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Re: Excess URI schemes considered harmful

From: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 25 Sep 2001 17:10:46 -0500
Message-ID: <3BB100E6.66C7B9BA@w3.org>
To: Michael Mealling <michael@neonym.net>
CC: Mark Baker <distobj@acm.org>, Rob Lanphier <robla@real.com>, uri@w3.org
Michael Mealling wrote:
> On Tue, Sep 25, 2001 at 04:01:22PM -0400, Mark Baker wrote:
> > > Again, are you sure? The IANA may not be the registry for these items
> > > in the future. The IANA is simply the organization that the IETF/ISOC
> > > has contracted with to provide that service now. Depending on the state
> > > of politics it may not be so in the future.
> > >
> > > IMHO, urn:ietf:params:media-type:text-plain
> > >
> > > is much better....
> >
> > But what if the IETF cedes control of this registry to some other
> > body?  Then that URN would break too.  How is this any different
> > than with an URL?
> The IETF can't delegate it. It would have to break every single rule
> in not only its charter but MOUs with ISOC and ICANN. Plus it can't
> be done by the actual rules inforced by the URN namespace registration
> process itself. Once that URN above is assigned it can never be 'unassigned'
> or 're-assigned'. To do so would be a very clear _error_.
> > If, by proposing the use of an IETF URN, you're suggesting that the
> > IETF is a better authority than IANA, that's fine - I don't know,
> > maybe it is.  But then I'd suggest that using an http://www.ietf.org
> > URL would serve exactly the same purpose as that URN, be no more
> > brittle, *and* be resolvable with a currently deployed protocol.
> > Win/win, no?
> Nope.... Different set of rules and policies. There is no policy in
> place mandating that hte IETF keep the 'ietf.org' domain-name.

Hmm.. that seems easy to fix... and I suggest that
the IETF community is getting a lot of value out of
being able to contact the IETF at http://www.ietf.org/ .

> There
> is a policy built into the URN approval process that mandates that
> if the IETF abandons or re-uses the 'ietf' URN namespace that it
> is an _error_ on the part of the IETF.
> I.e. if the IETF were to change domain-names you'd just have to deal
> with it.

It's hard for me to imagine that the value of doing so would
ever even approach the cost.

> Its there perogative to do so.  If the IETF decided to play
> silly willy with the URN namespace you could clearly and unambiguously
> call them on the carpet for it.

If you were an astute language lawyer, yes. But I suggest
that the number of complaints generated if the IETF
were to stop servicing http://www.ietf.org/ would drarf
the number of complaints if the IETF re-assigned a URN.
By several orders of magnitude.

Dan Connolly, W3C http://www.w3.org/People/Connolly/
Received on Tuesday, 25 September 2001 18:11:56 UTC

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