Paul has volunteered (was Re: Overloaded URIs must GO!)

Robb Shecter shecter at
Fri Jun 4 18:16:29 BST 1999

James Tauber wrote:

> ...What I am suggesting is that if one has the right
> to
> then one has the right to:
>     hname://
> The only difference is one is explicitly stating in the latter that it is
> irretrievable.

This sounds very reasonable, but I haven't seen any responses.  And, combining it with
Didier's comments about characters to avoid, it could look like this:


...Which looks even less URL-like.  So, we can all agree that the rights are based on some
protocol like HTTP, but when we write it out, we write it in such a way that it isn't

I don't think it matters what the fine print of the standards say, because writing something
like "http://..." "means" that something can be retrieved, and is very specific about how.
It's just confusing, and saying something that's not true.

Personally, I think it'd be even better to use email addresses as the "protocol to which we
have rights", instead of webspace:

- We all have "rights" to the space, and the references are unique, BUT, there's no chance
that someone will think they can retrieve something there.  If anything, there's an implied
contact address which could be used to make a request to.

- They'd be longer lasting.  As a private person, my email address is guaranteed for
life (?), but I don't have any such guarantees from orgs where I have private webspace.
Also, URLs seem to get shuffled around more than email addresses.

- There's more flexibility in making the right choice.  Most people have several email
addresses, and can base a namespace on the one whose lifetime and organizational associations
are appropriate for the particular situation.  Organizations can use e-mail aliases to make
abstracted spaces not tied to any person, etc.  This is something that people are already
familiar with, and can be done with current technology.

So, this would mean something along the lines of:


Just brainstorming,
- Robb

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