Name spaces and URNs

Terry Allen tallen at
Wed Aug 5 17:08:20 BST 1998

Eliot wrote in response to a question about URNs:
| Note that with TC1 to ISO 8879 (SGML) that domain names are recognized as
| registered owner names (equivalent to URN namespace IDs) ...

A URN name space ID is not the same as a registered owner name.  The
name space ID would identify the name space within with the registered
owner name exists.  However, DNS names are not appropriate for use in URNs
because they are not guaranteed to be unique over time (as a practical
matter, the period of 40 years has been mentioned).  

If ISO (the intellectual property owner) were to define a URN NID for its
specs (call it ISO) and a subdivision for FPIs, it would have to, at
minimum, state that FPIs constructed with DNS names as owner names
were not included.

It was a really bad idea to allow domain names in FPIs, and one can
only wish the proposal had been circulated more widely before being


  Terry Allen    Electronic Commerce and Publishing Consultant    

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