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

Re: DOI and the non-IETF tree

From: Larry Lannom <llannom@cnri.reston.va.us>
Date: Fri, 12 Sep 2003 16:56:34 -0400
Cc: "Daniel R. Tobias" <dan@tobias.name>, uri@w3.org
To: Michael Mealling <michael@neonym.net>
Message-Id: <9803847C-E563-11D7-AF63-000393011BFE@cnri.reston.va.us>

I don't want to take up too much list space with this, but I do feel 
that I have to respond to a few points:

o I wonder if I'm being confused with someone else. I joined CNRI in 
the fall of 1996 and my knowledge of the development of URN is all 
second hand and not particularly detailed.

o DOI and handle are not synonymous. The DOI per se does come out of 
the handle system namespace and the default resolution mechanism is the 
handle system, but DOI has its own set of requirements, metadata rules, 
etc. and if it wished could at some point use some other resolution 
mechanisms. The reverse is also true -- there are applications of the 
handle system other than DOI. The most recent notable effort is the 
DSpace project out of MIT/HP.

o I can't speak for others, but I am not being disingenuous. I can 
assure you that the DOI community and the various handle system users 
are not alone in wondering which way to go with the various url/urn/uri 
questions. In terms of the handle system, we are on what we consider to 
be a logical path and in front of any kind of IETF id registration is 
the complete specification of the system itself in the form of 
informational RFCs. You may have received different impressions over 
the years from other people at CNRI, but any course changes were due to 
our own indecision, not to any grand Machiavelian schemes.


On Friday, September 12, 2003, at 10:00  AM, Michael Mealling wrote:

> On Fri, 2003-09-12 at 07:27, Daniel R. Tobias 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?
> That has been the issue from the beginning. DOI (handles) were actually
> part of the URN discussions way back in '93. Handles are the reason the
> 'p' flag exists in the URI Resolution mechanism. Larry Lanom was there
> in all of the meetings. He knows full well that key parts of the URN
> design were specifically put there to accommodate handles. Contrary to
> what some in the DOI world think, DOIs have always been valid URNs and
> could have easily sidestepped this entire discussion and issue by 
> simply
> registering as a URN namespace.
> The only reason I can come up with that they wouldn't want to do that 
> is
> that they see the entire URN space as competition for their namespace
> (sorry guys, I'm tired of not calling it as I see it). There is _NO_
> requirement that they use the DDDS resolution mechanism (none of the
> currently registered URNs use it so that point even has an existence
> proof). The only requirements that putting a 'urn:' in front of their
> namespace creates is a) no reassignment which they already do and b)
> some character restrictions which they already adhere to.
> If they'd simply registered urn:doi (or urn:handle:) 4 years ago the 
> way
> they kept promising me they would and the way everyone told them to do
> it they wouldn't be having this problem. Given that history and amount
> of headache they're now going through with this attempt, I can see no
> other reason for this request than their attempt to create a monopoly
> namespace that will compete directly against URNs and other standards.
> The amount of business development I've seen being done by CNRI (a
> non-profit!) in other fora (every where you go you hear that someone
> from DOI land has been in to talk about using DOIs for everything from
> keywords to UDDI replacements) leads me to believe that they are
> attempting to build their own proprietary, CNRI run alternative to URIs
> (complete with a private DNS-like root!). I have no problem with 
> someone
> suggesting alternative technologies but the disingenuous nature of 
> these
> requests strikes me as insulting to both the W3C and the IETF. At the
> very least it runs counter to both organizations stated goals of open
> and non-proprietary infrastructure.
> -MM

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 16:56:37 UTC

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