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Resolution != Naming (was RE: FPIs to URNs)

From: David G. Durand <dgd@cs.bu.edu>
Date: Thu, 5 Dec 1996 10:29:03 -0500
Message-Id: <v02130500aecc9526b761@[]>
To: "'w3c-sgml'" <w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org>
I was going to reply in detail to Ken Holman's note, and the note from  Lee
that inspired it, and Ron Daniels' notes that have started this thread, but
instead I think I should summarize, rather than doing a blow-by-blow.

   Ron has laid out some strategies for FPI resolution. Note that URNs will
have _at least_ several alternative resolution mechnisms (probably
including some kind of local filesystem access). Ron is asking about
appropriate mechnisms for resolving FPIs within the URN framework. This is
great: certainly some variation of catalogs should be useful in the FPI
subset of the URN space.

   Note that URNs (of any sort) do not inherently require the use of DNS or
any particular machines, though NAPTR defines a resolution mechanism based
on DNS. Eventually, for some documents, I expect that libraries will get
into the act, or some groups filling the social function of library
catalogs if they don't fill that niche.

   I think, given that the URN group is willing to figure out how to
integrate FPI into URN resolution, that we should encourage and help them
on that (but not worry about specifying or discussing those mechanisms
here, as it's not the right place).

   The XML standard should specify the option to have a PUBLIC string,
expain that it is unique, persistent, etc., and how to get a GCA or ISBN
publisher prefix. It should point out that resolution is application
dependent, but that applications are suggested to use catalogs (We might
make a simplified catalog format the does not bother with remapping SYSTEM,
network resolution, etc, if that makes for 1000's of lines of code), or the
Internet's URN mechanisms for FPIs (this latter is being worked by the URN
group, and need not be further specified). We also need to note that other
resolution mechanisms are also acceptable.

   That gives an implementor two things to implement if they desire, and a
browser (or other simple parser) can simply use system IDs, and treat the
FPI as documentation when reporting the failure, if it does not ignore the
FPI completely.

    FPIs can _only_, in principle, guarantee that something has a unique
name, not that you can find the thing. (But, of course, having a unique
name can be of use in finding things).

  -- David

I am not a number. I am an undefined character.
David Durand              dgd@cs.bu.edu  \  david@dynamicDiagrams.com
Boston University Computer Science        \  Sr. Analyst
http://www.cs.bu.edu/students/grads/dgd/   \  Dynamic Diagrams
--------------------------------------------\  http://dynamicDiagrams.com/
MAPA: mapping for the WWW                    \__________________________
Received on Thursday, 5 December 1996 10:23:32 UTC

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