RE: URI's for processes, stocks, file hashes, UPC's, etc..

Hi Stan,


| I realize these aren't registered schemes. However, will this work, or

| are there any suggestions for a better way to do this?


One important consideration (if this really *is* to be an open standard) is
that your users should be able to figure out which "subject" (web page,
stock, product, service, etc.) the URI is intended to denote, without
necessarily having to use your service. In other words: given an URI used as
an "identifier" for an arbitrary subject, it should be easy to discover what
that subject is.


For web pages (which I understand you already support in your current
system) this really is easy: simply paste the (HTTP) URI into a web browser;
what you get back is the "thing denoted".


For subjects other than web pages you cannot resolve directly from the URI
to the subject, but you *can* resolve to an intermediate document that
provides some kind of descriptor of the subject, and this is what I think
your application should do.


For this reason I would advise strongly *against* creating your own URI
schemes, like 'security', 'gtin' and 'hash': no system (except your own)
will be able to resolve the URI to something that a human can interpret and
you will have lost the main benefit of an open standard.


In my opinion, HTTP URIs are by far the best solution, because they are so
widely understood and supported. That is why I advocated them as the basis
for what I called a "Public Resource Identifier" (PRI) mechanism in my
lightning talk at the last W3C AC Plenary [1].


I'm not sure you need to worry too much about tying the URI to a commercial
domain, provided you offer guarantees to your users that the URIs (and the
descriptors to which they resolve) will remain stable. But if this is a
concern, you could use a domain name that is less immediately associated
with a commercial entity. (I believe is still available - for a
price :-)


By the way, the PRI idea mentioned above is based on the notion of Published
Subjects, which was originally developed by the Topic Maps community but is
applicable across the whole of information and knowledge management on the
web. There is more about it in a paper I wrote for a workshop last May on
Identity, Reference and the Web [2].


Finally, if after looking at the slides [1] you decide you like the PRI idea
and want to help me make it happen in the W3C, don't hesitate to get in
touch. (That also applies to anyone else reading this posting. I'm looking
for a couple of co-sponsors to start an Incubator Group.)


Best regards,








Steve Pepper, Ontopia


Convenor, ISO/IEC JTC1/SC34/WG3

Coordinator, W3C RDF/TM Task Force

Conference Chair, Topic Maps 2007




| -----Original Message-----

| From: [] On Behalf Of Stan

| James

| Sent: 18 September 2006 22:16

| To:

| Subject: URI's for processes, stocks, file hashes, UPC's, etc..



| Hi,


| My company ( allows people to enter comments about URI's.

| Till now we've only had commenting about URL's, but we have tools now

| for handling comments on stock symbols, UPC/GTIN codes, and file hashes.

| The question then is how to encode these in URI's.


| Others have suggested building off our company URL, eg:


| but this won't work because we want this to be an open standard that

| other people can use without tying everything back to us.


| I'm thinking of something like:


| stocks

| security://nasdaq/stock/GOOG



| gtin://97807868684494


| file hash:

| hash://sha-1/2fd4e1c67a2d28fced849ee1bb76e7391b93eb12


| I realize these aren't registered schemes. However, will this work, or

| are there any suggestions for a better way to do this?


| -stan


Received on Tuesday, 19 September 2006 07:30:51 UTC