Just require URLs

Didier PH Martin martind at netfolder.com
Wed Jun 2 22:40:14 BST 1999

Hi JOnathan,

Jonathan said:
    Let me get this straight .... *you are* suggesting a mechanism to allow
resolution of "urn:...." into a resource, no?
Isn't a URI which locates resources a URL (by definition) regardless of the
scheme? You are suggesting using the "urn" scheme to locate resources,
correct? using some extension to DNS, correct? This is a protocol, no?

Didier says:
I do not suggest anything. URN have been created to allow some permanency to
resource identity. IN the WG we discussed lengthily about the fact that
location independence leads to permanency. It is explicitly stated in specs
and drafts that URNs could be resolved into one or more URL with a name
resolver. Ron, presented a name resolver based on DNS. The spec do not
restrict the name resolution to solely DNS servers. You can create your own
name resolver or use one like for instance LDAP. URN is not a protocol.
However, because some browsers recognize the first string before the ":" as
a protocol. On these kind of browsers you can implement a URN name resolver
by implementing a protocol handler. Actually, two browser have this
characteristic: Mozilla, IE (I don't know for others). But, it is only an
implemention trick because a URN is not a protocol. Thus, on Mozilla or IE,
we can create a LDAP based URN name resolver implemented as a protocol
handler for the protocol "urn" (But urn is not a protocol - this is only an
implementation trick). But one fact remains, URN where created to be
resolved into one or more URLs and the URLs used to be resolved into
resources. URLs have the implicit transport mechanism or protocol indicated
by their scheme (off course we can give other meaning to scheme or protocol
identifier). URN do not have the protocol or transport mechanism in encoded
in it.

Didier PH Martin
mailto:martind at netfolder.com

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