Re: URI-protocol mapping (was Re: How to add new "protocols" ?)

Ron Daniel Jr. (
Fri, 21 Feb 1997 13:35:06 -0700

Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 21 Feb 1997 13:35:06 -0700
To: Dan Connolly <>
From: "Ron Daniel Jr." <>
Subject: Re: URI-protocol mapping (was Re: How to add new "protocols" ?)

At 12:19 PM 2/21/97 -0600, Dan Connolly wrote:
>Ron Daniel Jr. wrote:
>> I'll admit that one *could* resolve current URLs in a location-independent
>> fashion. However, one cannot do it in a manner conformant to existing
>> standards. We can do anything if we change the definitions of our terms.
>Let's just agree on that and declare victory, huh?

Oh, I think we can agree on a lot more than this. But this will do
for a start.

>The bottom line is: we don't have to change all the
>addresses in all the documents in the world in order
>to increase the quality of service (availability, persistance,
>etc.) of resource access on the web.

Agreed.  Believe me, I *don't* want to change all the existing URLs.

>We just need to design and deploy some better resolution
>mechanisms (and we have to be especially careful to
>"follow the money" while we do it: business considerations
>like IPR, trademarks and brands will dominate technical
>considerations, I suspect).

I strongly agree with your note that IPR, ... will be
important considerations.

For one proposal on a new resolution mechanism (and I make no
claims that it is the best possible), see the NAPTR stuff:
for the latest version. Its also available as an Internet draft -
draft-ietf-urn-naptr-02.txt is the current version (which is
about to be updated to 03 because someone caught an error).

>Moreover: a change in some of the basic syntactic rules
>(like going from slash to colon for hierarchical separators)
>has significant cost, with no increase in expressive power.

Um, now you have lost me. The URN syntax reserves '/' under the
assumption that it will end up following the same hierarchy rules
as URLs. Relative URNs are not on the URN-WG charter, so we don't
want to stop development of the basic syntax draft while we talk
about them, but the '/' is reserved for the likely outcome that it
will be used for the obvious purpose.

We do use ':' to delimit the namespace identifier, as in

If you want that to be a '/' then the URN-WG list is the place to make
that argument:


Ron Daniel Jr.              voice:+1 505 665 0597
Advanced Computing Lab        fax:+1 505 665 4939
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Los Alamos National Lab
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