Just require URLs

Jonathan Borden jborden at mediaone.net
Wed Jun 2 04:06:49 BST 1999

Paul Prescod wrote:

> Jonathan Borden wrote:
> >
> > Interestingly 2396 defines 'resource' as
> > either an abstract or physical entity, an example of an abstract entity
> > would be a namespace.
> Tim claims that a namespace is not a resource of any sort. The namespace
> mechanism uses a string that happens to be a URI. The existence of the URI
> implies the existence of the resource but it does not imply that the
> namespace *is* the resource. I have pointed to terminology in the
> namespaces specification that could be used to support that view but it
> clearly was not the intent of at least one of the editors.

	Not everyone defines resource as it is defined in RFC 2396. Perhaps Tim
might clarify his thought wrt this specific definition.

> >     Under the definition of URN in 2396, a URN is any URI whose
> intention is
> > to reference an abstract resource, act primarily as a name,
> and/or not be
> > retrievable via a network. Under the definition in 2396, "urn" defines a
> > scheme/namespace (URI namespace) whose intention is to serve *only* for
> > URNs, however the spec suggests that any scheme e.g. "http" can serve to
> > define a URN, given the definition of URN in 2396 (part of
> which my earlier
> > message quotes).
> It does not suggest any such thing. Rather it goes out of its way to
> justify its use of URLs as examples instead of URNs. If they could be
> interepted either way, why bother? URN "identifiers [are] drawn from a set
> of defined namespaces." *Defined URN Namespaces* -- as in
> draft-ietf-urn-nid-req

	If this is how namespaces are defined, you are correct. From 2396:
"The URI scheme (Section 3.1) defines the namespace of the URI" I draw the
conclusion that schemes such as "urn","http","ftp" define the URI namespace
rather than "draft-ietf-urn-nid-req", so perhaps 2141 and 2396 define both
"URN" and "namespace" differently.

	Granted reading RFCs is like reading the bible (or tea leaves), but a mark
of a competant theologist (or tea leaf reader) is the ability to support
one's argument via quoting the bible (or reading something into ones tea

	More seriously, a specification is only as good as the precision and
clarity of its writing so hopefully these discussions will prompt greater
precision and more clarity.

Jonathan Borden

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