Public Identifiers

david at david at
Sat Sep 19 22:33:11 BST 1998

Henry S. Thompson writes:

 > "W. Eliot Kimber" <eliot at> writes:
 > > [names without a public resolution mechanism can never be really
 > > universal]
 > So has the W3C, as the obvious entity with a budget and an interest in 
 > a solution to this problem, ever showed its hand wrt this issue?

Internet hostnames have a distributed and efficient public resolution
mechanism, so they easily meet Eliot's criterion (as do URLs, more
generally but with a few limitations); the problem with hostnames is
not that they are not universal, but that they are not persistent: a
hostname may have only one owner and resolve to only one IP address at
any given moment, but next week the owner and IP address can be

All the best,


David Megginson                 david at

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