Re: URI registries and schemes - 4

----- Original Message -----
From: "Erik Wilde" <>
To: <>
Cc: "Mike Schinkel" <>
Sent: Friday, December 14, 2007 12:50 AM
Subject: Re: URI registries and schemes

> getting right to the point...
> Mike Schinkel wrote:
> >> personally, i would find such a "magic domain" concept
> >> becoming an essential part of the web architecture a bit
> >> weird, but i seem to be the minority.
> >     Would be be willing to explore why you find it weird? I find the concept
> > beautifully elegant, but like a programming language with a few core
> > concepts where everything is built out of those core concepts and almost
> > nothing is "special" (maybe that is why I like Python and dislike PHP...) In
> > reading your emails I've been trying to figure out what fundamentally makes
> > you so adverse to the concept on top of HTTP?  I really would appreciate
> > understanding your point of view on this. Thanks in advance.
> several reasons, hopefully one of looks at least plausible. the obvious one:
> "nothing is special"? you introduce the concept of magic domains and
> don't even say how i can find out about which magic domains exist and
> that means "nothing is special"? to me this is much more like "nothing
> looks special even though it is special" (the magic domains look like
> normal dns names, but they are heavily loaded with semantics and rules
> and organizational structures backing them and maybe even some registry
> listing all of them), but that just pushes complexity into me needing to
> detect (dynamically, maybe?) which domains are magic.


> reason 4:
> if there is some need to get rid of things in the uri space, get rid of
> urns. they serve no purpose at all. the urn: prefix has absolutely no
> semantics other than pointing to a different registry than the one for
> uris. retire urns, merge
> with, and simply say
> that the "urn scheme" "isbn" henceforth is the "uri scheme" "urn:isbn"
> and so on. nothing breaks, and a really unnecessary part of web
> architecture has been safely removed. or has anybody ever seen a generic
> urn processor that processes various urn schemes based on some parsing
> of the urn, and then dynamically selecting the resolver for a variety of
> urn schemes? it would still work, btw, but it would not adapt well to
> the new web of urn-less uris... (the one thing i am ignoring here is the
> fact that "urn:isbn" cannot be a uri scheme because of the colon, so i
> am a bit too optimistic how easily urns could be retired).

Mmmm, I find this strange.  Namespaces are an essential part of, I am tempted to
say the Universe, certainly of the Internet and of other aspects of IT, such as
most computer languages.  True, we have managed mostly without the urn: scheme
but it does provide a namespace of namespaces, managed by an internationally
recognised body, with a simple syntax.  Had it existed earlier, perhaps XML
namespaces would not be such a mess (or perhaps not:-).

You talk of resolution but a URN is a type of URI that need have no resolution,
just identifying, some resource that may or may not exist.

Look in the Internet Drafts database of the IETF and you will find a steady
trickle of urn definitions (which are of course also URIs) from a variety of

Tom Petch

> dret.

Received on Monday, 17 December 2007 12:00:19 UTC