Overloaded URIs must GO!

David Megginson david at megginson.com
Fri May 28 20:24:41 BST 1999

Paul Prescod writes:

 > So now I think it can truly be said that URNs *exist* and can be
 > used. Of course in the general case resolution could be a big
 > problem but in the specific case of XML namespaces it is not.

I'm also grateful for the pointers and (as I mentioned in my previous
posting) have already read the abstracts for the five existing IETF
drafts.  I'll take up Paul's points in turn:

1. "...it can truly be said that URNs *exist*..."

   Yes, but in such a restricted way that few (if any) members of this 
   list could use them.

2. "... and can be used ..."

   Yes, but only by the IETF, unless the IETF starts assigning parts
   of its URN namespace to other users.  XSL, for example, still
   cannot use a URN for a namespace today.  As Paul mentioned later,
   we could use an x-* URN namespace, but that's actually less safe
   than a URL (it's not even guaranteed unique).

Things will change fast once there are other URN namespaces available,
but I can see no good case for arguing that people should be using
URNs rather than URLs as namespaces today.  Perhaps by the end of the
summer, things will be different.

All the best,


David Megginson                 david at megginson.com

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