W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > uri@w3.org > October 2003

RE: Announcement: The "info" URI Scheme

From: Eamonn Neylon <eneylon@manifestsolutions.com>
Date: Thu, 2 Oct 2003 18:09:25 +0100
To: "Sandro Hawke" <sandro@w3.org>, "Hammond, Tony (ELSLON)" <T.Hammond@elsevier.com>
Cc: "'Eric Hellman'" <eric@openly.com>, "Patrick Stickler" <patrick.stickler@nokia.com>, <uri@w3.org>
Message-ID: <HKEEKDBDFFLPABDJLFLOOEOCDGAA.eneylon@manifestsolutions.com>


>>> To sum up, with regard to the info scheme, less is more.
>>Thanks, you've just argued wonderfully why the tag: URI scheme
>>is so desirable.  With info:, there's still a sort of central
>>authority; you're still trusting the info-registry in some sense,
>>even if it's not as great as trusting a domain name owner + the
>>dns.  With tags, you don't have to trust anyone.  Much better.

By intention tag and info attend to two different problems: "tag:" allows
anyone to mint identifiers, "info:" allows identifiers that already exist
under existing namespaces to be referred to using a URI. The notion that
anyone can create identifiers under the "info:" scheme is wrong. No one can
create identifiers under "info:". The identifiers that exist under "info:"
are created under the namespaces registered with the "info:" registry, under
the rules of the applicable namespace authority. With "info:" we don't trust
anyone - by design. A community agrees what namespaces are applicable to the
registry and any identifiers under those registered namespaces become valid
"info:" URIs. So the intention of the "info:" scheme is very different to
that of the "tag:" scheme.

>>I happen to think distrusting owner+dns is unwarranted FUD.
>>doi.org is every bit as secure as doi:, etc.

It's not about trust: "info:" is about having a pragmatic means of making
existing identifiers available to applications that need URI but do not need
dereference. "doi:" has completely different reasons for wanting to uncouple
identity from domain ownership, that are not relevant to a discussion of the
"info:" URI scheme.

>>And dereference is very useful.

Provided someone somewhere is willing, and allowed to, to provide a
dereference service then, yes, dereference is useful. However, "info:" is
concerned with getting namespaces relevant to the community of use made
available as valid URI identifiers. Given that if http URIs exist for these
things then we would use them, the need for "info:" stems from the
non-existence of dereferencable representations for these things on the

>>So I haven't been working very hard on evangelizing tags and
>>getting it done as an RFC.  I'm still willing to be a
>>co-author because I think it may be useful to some people,
>>especially folks who would otherwise end up stuck in DOI or
>>INFO land.

Really not sure what this means. "info:" is a scheme and not a place. DOI is
a system which has a scheme called "doi:". They are different things and
address different problems. What they have in common is an interest to
information workers (librarians) and an overlapping authorship. Please don't
confuse these schemes just because myself and Tony have worked on both of
these activities.

>>So if you are into DOI/INFO for the money, ego, or control,
>>go right ahead with it.  (I guess I'll also grant that info:
>>saves you a few characters in your URIs.  Tags were a bit
>>shorter until one of our changes solely intended to appease
>>the IESG.)  If you just want to separate yourself from the
>>tyrrany of dereference, why don't you help tag: along instead?

Actually Tony and I did contact Tim Kindberg a while back to talk about how
we might benefit from each others experiences. But would you want to be
tainted with our names ;)


Eamonn Neylon
Manifest Solutions
Tel: +44 1869 357156
Received on Thursday, 2 October 2003 13:10:58 UTC

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