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Subject: [i-name & i-number] Basic rationale

[Note: on the XRI Editor's SC call today I was assigned the action item of
explaining the rational for adding the terms "i-name" and "i-number" to the
XRI 1.1 glossary. I suggest we keep messages on this thread under the prefix
[i-name & i-number]. =Drummond)

Since XRI 1.0 was published, many of us working on XRI-related software and
services have found a constant need to reference in simple, "plain English"
market terms the two basic types of XRIs - reassignable XRIs and persistent
XRIs. The reason in my experience is that the uses and users of these two
different types of XRIs are so different. Reassignable XRIs are designed
primarily for human-friendly, everyday identifiers, while persistent XRIs
are designed to solve the much more technical "URN" problem of maintaining
persistent network addresses.

The terms that have evolved to fill this need are "i-name" (for reassignable
XRIs) and "i-number" (for persistent XRIs). The background of these terms is
provided in a recently published paper called "The Social Web" available at

The proposal is NOT to use these terms technically or normatively anyplace
within the XRI 1.1 specification - we would always use the technically
precise terms "reassignable XRI" or "persistent XRI". The proposal is only
to add the terms to the XRI 1.1 glossary in order to provide readers of the
specification a mapping to between the general terms they may be exposed to
in the market and the more technically precise definitions used in the XRI
1.1 specification.

My personal feeling as the glossary editor is that to not do so would be a
disservice to readers of the specification, and the logical place to do it
is the glossary.

If you have strong feelings either for or against this proposal, please do
post them to the list.


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