Re: yet another revision of the charter

Roy Fielding (
Wed, 12 Jul 1995 23:27:37 -0400

Message-Id: <>
Subject: Re: yet another revision of the charter 
In-Reply-To: Your message of "Wed, 12 Jul 1995 11:13:28 MDT."
Date: Wed, 12 Jul 1995 23:27:37 -0400
From: Roy Fielding <>

Time for more specific comments.

>The approach of this charter is for us to develop documents
>describing the general appraoch all URI types must follow, then
>to develop proposed standards for specific instances of those types.
>For example, RFC 1738 describes the syntax all URL schemes must
>follow. Mailserver, Finger, ... are specific new URL schemes. They
>follow the generic URL guidelines, but define the particulars of the
>new approach. Similarly, the milestones below have us define a
>generic URN syntax, a generic URC syntax, and a generic URN resolution
>procedure. ...

Although it makes perfect sense to have a generic URI (UR(L|N))
syntax, it does not follow that a generic URC syntax is useful,
and what exactly would a generic URN resolution procedure be?

A generic mechanism for identifying URCs as URCs would be good,
but should be done immediately. 

Identifying suitable sets of characteristics for any URC, such that
they support URN resolution, would also be good.  Is that what you
mean by a generic syntax?

>We then develop proposed standards that define specific
>URN syntaxes (hdl, path, ...), specific URC formats (like the
>x-srs stuff for rating Internet resources that I will demo), and
>specific URN resolution procedures (probably closely aligned with
>specific URN syntaxes).

I don't think that the WG should develop any of these.  I think
it should continue to act as a forum for critiquing the system
builders' specifications, perhaps analogous to a media type
advisory group [Larry, did the IETF ever do anything about that?].

I do think it would be reasonable for the WG to have an action
item for evaluating these things (once they are available) and
recommending how the IETF itself should use them.

So, here's how I would butcher Leslie and Ron's rewrite of the
charter, such that it would match what I think should be the
goals of a URI working group.  Note that I prefer a more aggressive



Description of the Working Group:

The URI-WG is chartered to define a set of standards for the encoding
of system-independent resource identification information for the use
of Internet information services.

The working group is expected to produce a set of documents that
identify the requirements for system-independent resource identification,
define the architectural components necessary to perform that
identification, and specify the standard interfaces necessary to enable
those components. 

As part of that work, the URI-WG has already identified the components
of Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) and Relative URLs for resource location,
Uniform Resource Names (URNs) for location-independent identity, and
Uniform Resource Characteristics (URCs) for resource description and
location redirection.  Informational RFCs have been published regarding
the desired properties of URLs (RFC 1736) and URNs (RFC 1737), and these
may be updated by the working group after further implementation experience.
Standards-track RFCs have been published on the syntax and semantics
of URLs (RFC 1738) and Relative URLs (RFC 1808), and the URI-WG will
continue to act as the forum for discussion regarding these specifications
as they progress through the standards process.

Work in progress includes specification of the desired properties
of URCs, the syntax and semantics of URNs, and the specification of
new URL or URN schemes.  The working group will produce additional
documents regarding the overall Uniform Resource Identification
architecture (describing the roles of each component within the scope
of Internet information services), and will develop recommendations
for how the IETF should proceed in approving and/or registering
new instances of URI components.

These documents will provide a framework that allows Internet users,
applications, and services to identify and access Internet resources,
with appropriate consideration for issues of security and privacy.

Goals and Milestones

Aug 95  Desired properties of URCs published as informational RFC.

Sep 95  URN syntax and semantics published as proposed standard RFC.

Sep 95  Generic mechanism for identifying URCs as URCs published
        as informational or proposed standard RFC.

Oct 95  Revise RFC 1738 (URLs), move to draft standard status.

Oct 95  Mailserver and finger URL drafts to proposed standard.

Dec 95  Revise RFC 1808 (Relative URLs) or move to draft standard status.

Jan 96  Desired properties of URN resolution published as Informational RFC.

Jan 96  URI Architecture published as Informational RFC.

Jan 96  Update RFCs 1736 and 1737, if needed.

Jul 96  Procedure for the Registration of URL schemes to Informational RFC

Jul 96  Procedure for the Registration of URN schemes to Informational RFC

Jul 96  Procedure for the Registration of URC types to Informational RFC