Potential inconsistency between URL and URN syntaxes...

Ryan Moats (jayhawk@ds.internic.net)
Wed, 18 Dec 1996 09:11:15 -0600


Message-Id: <32B80993.5785@ds.internic.net>
Date: Wed, 18 Dec 1996 09:11:15 -0600
From: Ryan Moats <jayhawk@ds.internic.net>
To: uri@bunyip.com
Cc: urn-ietf@bunyip.com
Subject: Potential inconsistency between URL and URN syntaxes...

Folks-

I was reminded this morning that there is a potential inconsistency
between the URL and URN syntax specifications
(draft-fielding-url-syntax-02.txt and draft-ietf-urn-syntax-01.txt).
Because of this, I am cross-posting this to both lists, so I apologize
to those folks that will see this multiple times (I know I will...)

The inconsistency arises from the following:

In the URL syntax draft the following statement is made:

> 1.1. URL, URN, and URI
> 
>    URLs are a subset of Uniform Resource Identifiers (URI), which also
>    includes the notion of Uniform Resource Names (URN).  A URN differs
>    from a URL in that it identifies a resource in a location-independent
>    fashion (see RFC 1737, [10]).  URNs are defined by a separate set of
>    specifications.
> 
>    Although this specification restricts its discussion to URLs, the
>    syntax defined is that of URI in general.  Any requirements placed on
>    the URL syntax also apply to the URI syntax.  This uniform syntax for
>    all resource identifiers allows a URN to be used in any data field
>    that might otherwise hold a URL.

However, in the latest draft URN syntax spec (circulating on the urn
mailing list), the syntax for a URN is

>    "urn:" <NID> ":" <NSS>

I don't beleive that the URN specification "can be used in any data
field that might otherwise hold a URL" as it currently stands (If
somebody thinks otherwise, please let me know).  Therefore, either the
syntax specs need to be aligned or the statements about the URL
specification refering to the URI syntax need to be modulated
(neither of which are pleasant topics...).  My current preference
is to modulate the URL syntax specification to support the URN syntax
and move forward.

Ryan Moats
InterNIC Directory and Database Services