Re: Application for a formal URN NID ("EIDR")

Pierre-Anthony Lemieux <> Mon, 03 March 2014 19:26 UTC

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From: Pierre-Anthony Lemieux <>
Date: Mon, 3 Mar 2014 11:25:47 -0800
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Subject: Re: Application for a formal URN NID ("EIDR")
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> I plan to update the I-D when the submission window reopens.

Just an FYI. Revised I-D posted. See [1]



-- Pierre

On Thu, Feb 20, 2014 at 5:09 PM, Pierre-Anthony Lemieux
<> wrote:
> Good morning/evening,
> Please find attached a revised application for the formal "EIDR" URN
> NID. The revised application is intended to address the comments
> received on the list.
> Some highlights:
> - the introduction was expanded to provide more details on DOI Names,
> EIDR Identifiers and their relationship.
> - the EIDR-URN syntax was refactored to focus on EIDR Identifiers, and
> not DOI Names in general.
> - the EIDR Identifier prefix and suffix character sets are now
> explicitly specified to remove potential ambiguities in mapping them
> to the URN character set
> - the HTTP response to a resolution request to the ISO 26324
> Registration Authority is now specified
> I plan to update the I-D when the submission window reopens.
> Thanks again to the commenters.
> Best,
> -- Pierre
> On Thu, Feb 6, 2014 at 6:07 PM, Pierre-Anthony Lemieux <> wrote:
>> Hi Ted and Dale,
>> Thanks for the detailed comments, which I am in the process of
>> addressing. In the meantime, some additional background and
>> clarification on the request.
>> The requested EIDR NID is not intended to accommodate any and all DOI
>> Names, but specifically DOI Names allocated by EIDR organization, i.e.
>> DOI Names with a prefix assigned to EIDR organization. This means that
>> (a) EIDR organization essentially controls the syntax of the EIDR
>> Identifiers, e.g. add check codes and constrain it to the ASCII set,
>> and (b) the NID is specifically intended for audiovisual works. The
>> fact that EIDR Identifiers are valid DOI Names ensures persistence,
>> uniqueness and an open resolution infrastructure.
>> Currently, EIDR Identifiers use the 10.5240 prefix for audiovisual
>> works. The idea is to leave the door open for additional prefixes (and
>> corresponding suffixes) to be defined in the future (with EIDR NID
>> specification being updated accordingly). In all cases, these prefixes
>> and suffixes would be defined and controlled by EIDR organization.
>> So, if an implementation receives an EIDR-NSS with an unknown prefix,
>> it can still accept it, treating it as an opaque (case insensitive)
>> identifier (with the option of resolving it as generic DOI Name.) If
>> the prefix is known, additional processing can occur, e.g. error
>> detection in the case of the 10.5240 prefix.
>> Does this makes sense? I assume it is acceptable to reply cc'ing the
>> reflector. If not, I am happy to chat offline.
>> Best,
>> -- Pierre
>> On Thu, Feb 6, 2014 at 11:16 AM, Dale R. Worley <> wrote:
>>> If there's a difference between EIDR and DOI, you ought to make that
>>> clear.  The two terms are used throughout the document and I vaguely
>>> assumed that they are the same.  Actually, the underlying problem is
>>> that you write the document assuming that the reader is thoroughly
>>> familiar with EIDR's, DOI's, and the like.  Start with enough tutorial
>>> so that someone who has never heard of either before (me) will have a
>>> clear understanding of what is going on.
>>>> From: Ted Hardie <>
>>>> This would seem to imply that any DOI prefix may be
>>>> encountered and that this NID could be used with any
>>>> registered DOI.  IF that were the intent, I would
>>>> suggest registering the namespace "DOI" instead.  I
>>>> understand that the DOI folks have consciously chosen not
>>>> to do that(cf:,
>>>> though, so I suspect your intent is to limit this to a subset
>>>> of DOIs.  Is that correct?  Is it essentially limited to 10.5240?
>>>> If not, how will the appropriate subset be identified?
>>> If the NID is to provide an encoding for all DOI names, then it should
>>> be named "doi".  But if the DOI people have decided that it is not a
>>> good thing to provide a NID for all DOI names, then:
>>> - the NID should be "eidr"
>>> - the syntax should not give a DOI-PREFIX, because that will *always*
>>>   be "10.5240", and there's no point including a long invariant string
>>>   in the syntax
>>> Fundamentally, you need to determine if the DOI people are
>>> fundamentally against mapping DOI names into URNs, or whether they
>>> just don't want to put in the work (and you are actually doing the job
>>> for them).
>>> Also, if you are thinking of providing a NID that can encompass all
>>> DOIs, you have to worry about character sets.  According to Wikipedia,
>>> "Most legal Unicode characters are allowed in these strings", whereas
>>> the %-encoding system can only represent ASCII characters.
>>>>       where DOI-PREFIX and DOI-SUFFIX are DOI Name prefix and suffix,
>>>>       respectively, translated into canonical NSS format according to
>>>>       [RFC2141].  DOI Name syntax is specified in [ISO26234].
>>> What you mean to say is something like:  A DOI name consists of a
>>> prefix and a suffix, which are character strings [a fact the reader
>>> didn't know before].  They are translated into the DOI-PREFIX and
>>> DOI-SUFFIX by replacing all characters which are not XXX with
>>> corresponding %-escapes.  (See RFC 2141 section 2.2.)
>>> Exactly what the set XXX is needs to be specified with some care.
>>> Section 2.2 specifies that all characters that may not appear in URNs
>>> *at all* must be escaped.  But of course, ":" may appear in URNs and
>>> by that specification need not be escaped.  OTOH, if ":" appears in a
>>> prefix or suffix, you very well want it escaped.  I'm pretty sure that
>>> you want XXX to be <pchar> as defined in RFC 3986 (the infamous
>>> "Uniform Resource Identifier (URI): Generic Syntax").
>>> Also, you are depending on the fact that EIDR suffixes consist of
>>> ASCII characters, which can be represented by %-escapes (whereas DOI
>>> suffixes can contain Unicode characters, which can't).
>>> NIDs are case-insensitive (RFC 2141 section 5), but usually are
>>> presented in lower case.
>>>>           EIDR-SUFFIX  = 5*5(4*4HEXDIG "-") CHECK
>>> You can just say
>>>            EIDR-SUFFIX  = 5(4HEXDIG "-") CHECK
>>>>    Identifier persistence considerations:
>>>>       As a DOI Name, the persistence of EIDR-NSS is guaranteed by the
>>>>       ISO 26324 Registration Authority.  A DOI Name remains valid
>>>>       indefinitely.
>>> It would be clearer if you said something like
>>>        The ISO 26324 Registration Authority assigns DOI Names to
>>>        works(?).  A DOI Name remains valid indefinitely.  As a
>>>        consequence, the URN derived from a DOI Name remains valid
>>>        indefinitely.
>>> Similar editing of the other items in this section would be helpful.
>>> I can't quite put my finger on what seems to be the problem with the
>>> writing.  I *think* the problem is that the text is written from the
>>> point of view of someone who is thoroughly familiar with DOIs/EIDRs,
>>> to the point where it never really has to be said what they are *for*
>>> or how they work, whereas the correct way to write these sections is
>>> from the point of view of someone who is familiar with URNs but has
>>> never heard of a DOI before.  "We are talking about URNs that look
>>> like this: ...  These URNs are used to specify DOIs, which are used in
>>> XXX industry to designate YYYs.  DOIs are assigned to YYYs by ZZZ."
>>> In the above paragraph, the sentence starts with "As a DOI Name...",
>>> which is actually trying to leverage that the reader *already
>>> understands* how DOI Names work.
>>>>       As a DOI Name, the resolution of EIDR-NSS is handled by the ISO
>>>>       26324 Registration Authority.
>>>>       The ISO 26324 Registration Authority operates a web service that
>>>>       allows an EIDR-NSS to be resolved by issuing an HTTP GET request
>>>>       to the following URI:
>>>>                "" DOI-PREFIX "/" DOI-SUFFIX
>>> As written, this doesn't specify anything, because you can apply that
>>> process to any alleged EIDR.  In order to make this meaningful, you
>>> have to specify what the format of the HTTP *response* is and the
>>> significance of the elements of the response.  (Presumably there is an
>>> ISO standard you can reference here.)
>>> Dale