Re: report: URN Architecture Meeting at University of Tennessee, Oct 30-31

Roy T. Fielding (fielding@avron.ICS.UCI.EDU)
Sat, 02 Dec 1995 00:39:08 -0800


To: Michael Mealling <Michael.Mealling@oit.gatech.edu>
Cc: moore@cs.utk.edu, urn@mordred.gatech.edu, uri@bunyip.com
Subject: Re: report: URN Architecture Meeting at University of Tennessee, Oct 30-31 
In-Reply-To: Your message of "Fri, 01 Dec 1995 10:58:10 EST."
             <199512011558.KAA16763@oit.gatech.edu> 
Date: Sat, 02 Dec 1995 00:39:08 -0800
From: "Roy T. Fielding" <fielding@avron.ICS.UCI.EDU>
Message-Id:  <9512020039.aa22589@paris.ics.uci.edu>

>> Since when is the existence of only one URN scheme the sole advantage
>> of location-independent names?  The only thing that has been wasting our
>> time for the past 4 years or so is this insistence on defining an identifier
>> which is fundamentally incompatible with all existing practice.  I am trying
>> to stop yet another waste of time before it starts again.  If existing
>> practice will not be a concern of some future URN WG, then there should
>> not be any URN WG in the IETF.
> 
> In other words the IETF should just document existing practice and just
> get out of the way?

No, the IETF was intended to create interoperable standards *based on
practice*.  It does not create standards out of thin air.  It does not
ignore current practice just because someone thinks they have a better
idea.  If it is a better idea, then practice will adopt it first, not
the IETF.  Most importantly, it doesn't take existing, interoperable
systems and intentionally specify them incorrectly.  You know that --
it's written on your T-shirt.

> Does this violate the Tao of the URI 
> 
> scheme:sub-scheme:sub-scheme-specific-string

That depends on what the first "scheme:" is.  If the word chosen is so
general that it is guaranteed to cause confusion, such as "scheme", "urn",
"url", "name", "locator", "urc", etc., then it definitely does violate
the Tao of URI.

 ...Roy T. Fielding
    Department of Information & Computer Science    (fielding@ics.uci.edu)
    University of California, Irvine, CA 92717-3425    fax:+1(714)824-4056
    http://www.ics.uci.edu/~fielding/