Re[2]: URN: vs alternatives

Renato Iannella (
Mon, 27 Nov 1995 09:36:54 +1000 (EST)

From: Renato Iannella <>
Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 27 Nov 1995 09:36:54 +1000 (EST)
Subject: Re[2]: URN: vs alternatives
In-Reply-To: <>

Jon Knight <> wrote:
> 2) You want to know what URN for a certain document written by a
> particular person that has been registered by a particular organisation. 
> Now you could start guessing the DNS-like elements in the URN and in the
> early days when the namespace is small this will probably work most of the
> time.  However when the URN namespaces becomes as full as .COM has in the
> DNS (which is what is causing all the discussion on the IETF mailing
> list), you really need to have a proper searchable directory service like
> whois++ sitting there to let you home in on your desired URN(s)

In most cases, you would not want the 'URN for a certain document' BUT
you would want the document itself. This is where 'resource discovery'
systems are useful. Ie you would not search for URN <foo:baar> but a 
document AAAAA by BBBBB from CCCCC (since you do not know the URN).

Then, with X responses from your resource discovery system, you can then decide
which is the correct document and 'click on the URN' to get it resolved and
retrieve the document.

The URN working group needs to concentrate on the resolution step.

There will be plenty of 'value-added' resource discovery system available
once the resolution mechanisms are in place.

Cheers... Renato
Dr Renato Iannella               www:
Research Data Network CRC                       email:
DSTC Pty Ltd                                       phone: +61 7 3365 4310
University of Queensland, 4072, AUSTRALIA            fax: +61 7 3365 4311