Re: [urn] I-D Action: draft-saintandre-urn-example-00

Keith Moore <> Mon, 21 January 2013 04:19 UTC

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Date: Sun, 20 Jan 2013 23:19:45 -0500
From: Keith Moore <>
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Subject: Re: [urn] I-D Action: draft-saintandre-urn-example-00
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On 01/19/2013 11:27 AM, Larry Masinter wrote:
> For my part, the only way I can make peace with URNs is to take the perspective that "persistence" is wishful thinking, that "resource" is a myth, and that the primary use for URNs is a way of importing into the space of URIs those identifiers that are maintained by other organizations (namely, the "naming authority").

Which of course has nothing to do with the purpose of URNs.
> Of course, you should only use naming authorities who can offer a credible promise of persistence of the association of the name to the thing named, but each service makes its own guarantees. IETF offers that "STD 66" names something, even if the document changes, and that "RFC 3986" names something which is currently the same document. But that also what it names is somewhat independent of the format it's set in, or the location.
> This description of URNs doesn't require anyone to believe in Resources or that URNs Name them, or that they do so Uniformly.  It explains _most_ of the URN namespaces.
No it doesn't.  it's just a mostly-coincidental characteristic of some URNs.
> The only problem is the darn urn:uuid: namespace, where "uuid" is not an authority at all, and there's nowhere to turn to figure out who might have known at any point in time what was meant by it. I don't know what to do with urn:uuid except to declare it a mistake.
That might not be a bad idea, but not for the reason you cite.

To attempt to define what URNs are in terms of what you observe about 
URNs is to attempt to destroy their utility.