (217) 333-5973
Champaign, IL 61820