URN Resolution Paths Considered Harmful

Fisher Mark (FisherM@is3.indy.tce.com)
Tue, 20 Jun 95 10:05:00 PDT

From: Fisher Mark <FisherM@is3.indy.tce.com>
To: "'URI'" <uri@bunyip.com>
Subject: URN Resolution Paths Considered Harmful
Date: Tue, 20 Jun 95 10:05:00 PDT

A URN, in my view, should be separate from the method and/or path used to 
resolve it.  At best, a resolution path could be a hint to the client code 
that a particular resolver could be used.  I would expect after several 
cases where the resolution path was incomplete, wrong, or non-existent, 
unless the client could be configured to ignore some subset of all 
resolution paths, the human user of the client would just turn off the 
embedded resolution path feature, thereby obviating the usefulness of 
embedded resolution paths.

A DNS hostname is not listed with the name of the DNS server that could be 
used to resolve it ("ftp.foo.bar.com/bar.com/"); the hostname is listed 
unadorned ("ftp.foo.bar.com"), with the resolution occurring behind the 

I would hope that the experience many of us have had in dealing with UUCP 
email paths has taught us that manually maintained paths are not usually A 
Good Thing.  Computers keep better track of paths than humans (TCP/IP 
routing out on the Internet depends on this!), so let the computers track 
the resolution paths.
Mark Fisher                            Thomson Consumer Electronics
fisherm@indy.tce.com                   Indianapolis, IN