Re: URN fodder...

Mitra (
Tue, 28 Mar 1995 11:29:12 -0800

Message-Id: <ab9e0d06030210049c67@[]>
Date: Tue, 28 Mar 1995 11:29:12 -0800
To: (Pierre Landau)
From: (Mitra)
Subject: Re: URN fodder...

At 3:15 PM 3/27/95, Pierre Landau wrote:
>I've seen a lot of discussion recently on various URN schemes, but am still
>puzzled as to some of the underlying assumptions of these models.
>Suppose that someuser@somemachine.someuniversity decides to "publish" a
>document, be it an HTML one or otherwise.  As things exist now, the user
>tells friends about it, or puts a pointer on some HTML page to it.  Ideally,
>the user would register the document, obtain a URN, and distribute the URN;
>other copies of the document would share the URN and therefore the access load.
>1) Unless some encapsulation is used, how is a document to be tagged with
>its URN? Suppose I copy  a public-domain JPEG image of Jupiter from a server
>which is very slow. I have its original URL, but not necessarily its URN, so
>although by my having copied it I might make it available to others on the
>net, they will not be able to identify it as the same object.

There have been requests to have a URN tag as an optional header field in HTML.

>2) URN search ability is vital.  Suppose I'm writing a paper, and want to
>refer to other papers.  I need to be able to find the appropriate URNs for
>those papers, even though I may know only author and title, but perhaps not
>the journal name.  All I've seen so far in the discussions is "some whois++
>will take care of it" which just begs the question of who will maintain the
>database. Web crawlers such as WWWW and Lycos are only marginally useful in
>this regard because the Web is expanding too fast and their search engines
>are still not well enough developed. The "handles" system
>( addresses this by
>allowing a flat namespace and distributing the load among several servers,
>at the cost of requiring all updates to be centralized.

This shouldnt be needed, if you can retrieve the document you are referring
to, and if it has a URN embedded (e.g. in HTML header) then you have it.

>3) Using the hierarchical DNS scheme for registering publishers works well
>with departments at universities, but perhaps less well with a publisher like
>   Perhaps the Library of Congress or a similar
>entity is a more appropriate "authority" to register publishers with.

Under my scheme it works fine, registers, I've no idea how it would work under any of the
currently proposed schemes.

- Mitra

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