W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > uri@w3.org > September 2001

RE: Using fragment identifiers with URNs

From: Graham Klyne <GK@ninebynine.org>
Date: Fri, 28 Sep 2001 08:55:26 +0100
Message-Id: <>
To: Stephen Cranefield <SCranefield@infoscience.otago.ac.nz>
Cc: "'uri@w3.org'" <uri@w3.org>
At 09:49 AM 9/28/01 +1200, Stephen Cranefield wrote:
>If it were possible to have a URN scheme for
>which retrieval was not meaningful (and I still haven't seen any
>official document that answers this one way or another) ...

My view is this:

(1) it is not possible to have any URI scheme for which retrieval is not 

(2) it may be the case for any particular URI that retrieval is or is not 
meaningful, regardless of URI scheme.

Rationale for (1):  For any given URI-scheme, it is possible to create a 
retrieval mechanism, thus:  create a network-accessible database that maps 
URI values of the scheme into network resource addresses (in whatever form) 
which can be used for retrieval.  (I don't claim it's scalable or practical 
on an Internet scale, just possible.  The idea here is to demonstrate that 
the form, or scheme, of a URI cannot prevent use of the URI for retrieval 
given a suitable infrastructure.)

I think (2) is self-evident (given (1)).

You go on to say:
> > The upshot of looking at generic URN religion likewise should
> > be that "URNs on the whole don't tell you about the means of retrieval"
> > principle should also be interpreted as "URNs on the whole don't tell
> > you about the feasibility of retrieval" as well.
>I'd prefer the word "applicability" to "feasibility" as the latter
>suggests that retrieval might be meaningful but just not possible with
>current tools.

For just this reason, I think "feasibility" is the right word here.


Graham Klyne
Received on Friday, 28 September 2001 05:05:35 UTC

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