Follow up on charter proposal

A composite reply to some comments on the revised URI charter I proposed

[From Terry Allen's message:]

> >However, it is premature to be nailing down URC standards before we
> have the primitives sorted out.


> sorting out is there to do?  Be specific, please.

I specifically think it is premature to be picking implementations of
URCs before we have an appropriate view of how they fit in with the
rest of the URI structure.  As a concrete example, my earlier message
exchange with Mark Madsen culminates with me having the impression that
his work is interpreting the _proposed SGML implementation_ of URC's, not
the URC concept in general.  Thus, when the rest of the URI work has
caught up with URC's, we'll be left with a legacy of an implementation AND
derivative work that was built before we'd nailed the basics of URNs
and URN resolution.

[From Ron Daniel's message:]

> Hmmm. I really think that we should have a standard for URCs, since
> they are the means for mapping URNs to URLs and both of those are to
> be standardized. Since standardization is the goal, I don't want to
> put out a charter saying it is not.

Agreed, we can't keep these things completely hypothetical and stall
out their development, particularly, as Ron points out, when they are
key to other work.  I don't think it would be inappropriate to have
experimental specs for imlementation specifically for the purpose of
URN resolution.

My point is that I don't believe it is time to base the entire URC 
implementation on that one use of URCs; as an example, the Silk software is 
already making use of things that we would _like_ to be able to call a type of
URC object, but URC's may be nailed shut before we get all of our
requirements shaken out.

>From a technical aspect I think it is OK to say we will concentrate on
> URNs this year and experiment with URC, URAs, ... However, since the
> IESG has said "no research!", I think it is a bad idea to write the
> charter for the group in such a fashion. Larry can probably comment on
> this better than I, but my impression is that we should not expect to
> revise the charter every year. We have to do it now because the
> original charter is basically complete and just about all of us think
> that the group has a lot more useful work to do.

I'm not up to date on direct pronouncements from the IESG.  However, 
I don't think there is anythign I have suggested that can't be presented
in a more concrete light, given the right wording.  I was trying to get
a philosophy across; that things other than URNs should be on deck, but
not driving the buggy.

As for whether we revise the charter next  year, or decide that URI work
is done and the remaining stuff should migrate to another, more focussed
workingn group then -- either option seems appropriate.

That is, while URAs and URCs are contributing to the shaping of URNs and
URLs, they belong in this working group.  When the remaining issues are
largely about metadata, etc, then perhaps they should migrate.  (I don't
think I have to make it too plain that the following is a personal
opinion; it may not fit well with traditional IETF structures).

> >   Determine an interim URN syntax for the purposes of evaluating URN
> >   proposals shortly after the Stockholm IETF.
> I'm sorry Leslie, but I don't think this last item is possible. Why
> should the proponents of the various URN schemes find an interim
> solution easier to agree on than a full one? Especially since interim

I agree that the interim syntax is not an optimal approach (particularly,
as Ron points out, since interim ones have a way of becoming de facto
standards).  However, we do need SOMETHING to break the deadlock on the
URN work.  As for different URN proposers accepting an interim one any
better than the final one:  it is the WORKING GROUP that should be driving
this, and from that perspective, it is in the WORKING GROUP's interest
to find a means to evaluate competing schemes.

To end on a personal  opinion -- the URI group is now a lot larger than it was
when it was originally set up.  The issues faced are recognized as being
immediately relevant.  Part of the reasoning behind revising the charter
(from my perspective) was to refocus the working group to reflect the
fact that there are a number of diverse opinions flinging across this
list and forward progress on URN matters is difficult to perceive.  Disbanding
the URI group would fail to reflect the fact that there is a LOT of
URI work left to be done.  However, it might just come to something as
drastic as that if this working group is not succeeding in making any
progress on that work.



"Two heads are better than one"                        Leslie Daigle
           -- ThinkingCat                              Montreal, Canada
		July 8, 1995.


Received on Thursday, 6 July 1995 15:57:05 UTC