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Subject: RE: URIs as general-purpose identifiers, and identifiers in gener al

The existing URN working group has been working on this topic for several
years and has pretty much come to completion on the technical issues, the
main problem being considered at present is managing new applications after
the working group closes.


The confusion has existed in Web land for at least nine years, there have
always been two camps, those that think that a URN 'should' be a better
locator with an extra level of indirection that solves all the problems and
those like myself who consider better locators to still be URLs and that
URNs are what Sebok's classification calls names - signs that do not have a
systematic relationship to the signified.

In the URN group the third time arround my side finaly won. NAPTR records
MAY be used to support new resolution schemes but a URN does not have to
support resolution.

The reason for allowing a choice of internal structure is that it allows
layered specifications (e.g. the sessions protocol or XTASS meta-assertions)
to refer to intervals of identifiers.


Phillip Hallam-Baker FBCS C.Eng.
Principal Scientist
VeriSign Inc.
781 245 6996 x227

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jeff Hodges [mailto:jhodges@oblix.com]
> Sent: Friday, June 08, 2001 6:29 PM
> To: oasis sstc
> Subject: URIs as general-purpose identifiers, and identifiers 
> in general
> This message..
> composition of AssertionID (Issue: DS-4-04: URIs for Assertion IDs)
> http://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/security-services/200106/
> msg00025.html
> ..provides the references cited in the below discussion.
> It's been asserted here in the SSTC that it is a good idea to 
> use URL-style URIs
> as identifiers for various things. 
> I did a bunch of research, and attended a BOF (Future of URIs 
> (FURI)) at the
> last IETF meeting on this topic, and the consensus is that THERE IS NO
> CONSENSUS. Except there is consensus that there is a large 
> amount of confusion &
> misunderstanding. The FURI BOF minutes will repay a careful 
> read, imho. Oh, and
> the FURI BOF was instigated by W3C folk involved in the URI 
> Planning Interest
> Group.
> The FURI BOF minutes..
>   Future of Uniform Resource Identifiers BOF (furi) 
>   [50th IETF, Minneapolis MN, Mar-2001]
>   http://www.ietf.org/proceedings/01mar/ietf50-39.htm#TopOfPage
> A URI, of either URL or URN form, MAY be a resonable 
> identifier for something if
> scrutinizing entities have answers available to many of these 
> questions...
>       Identifier relationships: 
>       *  Is this URI used as a name or locator?
>       *  Is this URI globally available or do I need local information
>          to use it?
>       *  Is there a gateway available that can help me use this URI?
>       *  Is this URI persistent?
>       Resource relationships: 
>       *  Is the Resource identified by this URI an abstract 
> thing or an
>          instance of one?
>       *  If this Resource is an abstract Resource, can you give me an
>          instance?
>       *  Is this Resource a collection or part of one?
>       *  If this Resource is a member of a collection, what is the URI
>          for the collection?

Phillip Hallam-Baker (E-mail).vcf

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