Re: Hypertext::non-Hypertext not URL::URN

Al Gilman <> Fri, 02 January 1998 22:39 UTC

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From: Al Gilman <>
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Subject: Re: Hypertext::non-Hypertext not URL::URN
Date: Fri, 02 Jan 1998 17:29:29 -0500
Cc:,,,,, uri@Bunyip.Com, urn-ietf@Bunyip.Com
In-Reply-To: <> from Larry Masinter at "Jan 2, 98 09:53:03 am"
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to follow up on what Larry Masinter said:

> I think you've made an important point that I don't want to
> get lost. The syntax forms that are controversial
> (fragment identifiers, relative forms, query syntax)
> are part of the application of HYPERTEXT.
> In fact, whether or not you want those forms seems to depend
> entirely on whether or not you think you're doing hypertext.

This is an interesting idea to pursue, but not credible in
the strong form you stated.

If I were on the road wanting to find the nearest IPP accessible
Braille embosser with a courier delivery option, I believe this
could well wind up as a resource-discovery query involving
something much like the ?parm-list familiar in URLs.

Not all of the functions you reference are limited to HyperText
applications.  But one can, for the purpose of analysis and
understanding, break out a lattice of classes of [names or
identifiers] with longer and shorter sets of "what you can
do with it" attached to the class.

>From the naming perspective, the paramount characteristic
is that the identifier contains a sufficient key (attribute
cluster).  The ability to abbreviate [for relative forms]
in selected contexts [where a document context or other basis
for establishing a BASE environment characteristic exists]
and to parse by certain methods are introduced lower down
in the class web, in more concrete "derived" classes. 

["lower" here is dependent on having adopted a "naming

The difference between an URL view and an URN view of URIs could
be summarized in terms of which of the following failure modes
you are more concerned to avoid:

	- The identified resource exists, but you don't get it.
		-- URL cares first to avoid this
	- You get a resource, but it is not what you intended.
		-- URN cares first to avoid this

-- Al Gilman