Re: The UR* scheme registry, Citing URL/URI specs

Keith Moore (
Mon, 27 Oct 1997 23:27:44 -0500

Message-Id: <>
From: Keith Moore <>
To: "Roy T. Fielding" <>
cc:, Dan Connolly <>,,
Subject: Re: The UR* scheme registry, Citing URL/URI specs 
In-reply-to: Your message of "Mon, 27 Oct 1997 18:04:43 PST."
Date: Mon, 27 Oct 1997 23:27:44 -0500

I don't want to get in the battle of whether or not a URN is a kind 
of URL.  Like it or not, the difference is important to some people.
The difference may be less one of definition and more one of 
perception.  I doubt we could get everyone to agree on a precise
definition of URLs, much less whether URNs are a subset of URLs.

We could even think of it as a marketing ploy: the URN proponents 
want to establish that URNs are used differently than other kinds 
of URLs; they think having a different name and a slightly different
(though compatible) syntax will help fix the difference in people's
minds.  Maybe it will, maybe it won't, but they have good reasons for
wanting to do so, and it seems worth a try.

I suspect the meanings of URN and URL, like most words, will change
over time as new ways get found to use the old identifiers.
(and we'll change the meanings of the letters to fit the new meanings)

> I can easily change the URL spec such that it covers all locators and
> still gives autonomy over the "urn" scheme's namespace to the set of
> URN RFCs.  If Keith gives the okay (I believe Harald has already suggested
> it more than once), then I'll do that later this week.

Can you be more specific about what changes are you proposing ?
(I don't want to open up another long-running political discussion)