URN Madness (was re: Overloaded URIs must GO!)

David Megginson david at megginson.com
Fri May 28 19:27:32 BST 1999

Jerome McDonough writes:

 > At 11:09 AM 5/28/1999 -0400, David Megginson wrote:
 > >1. URNs don't really exist, or at least, last I checked, there was no
 > >   authoritative specification of the different URN schemes (without
 > >   which URNs are worthless).  URNs have been under development for
 > >   most of the 1990s with few tangible results, and I'm growing
 > >   slightly skeptical.
 > Can you clarify what you mean by "no authoritative specification of
 > the different URN schemes"? 

(I notice that the URN drafts call these "namespaces" rather than
"schemes", so we will have to be careful to distinguish XML namespaces
from URN namespaces.)

At www.ietf.org, I find the following:

1. http://www.ietf.org/internet-drafts/draft-ietf-urn-nid-req-08.txt

  This document lists the requirements for registering a URN

2. http://www.ietf.org/internet-drafts/draft-ietf-urn-ietf-09.txt

  This document proposes the IETF namespace for RFDs, etc.

3. http://www.ietf.org/internet-drafts/draft-ietf-urn-net-procedures-02.txt

  This document proposes a mechanism for using DNS to obtain
  resolution hints for URNs.

4. http://www.ietf.org/internet-drafts/draft-ietf-urn-dns-rds-00.txt

  More on DNS and URN resolution..

5. http://www.ietf.org/internet-drafts/draft-ietf-urn-naptr-rr-02.txt

  More on DNS and URN resolution.

Am I missing some other documents?  As far as I can see, the only URN
namespace that is proposed in an IETF draft is the IETF namespace, and
I cannot use a URN in the IETF URN namespace to create my own XML

Where can I find the IETF draft documents describing URN namespaces
built on DNS, ISBN, UUIDs, etc.?  Perhaps I just haven't looked in the
right place.

Thanks, and all the best,


David Megginson                 david at megginson.com

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