Re: date in URN

Peter Deutsch (peterd@bunyip.com)
Sun, 25 Jun 1995 13:39:51 -0400


Message-Id: <9506251739.AA16944@expresso.bunyip.com>
From: Peter Deutsch <peterd@bunyip.com>
Date: Sun, 25 Jun 1995 13:39:51 -0400
In-Reply-To: "Terry Allen"'s message as of Jun 25,  9:53
To: "Terry Allen" <terry@ora.com>, "Karen R. Sollins" <sollins@lcs.mit.edu>
Subject: Re: date in URN
Cc: uri@bunyip.com

g'day,

[ Terry Allen wrote: ]

}   <naming authority>:[<optional human readible string]>:<unique ID>
} ===
} 
} but how does having a new readable string help me transcribe
} the unique ID?

Hmmm, good point - I guess it doesn't. I suppose in my
confusion I was refering to something I might call
"selectability", which would be the ability to select
appropriate items either mechanically or by doing a little
"wetware" processing on them. Still, as I sit in my office
on a Sunday afternoon and I continue to think about what I
mean here, perhaps I can claim that selectability enhances
transcribability in some way? Or maybe, we really have a
URC, not a URN and the URNs are going to disappear from
view before they're even deployed?

As we've been using the term for the past four or five
years in this community, a URN "name" is something that
tells me about selecting a thing, rather than about about
accessing that thing. If users can see a readible "human
bit" or headline, it would help them to select the correct
part and they might thus be more tolerant about systems that
make them type in some bits that looks like line noise. So,
a URN of the form:

     <URN:ISBN:"The Complete Fawlty Towers":0-413-18390-4>

is probably preferable to:

     <URN:ISBN:0-413-18390-4>

or a URL such as:

     <http://methuen.com.uk/catalogue/1988/fwty.html>


Note that I think even the second form of URN is
preferable to the URL (since people in the book store
already understand ISBNs and might be expected to learn
about this new form of an old friend) but the first is
probably closest to something humans can grok and is
closer to current publishing practice. For mechanical
systems such as Silk, you could display only the
"headline" portion and leave the internal URN to the
program. Is this really a URC? Maybe, in which case here's
a real need for these things ASAP.

So, I guess it isn't spelled out in these terms in the
functional spec, but if we map "comparision" to
"selectability" and extend it to the idea that we might
want to perform comparison not just between two URNs, but
between a URN I have and what I know about it, then I
still think we should consider the suggestion.


BTW, in operation we can simply do the derefencing on the
mechanical part of the ID, so typos in the title portion
would not affect the outcome (as the store clerk does now
when you ask for a book). They should still be
allowed/encouraged in the parts humans see since in our
limited experience with Silk they seem to make these
things more useful.

So, for my previous postings where I mention
"transcribability" please substitute "selectability" and
see if it makes any more sense.... :-)



					- peterd


One final note - I'm musing here on my own, and do not
claim that all of Bunyip buys into these thoughts. Perhaps
once we have another couple of internal discussions I'll
be talked out of this... :-)


-- 
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                                               - Samuel Butler, 1872
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