All this business about namespace URNs...

Ron Daniel RDaniel at
Tue Jun 8 22:10:45 BST 1999

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Kent Sievers [SMTP:ksievers at]
> Sent:	Tuesday, June 08, 1999 11:34 AM
> To:	xml-dev at
> Subject:	Re: All this buisiness about namespace URNs...
> Clearly, if we had a DNS server that was capable of mapping the URN of
> a name space to a URL then the requirements would be met of having
> both a unique identifier and a way of getting information about the
> namespace.
> Is someone stepping forward to do this sort of thing?  .
[Ron Daniel]  This has been done. See RFC 2168 and 2169 (if memory
serves, I'm offline at the moment). The first defines a new resource
record, NAPTR, which has been implemented in BIND for a couple of
years now. It is used for finding one or more 'resolvers'. The
second RFC defines a trivial protocol for communicating with resolvers
using HTTP. Together, they will let URNs in a new "foo" namespace be
mapped to a URL.

The bottleneck here is that for the "foo" namespace you need to get
the domain name "" and put the NAPTR resource record
there. The only way to get that domain is to fill
out the application form the IETF's URN WG has been defining.
It doesn't cost anything right now, and there are no plans to charge
for such names that I know of, but its safe to see the registration
procedure is not a smooth and polished process. (The purpose of the
procedure is to prevent cyber-squatting on URN namespace identifiers,
and to insulate the owner of the domain from lawsuits if
he had to make the call on whether or not to register "foo").


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