RE: ISSN for RFC Series under Consideration

"Hallam-Baker, Phillip" <> Fri, 23 May 2008 14:49 UTC

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Subject: RE: ISSN for RFC Series under Consideration
Date: Fri, 23 May 2008 07:49:03 -0700
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Thread-Topic: ISSN for RFC Series under Consideration
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From: "Hallam-Baker, Phillip" <>
To: "John C Klensin" <>, "Ed Juskevicius" <>, "Steve Crocker" <>, "Marshall Eubanks" <>
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Some points:

1) If the objective is to have a URN for RFCs this has already been done:

RFC 2648: "A URN Namespace for IETF Documents"

These identifiers must be the canonical identifiers for the RFC series. But they need not be the only identifiers.

2) Schemes which rely on paying registrars to sell people numbers are probably unsustainable in the long run unless there is a business reason to use that specific number.

This is certainly the case for IP numbers. I don't see the business reason for this particular application. Hence I don't see a value in purchasing a DOI identifier at the reported $1500/annum or for accepting one for free use. I would consider that to be an endorsement and I don't think that the IETF or ISOC should get any further into that game than it alrady has.

3) Whether the documents are paper or digital is now irrelevant. Dead tree publication technology will certainly disappear at some point. My book sells in both paper and Kindle editions. The killer application of Kindle appears to be sale of periodicals and newspapers rather than just books.

The industry has a clear business need and so they will apply ISSNs to this new field regardless of what the rules might say on the matter. 

4) ISSNs are used in the library system. They are used in the Z39.50 protocol which is the principal protocol used to support that infrastructure today. I think we should get one.


5) This topic is a very interesting one and thus one on which a large number of people may have an opinion. The problems raised in the ESDS BOF are very similar.

Because it is an area where many people may have an opinion it appears to me that the decisive technical breakthrough we might need in this area might well be to develop a technology that allows people to have separate opinions in this area and not attempt to impose more homogeneity than is actually required.

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