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Re: DOI and the non-IETF tree

From: Michael Mealling <michael@neonym.net>
Date: 12 Sep 2003 10:16:07 -0400
To: Larry Lannom <llannom@cnri.reston.va.us>
Cc: "Daniel R. Tobias" <dan@tobias.name>, uri@w3.org
Message-Id: <1063376167.6800.50.camel@blackdell.neonym.net>

On Fri, 2003-09-12 at 09:55, Larry Lannom wrote:
> This has been discussed inside the IDF and there are strong opinions 
> pro and con.
> One issue is the current mechanics of URN. As I understand it, 
> resolving urn:doi:10.123/456 would get you one or more transformation 
> rules, in the form of regular expressions, that could be applied to the 
> string. 


   I'll state it again, for the billionth time. THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT
TO USE THE DDDS FOR URN RESOLOUTION. None of the currently registered
URN namespaces use it. URNs were designed to be usable by many different
resolution mechanisms. 

If you insist on bringing this up again I'm going to have to assume
you're either deaf or a liar.

> Will now have to give a little context on DOIs -- All DOIs are 
> currently registered in the Handle System (informational RFCs about to 
> come out, I believe, but see www.handle.net for details). Resolving a 
> handle gets you sets of typed values (skipping lots of detail that I'm 
> not sure is appropriate to the list). The great majority of registered 
> DOIs have for now only a single useful value, outside of admin stuff, 
> and that value is a default URL. So they function now as single level 
> of indirection -- if you want to know about this DOI, go to this URL. 
> That same vast majority of DOIs are now referenced through a 
> http-to-handle proxy or gateway service that returns http re-directs, 
> e.g., http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/35057062 will return a re-direct to the 
> web page for the journal article identified by that DOI.
> So this would fit the urn pattern I think, where urn:doi: would turn 
> into the address of the proxy server and could be changed later or we 
> could even have another proxy that returned a page full of alternate 
> links, and so on.

That is just one very limited way of using a URN. And frankly, none of
the currently registered URNs use them that way. So again, either your
not paying attention or you are being intentionally obtuse (also called

> What is evolving and now being prototyped, however, is a more elaborate 
> data model which will provide multiple pieces of current state data re. 
> the given DOI, e.g., execute this program at this location to get this 
> kind of information or result, go here for core metadata, contact this 
> organization for more information, license this thing in this way, 
> etc., which we expect to be used by various applications. The urn 
> approach doesn't seem to fit this.

The URN approach? The URN is just a namespace. There are several
resolution mechanisms to choose from. DDDS is just one of several.

> The second, more general issue, is whether registering an identifier 
> such as DOI as a URN means that it IS a URN or simply means that URN 
> can be used as one of several interfaces to the underlying identifier 
> system. Practically speaking, would registering DOI as a URN preclude 
> registration as a URI or some other type of interface?

No. Never has. I.e. there is urn:isbn:0-596-00027-8 and there can be 
http://isbn.org/?isbn=0-596-00027-8. There is even a spec for using
ISBNs within the nbn URN namespace.  Although I can't see why you would
want both a URN namespace and a URI scheme for the same thing. Unless
you want to create an escape hatch for yourself so you can tell everyone
that "No, we just registered the URN namespace so we could get the URI
scheme, we never intend on using the URN version".

Larry, stop the FUD. Its gotten way to transparent.....


> On Friday, September 12, 2003, at 07:27  AM, Daniel R. Tobias (by way 
> of Martin Duerst <duerst@w3.org>) wrote:
> >
> > On 11 Sep 2003 at 20:54, Al Gilman wrote:
> >
> > > DOI sounds like a second run at defining URNs that seems to have
> > > acquired a following and demonstrated interoperable practice.
> >
> > But shouldn't it be "urn:doi:" instead of just "doi:"?  If it's URN-
> > like, why not make it an actual URN?
> >
> > --
> > == Dan ==
> > Dan's Mail Format Site: http://mailformat.dan.info/
> > Dan's Web Tips: http://webtips.dan.info/
> > Dan's Domain Site: http://domains.dan.info/
> >
> >
> >
> =========================================
> Larry Lannom
> Corporation for National Research Initiatives (CNRI)
> Suite 100, 1895 Preston White Dr, Reston, VA 20191
> email:  llannom@cnri.reston.va.us
> tel:  703 620 8990
Received on Friday, 12 September 2003 10:20:50 UTC

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