Re: [urn] Transition of 2141bis and 3406bis

Juha Hakala <> Fri, 21 December 2012 07:10 UTC

Return-Path: <>
Received: from localhost (localhost []) by (Postfix) with ESMTP id 22EF021F89A3 for <>; Thu, 20 Dec 2012 23:10:56 -0800 (PST)
X-Virus-Scanned: amavisd-new at
X-Spam-Flag: NO
X-Spam-Score: -6.598
X-Spam-Status: No, score=-6.598 tagged_above=-999 required=5 tests=[BAYES_00=-2.599, HTML_MESSAGE=0.001, RCVD_IN_DNSWL_MED=-4]
Received: from ([]) by localhost ( []) (amavisd-new, port 10024) with ESMTP id iJVj6e10R4C3 for <>; Thu, 20 Dec 2012 23:10:55 -0800 (PST)
Received: from ( []) by (Postfix) with ESMTP id BF09321F86BB for <>; Thu, 20 Dec 2012 23:10:43 -0800 (PST)
Received: from [] ( []) (authenticated bits=0) by (8.14.4/8.14.4) with ESMTP id qBL7AdLs020522 (version=TLSv1/SSLv3 cipher=DHE-RSA-CAMELLIA256-SHA bits=256 verify=NOT) for <>; Fri, 21 Dec 2012 09:10:41 +0200
Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 21 Dec 2012 09:10:39 +0200
From: Juha Hakala <>
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:10.0.11) Gecko/20121115 Thunderbird/10.0.11
MIME-Version: 1.0
References: <>
In-Reply-To: <>
Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="------------060606030700080206090007"
Subject: Re: [urn] Transition of 2141bis and 3406bis
X-Mailman-Version: 2.1.12
Precedence: list
List-Id: Revisions to URN RFCs <>
List-Unsubscribe: <>, <>
List-Archive: <>
List-Post: <>
List-Help: <>
List-Subscribe: <>, <>
X-List-Received-Date: Fri, 21 Dec 2012 07:10:56 -0000


On 27.11.2012 22:37, Andrew Newton wrote:
> All,
> With respect to moving to a new, smaller document encompassing our 
> 2141bis goal I see that there is consensus within this working group 
> for making this transition. Peter Saint-Andre has also submitted a 
> 3406bis document consistent with the same style as his 2141bis 
> document. For consistency, this new document will be used as a basis 
> for this working group's 3406bis goal going forward.

The current 3044bis, 3187bis and 3188bis (ISSN, ISBN and NBN namespace 
registrations) were consistent with the past versions of 2141bis and 
3406bis. Alas, they are definitely not aligned with the current 2141bis 
and 3406bis, since, for instance, there are sections that refer to the 
use of fragment and query.

Luckily there is a simple way to resolve the problem. Appendix A of 
RFC2141bis says:

> This document makes the following substantive changes from [RFC2141  <>]:
>     o  Disallowed "-" at the end of a NID.
>     o  Allowed the "~" and "&" characters in an NSS.
>     o  Formally registered 'urn' as a URI scheme.

These changes do not necessitate revision of any of the namespace 
registrations mentioned above. Therefore we can and should drop revision 
of 3188bis (NBN) from the WG charter. I also recommend that the revision 
of the ISBN namespace (3187bis) is postponed (beyond the life time of 
this WG), because development of a new version of the ISBN standard is 
about to start 2013.

I have not discussed with Pierre Godefroy about his plans as regards 

It is possible that the WG consensus is that either RFC3187 or 3188 or 
both should be revised in spite of my opposite view. If so, please go 
ahead, but delete my name from the resulting documents.

The current RFC3188 needs only minor edits. 3188bis should not be used 
as the starting point, since there is a lot of stuff there which is no 
longer needed. Revision of RFC3187 is more complicated problem, since 
the editor should have a good understanding of the ISBN standard and the 
use of ISBNs. The discussion the WG had on fragments indicated that such 
expertise will be available if needed.
> It should be noted that these new documents are not the final output 
> of this working group but are simply a new basis for the development 
> of the milestones we must achieve, and they will be based on consensus 
> within this working group and the IETF in accordance with IETF practices.

I hope the WG will succeed in this task, and wish it would have been 
possible to find consensus on how to use fragment and query. Since this 
did not seem likely, the Finnish ISO TC 46 shadow committee decided in 
its meeting 2012-12-10 to start the development of a national URN syntax 
standard. The standard will be bilingual (English and Finnish) and it 
will be based on the latest 2141bis version Alfred Hoenes wrote. Our 
intention is to keep the document downward compatible with whatever the 
URNbis WG will come up with.

We have tried to standardize the URN syntax in Finland before, but 
failed (in about 2005 or so) when the external evaluators said that the 
draft was not compliant with URI syntax as defined in RFC3986. This time 
we do not want to take any risks. On the other hand, there is an urgent 
national need to revise RFC2141, since the government is planning to 
establish a URN service for the entire public sector. Currently the 
national library of Finland and its partners are assigning about 200.000 
URNs annually to persistent digital resources; this figure is likely to 

> With regards to the historical context and motivations described in 
> the current set of documents, we will seek the addition of new 
> milestones for Informational track RFCs in which to capture this 
> information.


Season's greetings,

> -andy, URNBIS co-chair
> _______________________________________________
> urn mailing list


  Juha Hakala
  Senior advisor

  The National Library of Finland
  P.O.Box 15 (Unioninkatu 36, room 503)
  FIN-00014 Helsinki University
  tel +358 9 191 44293