Brief Comment on Web Architecture Draft

It would be very helpful if the Web Architecture Draft

	Architecture of the World Wide Web
	W3C Working Draft 27 June 2003

were to give a clearer description and fuller treatment with respect to URIs
(or more especially URI schemes) that do /not/ have dereference
expectations, such as the newly proposed "info" URI scheme that has recently
been announced on various lists - announcement text copied below.


Tony Hammond
Advanced Technology Group, Elsevier
32 Jamestown Road, LOndon NW1 7BY, UK




Announcing a new Internet-Draft for an Informational RFC, to allow
commonly used identifiers to be part of the Web:


  The "info" URI Scheme for Information Assets with Identifiers in
Public Namespaces


      Herbert Van de Sompel - Los Alamos National Laboratory

      Tony Hammond - Elsevier

      Eamonn Neylon - Manifest Solutions

      Stuart L. Weibel - OCLC Online Computer Library Center 


The draft is available at: 


a. Purpose of the "info" URI scheme: 


There exist many information assets with identifiers in public
namespaces that are not referenceable by URI schemes. Examples of such
namespaces include Dewey Decimal Classifications [1], Library of
Congress Control Numbers (LCCN) [2], NASA Astrophysics Data System
Bibcodes [3], and Open Archives Initiative (OAI) identifiers [4], among
others.  The "info" URI scheme will facilitate the referencing of
information assets that have identifiers in such public namespaces by
means of URIs. The "info" scheme is based on a Registry that invites the
registration of public namespaces used for the identification of
information assets, by the parties that maintain the namespaces.


For example, assuming that the namespace of Dewey Decimal
Classifications (ddc:) and the namespace of Library of Congress Control
Numbers (lccn:) would be registered by their respective authorities,


* the Dewey Decimal Classification 22/eng//004.678 (for the term
"Internet") could be expressed as the "info" URI


* the Library of Congress Control Number 2002022641 could be expressed
as the "info" URI <info:lccn/2002022641>


b. Background of this effort


The effort to create the "info" URI scheme emerged from the NISO process
to standardize the OpenURL Framework for context-sensitive services [5],
which requires the ability to describe resources by means of globally
recognizable identifiers.  The Draft Standard for Trial Use released for
Public Comment introduced a "proprietary" naming architecture which
allowed information assets to be referenced by means of widely used
non-URI identifiers (e.g. PubMed identifiers, Digital Object
Identifiers, Astrophysics Datasystem Bibcodes, and others) which would
be registered under the OpenURL Framework.


Public feedback led to the decision to fundamentally revise the naming
architecture, and to base all resource identification requirements
within the OpenURL Framework on URIs alone.  Because it was deemed
unreaslistic to expect that all namespaces required in the OpenURL
Framework would be registered within the URI allocation by the
respective namespace authorities, the "info" URI effort was launched.
This work is being conducted under the auspices of NISO, and with active
involvement and consultation from the IETF and the W3C.  It is hoped
that the lightweight, and community-based, registration mechanism that
will underlie the "info" URI scheme will rapidly lead to the
availability of "info" URIs to identify a wide variety of information
assets.  More detailed information of the effort is available at [6].


c. References


[1] "Dewey Decimal Classification". Retrieved September 20,  2003 from


[2] "Library of Congress Control Number". Retrieved August 1, 2003 from


[3] "NASA Astrophysics Data System Bibliographic Code". Retrieved August
1, 2003 from <>


[4] Lagoze, C., H. Van de Sompel, M. Nelson and S. Warner.
"Specification and XML Schema for the OAI Identifier Format", June 2002.
Retrieved September 4, 2003 from


[5] Draft Standard for Trial Use ANSI/NISO Z39.88, "The OpenURL
Framework for Context-Sensitive Services".  Retrieved September 20, 2003
from <>



Received on Wednesday, 1 October 2003 06:53:12 UTC