[secdir] [new-work] WG Review: Uniform Resource Names, Revised (urnbis)

IESG Secretary <iesg-secretary@ietf.org> Mon, 01 November 2010 21:13 UTC

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Subject: [secdir] [new-work] WG Review: Uniform Resource Names, Revised (urnbis)
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A new IETF working group has been proposed in the Applications Area.  The
IESG has not made any determination as yet. The following draft charter
was submitted, and is provided for informational purposes only. Please
send your comments to the IESG mailing list (iesg@ietf.org) by Tuesday,
November 9, 2010                           

Uniform Resource Names, Revised (urnbis) 
Last Modified:  2010-10-28
Current Status: Proposed Working Group

    o   TBD

  Applications Area Director(s):
    o   Alexey Melnikov  <alexey.melnikov at isode.com>
    o   Peter Saint-Andre  <stpeter at stpeter.im>

  Applications Area Advisor:
    o   Alexey Melnikov  <alexey.melnikov at isode.com>

  Mailing Lists:
    o  General Discussion: urn@ietf.org
       To Subscribe:

Description of Working Group

  * * *  Problem Statement  * * *

  Uniform Resource Names (URNs) are location-independent, persistent
  identifiers for information resources.

  The RFCs defining URNs were published in 1997-2001.  They rely on old
  (or even provisional) basic documents on the concepts of URI and URL.
  At that time there was almost no URN implementation experience.

  Since then, the URN system has gained significant popularity, and
  roughly 40 formal URN Namespaces have been defined and registered
  with IANA.  Hundreds of millions of resources have been assigned URNs;
  this enables searching of and persistent linking to these documents,
  artifacts, and other objects.
  However, the URN system lacks a foundation that is consistent in
  terminology and formal description with present (Full) Internet

  The core URN RFCs -- RFC 2141 (URN Syntax),
  RFC 3406 (Namespace Definition Mechanisms) --
  are based on outdated framework documents and understanding of digital
  archiving. All references in RFC 2141 point to "work in progress" or
  documents that have been superseded at least once.

  The lack of a standard definition of the 'urn' URI scheme fosters
  recurring discussions on what URNs are and IETF commitment to them.
  There is a need to clarify that URNs are specific URIs (namely those
  using the 'urn' URI scheme) and hence all general URI rules apply to

  There also is a need to update some namespace registrations for at
  least two reasons: the standards specifying the relevant underlying
  namespaces (such as International Standard Book Number (ISBN)) have
  been amended/expanded since the original specification of the related
  URN namespace and the WG's update of the basic URN-related RFCs might
  introduce or identify inconsistencies.

  * * *  Objectives for the Working Group  * * *

  This working group is chartered to update the key RFCs describing the
  URN system, including RFC 2141 (URN Syntax), RFC 3406 (Namespace
  Definition Mechanisms), and review and
  update selected URN namespace specifications including those for
  for ISBN, National Bibliography Numbers (NBN) and International
  Serial Standard Number (ISSN).

  For all document revisions, backward compatibility with previous
  URN-related RFCs will be retained.

  The WG will produce an updated set of URN-related RFCs. All documents
  will be on the Standards-Track or BCP. These updates will provide
  a normative foundation for URNs and assure uniformity of the URN
  and resolution concepts and procedures at the abstract level.

  Details and tasks (the WG will approach these tasks in roughly this

  a)  Core URN specifications

  For RFC 2141, this revision will include in particular:
  - an update of the formal syntax specification in the light of the
    URI Standard (STD 66, RFC 3986) using the ABNF from STD 68
    (RFC 5234);
  - a formal IANA registration for the 'urn' URI scheme using the
    current template from BCP 35 (RFC 4395);
  - a revised set of URN examples and
  - an update of the sections describing how URNs are resolved
    in the Internet, based on the current practices.

  RFC 3406 (BCP 33) will be aligned with the current IANA procedures
  and terminology as defined in BCP 26 (RFC 5226).

  b) URN Namespace specifications

  The WG will focus on updating the RFCs related to the key
  bibliographic identifier systems:
  - RFC 3187 (URN Namespace for International Standard Book Numbers),
  - RFC 3188 (URN Namespace for National Bibliography Numbers), and
  - RFC 3044 (URN Namespace for International Serial Standard Number).

  All these identifier systems have been updated since these RFCs were
  written in a way that makes revision of the namespace registration

  c) Further work

  The WG will support the current registrants of URN namespaces.  It
  will review the legacy URN namespace definition documents and if
  needed, provide advice to their registrants on how to bring these
  registrations in line with the upcoming URN-related RFCs.
  However any work on updating such specifications beyond giving an
  advice would require rechartering of the WG.

WG Output:

  Revision of RFC 2141 based on draft-ah-rfc2141bis-urn
  Revision of RFC 3406

  Revision of RFC 3187 based on draft-hakala-rfc3187bis-isbn-urn
  Revision of RFC 3188 based on draft-hakala-rfc3188bis-nbn-urn
  Revision of RFC 3044
Goals and Milestones (rough and preliminary, to be amended):

  Feb 2011   WGLC on rfc2141bis, rfc3406bis, rfc3187bis-isbn-urn
             and rfc3188bis-nbn-urn
  Apr 2011   Deliver rfc2141bis, rfc3406bis, rfc3187bis-isbn-urn
             and rfc3188bis-nbn-urn to IESG for consideration as
             Proposed Standards
  May 2011   WGLC on rfc3044bis
  Jul 2011   Deliver rfc3044bis to IESG for consideration
             as Proposed Standards
  Apr 2012   Implementation report for promoting 2141bis to
             Draft Standard
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