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

Re: uri, urn and info

From: John Cowan <jcowan@reutershealth.com>
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 2003 16:15:06 -0400
To: "Hammond, Tony (ELSLON)" <T.Hammond@elsevier.com>
Cc: "'Larry Masinter'" <LMM@acm.org>, uri@w3.org
Message-ID: <20031010201506.GJ18182@skunk.reutershealth.com>

Hammond, Tony (ELSLON) scripsit:

> > There is no requirement that URN namespaces have 'persistence of
> > identifiers as a primary purpose'.
> 
> The above statement conflicts with this opening passage from RFC 2141:
> 
> 	"Uniform Resource Names (URNs) are intended to serve as persistent,
> location-independent, resource identifiers."
> 
> So, again we are left feeling really confused. Maybe it's just the words
> that are being used. 

Construe, construe!  There is no requirement that URN namespaces have
persistence of identifiers AS THEIR PRIMARY PURPOSE.  urn:newsml: identifiers,
for example, are primarily intended for location independence and uniqueness:
persistence may or may not be important (notoriously, yesterday's newspaper
wraps today's fish).

> This would be a moot point given that we were considering a URN namespace -
> which we are not. One might note in passing that it is precisely because the
> general public cannot easily navigate the IETF registration process for URI
> schemes and URN namespace IDs, that some intermediary registration mechanism
> might be of tangible benefit.

The URN namespace process is a whole lot simpler and involves less effort
than the full URI scheme process.

In that case you could register an URN namespace urn:niso: and then do
your own allocation within that space.

> That said, the I-D has
> been in the public domain for the last two weeks and we now find ourselves
> discussing this on a W3C mailing list, instead of on the designated IETF
> mailing list. 

In fact, this is an IETF mailing list, hosted by the W3C as a courtesy to
the IETF.  There are several other IETF mailing lists not hosted by the
IETF for various historical reasons.

Welcome to the IETF, by the way, and you are now a member of it.

> This would be to misunderstand the whole purpose of the "info" URI scheme.
> NISO through the "info" Registry seeks only to faciliatate registration of
> public namespaces of interest to its member constituents within the "info"
> Registry. 

Why, in that case assisting your member constituents to register URN namespaces
would be a most praiseworthy activity.

> It may also be worthwhile noting that registration with the IANA is not a
> requisite for the existence of a new URI scheme. Apparently the mere use of
> a URI with a new URI scheme (conformant to the syntax requirements of RFC
> 2396) confers upon it a life of its own through the simple process of
> autovivification.

About as autovivified as the product of Mrs. Shelley's imagination, I fear.
Anyone can *use* a URI scheme, and no one will come around and cast you
into durance vile if it's not registered.  This does not make such uses
a Good Thing, no indeed.

> Various proposals that we have earlier considered [3] and that have also
> been suggested to us during the last couple of weeks (e.g. "http", "urn",
> "tag", "vnd-?") - while each displaying merits and demerits of thier own -
> do not prove to be workable solutions for our basic requirements. 

And what are these basic requirements, and why are the solutions not
workable, pray tell?

-- 
Deshil Holles eamus.  Deshil Holles eamus.  Deshil Holles eamus.
Send us, bright one, light one, Horhorn, quickening, and wombfruit. (3x)
Hoopsa, boyaboy, hoopsa!  Hoopsa, boyaboy, hoopsa!  Hoopsa, boyaboy, hoopsa!
  -- Joyce, _Ulysses_, "Oxen of the Sun"       jcowan@reutershealth.com
Received on Friday, 10 October 2003 16:15:44 UTC

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