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Subject: RE: [xri] Proposal for a separate GCS char for human-readable annotations

TC group,

I would support this syntax change.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Drummond Reed [mailto:drummond.reed@onename.com] 
> Sent: Monday, September 15, 2003 12:57 PM
> To: xri@lists.oasis-open.org
> Subject: [xri] Proposal for a separate GCS char for 
> human-readable annotations
> XRI TC'ers:
> In the current 07 working draft, human-readable annotations can be
> incorporate into an XRI using the "$!" namespace. However, in 
> writing a
> large number of XRIs over the last month (as part of 
> investigating ideas
> for the XDI schema), I have noticed a few things relative to
> human-readable annotations in XRIs:
> 1) They are particularly helpful for describing persistent 
> XRI segments,
> since persistent XRI segments typically contain non-semantic values
> (i.e., numbers or hex values),
> 2) XRIs that contain nothing but a human-readable annotation are
> surprisingly useful when used in conjuntion with multiple other XRIs
> (i.e., both persistent and reassignable XRIs) that all 
> describe the same
> resource, and
> 3) In both contexts it is easier for a human to spot these XRIs or XRI
> segments if they are delimited by a standalone XRI authority prefix
> symbol (i.e., just "!") rather than "$!" as we have now.
> For example, compare the following two XRIs:
> 	xri:@A4B6:($v/4).($!Foo-bar):21F2:($v/2).($!Baz)/:1234
> 	xri:@A4B6:($v/4).(!Foo-bar):21F2:($v/2).(!Baz)/:1234
> I find the latter much easier to scan for the human-readable comments.
> A second advantage of this proposal is that "$!" can be still be
> reserved for a similar related purpose: providing the "non-normalized"
> human-readable version of the previous identifier. For example...
> 	xri:=johndoejr.($!/(=John%20Doe,%20Jr.))
> ...can tell a machine, "If you need to display the XRI value
> "=johndoejr" to a human, used the string, "=John Doe Jr."
> A final advantage (although admittedly small) of using a different XRI
> prefix symbol for human-readable comments is that XRI processors can
> flat out ignore any segment starting with a "!", rather than having to
> look for a "$" char, then having to look at the next "!" char before
> deciding to ignore the segment.
> So the formal proposal is: 
> 1) Modify the BNF on line 499 of the 07 draft to include the char "!",
> 2) Define this as the GCS char for human-readable annotations.
> 3) Specify that all XRI segments or cross-references that 
> start with the
> "!" are to be completely ignored for purposes of resolution or
> equivalence.
> 4) Change the specified purpose of "$!" to be for asserting 
> the display
> value of a normalized identifier.
> =Drummond 
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