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

Pierre-Anthony Lemieux <> Fri, 07 February 2014 02:08 UTC

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From: Pierre-Anthony Lemieux <>
Date: Thu, 6 Feb 2014 18:07:54 -0800
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Re: Application for a formal URN NID ("EIDR")
To: "Dale R. Worley" <>,
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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.


-- 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