Ownership of Names (was Re: Public identifiers and topic maps)

W. Eliot Kimber eliot at dns.isogen.com
Tue Sep 29 00:17:48 BST 1998

At 03:19 PM 9/28/98 -0400, John Cowan wrote:
>Eliot wrote:
>> This is no different from any other name resolution we do today. There are
>> no unique problems here.  There are no unique solutions.
>The problem is not resolving such names, but fitting them into our
>existing URN/FPI name architecture.
>How should I refer to Spencertown via an FPI?  The standard solution
>is "-//John Cowan//TOPIC Spencertown, N.Y.", but that suggests
>that *my* Spencertown is meant, and I do not mean *my* Spencertown,
>but *the* Spencertown, the one that appears on the maps.
>Note that the maps are not *defining* here: they merely report common

No no no. If by "-//John Cowan//TOPIC Spencertown, N.Y." you mean a small
town in the state of New York (United States of America) commonly known as
"Spencertown", then that is fine (except that a town is not a topic, so the
public text class is incorrect--it should be NONSGML). There is nothing in
that FPI that suggests that you are claiming ownership of Spencertown, any
more than the Library of Congress issuing a catalog numbers suggests
ownership of the books cataloged.

Now, if by "-//John Cowan//TOPIC Spencertown, N.Y." you mean "the idea of
place called 'Spencertown' as expressed by John Cowan", then the FPI refers
to the topic that you happen to own (by having expressed your ideas about
this town (and the public text class is correct).

If what is wanted is a way to refer to places by FPI in a way that is
authoritative, then I suggest asking the U.S. Geological Survey or the CIA
or some UN agency to register a public owner identifier and define an
algorithm for getting from their published (on paper) identifiers for
places to syntactically valid FPIs (or URNs of any sort).

For example, I might expect something like this:

+//IDN us.gov::Geological Survey::places//NONSGML
municipality::Spencertown::New York::USA//EN
+//IDN us.gov::Geological Survey::places//NONSGML bodyofwater::Lake

But lacking a cataloging agency and either assigned names or a
deterministic algorithm for generating names from some other classification
scheme, there's not much you can do.



<Address HyTime=bibloc>
W. Eliot Kimber, Senior Consulting SGML Engineer
ISOGEN International Corp.
2200 N. Lamar St., Suite 230, Dallas, TX 75202.  214.953.0004

xml-dev: A list for W3C XML Developers. To post, mailto:xml-dev at ic.ac.uk
Archived as: http://www.lists.ic.ac.uk/hypermail/xml-dev/
To (un)subscribe, mailto:majordomo at ic.ac.uk the following message;
(un)subscribe xml-dev
To subscribe to the digests, mailto:majordomo at ic.ac.uk the following message;
subscribe xml-dev-digest
List coordinator, Henry Rzepa (mailto:rzepa at ic.ac.uk)

More information about the Xml-dev mailing list