Re: [urn] I-D Action: draft-ietf-urnbis-rfc2141bis-urn-03

Alfred Hönes <> Tue, 16 October 2012 18:49 UTC

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From: Alfred Hönes <>
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Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2012 20:47:28 +0200
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Subject: Re: [urn] I-D Action: draft-ietf-urnbis-rfc2141bis-urn-03
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URNbis folks,

eventually, the long expected new version of the rfc2141bis draft
is available from the Internet-Draft archives.

Speaking as the draft editor:

This draft version incorporates the changes proposed on my
"A way forward ..." proposal posted to this list on  5 July and
archived at
taking into account the feedback received for this (in so far as
it related directly to this draft), and it contains many additional
changes based on an evaluation of all on-list and off-list comments
received since the publication of the -02 version.
For a detailed summary of changes, please see below.

Please study this draft in detail and send draft text related
comments.  The plan is to issue one additional draft version next
month before proceeding to WG Last Call for it.

My highest priority for the next days is bringing out the pending
updates to the other WG documents as well; so please admit that
I'll likely still have to defer any discussion followup until
this task is completed.
The aligned -03 version of the rfc3406bis draft will be posted next,
and it's proactively already referenced in the -03 version of the
rfc2141bis draft -- so please don't complain about that temporary

On 16 Oct 2012 11:10:42 -0700, wrote:

> A New Internet-Draft is available from the on-line Internet-Drafts
> directories.
> This draft is a work item of the Uniform Resource Names, Revised
> Working Group of the IETF.
>       Title           : Uniform Resource Name (URN) Syntax
>       Author(s)       : Alfred Hoenes
>       Filename        : draft-ietf-urnbis-rfc2141bis-urn-03.txt
>       Pages           : 36

   Note: Please discount for 3 pg. boilerplate & ToC, almost 3 pg.
         of References, and almost 6 pages of change History.  :-)

>       Date            : 2012-10-16
> Abstract:
>    Uniform Resource Names (URNs) are intended to serve as persistent,
>    location-independent, resource identifiers.  This document serves as
>    the foundation of the 'urn' URI Scheme according to RFC 3986 and sets
>    forward the canonical syntax for URNs, which subdivides URNs into
>    "namespaces".  A discussion of both existing legacy and new
>    namespaces and requirements for URN presentation and transmission are
>    presented.  Finally, there is a discussion of URN equivalence and how
>    to determine it.  This document supersedes RFC 2141.
>    The requirements and procedures for URN Namespace registration
>    documents are set forth in a companion document, RFC 3406bis
>    (BCP 66).
> The IETF datatracker status page for this draft is:
> There's also a htmlized version available at:
> A diff from the previous version is available at:
> Internet-Drafts are also available by anonymous FTP at:

This new draft version contains the following incremental change
summary as an Appendix, amended with rationale for some non-changes:

-------- snip --------

D.7.  Changes from WG Draft -02 to WG Draft -03

   Added text in s1.1 to reflect a comment from SM on other, legacy
   interpretations of "URN".

   Added note in old s1.2 to reflect importance of the name binding
   established by a URN (derived from list discussion on other topic,
   Keith Moore et al.).
   However, (despite comments from SM and PSA) preserved excerpts there
   to keep document self-contained and avoid normative down-references
   (as discussed during WG chartering process and pointed out in the
   third para of old s1.3).  Doing so should also help to avoid another
   future recurrence of the discussion on these topics that has consumed
   a lot of resources unnecessarily during the WG formation process.

   Swapped s1.2 and s1.3 (note from SM); however, for logical reasons,
   motivation (part of s1.1) needs to stay in the text before the
   objectives derived thereof (now s1.2).

   Material on query part enhanced (new subsection 2.3); structure of
   query part formally specified with a rather liberal syntax (could be
   more restrictive, if WG prefers); IANA registry of URN query keywords
   established, with two initial entries for the global scope "s" and
   "c" keywords now specified in s2.3.1 and s2.3.2.

   To avoid further confusion (as seen on the list discussion), this I-D
   uses the term "fragment" only for the trailing component in the
   Generic URI Syntax and the semantics associated with it in RFC 3986;
   otherwise this I-D talks about "components" of structured resources.

   Material on fragment part heavily revised and stripped down, put in
   new subsection 2.4.  New text is intended to reflect least common
   denominator of list discussion; i.e., mostly just enable usage by
   specific URN Namespace and otherwise point to RFC 3986 and RFC
   Namespace designers now have three options to design-in component
   resource designation (if warranted for the namespace), whichever is
   the best fit for their underlying identifier system: (1) media-
   specific designation using fragment part, (2) media-independent,
   abstract designation using query part (to be dealt with by resolution
   system, not resolution client), and (3) media-independent designation
   via assignment of distinct NSSs to component resources.
   (That is being elaborated upon to a greater extent in the -03 version
   of the rfc3406bis I-D.)

   Added text to percent-encoding considerations (Bengt Neiss'

   Amended text on support of existing identifier systems (s3), based on
   various comments received.

   Revised part of text in s5 and s6 on lexical/functional equivalence
   to reflect the new specification for query and fragment (new s2.3,
   s2.4) and to address several comments received; changed s5.1

   In spite of the challenges raised by serious evidence of improper
   management practices for the ISBN system and hence the URN:ISBN
   Namespace (Lars Svensson), the I-D still contains one (hypothetical)
   example based on URN:ISBN; this is being thought acceptable because
   it is in the tradition of earlier documents and we can expect that
   every potential reader of the memo will have an understanding what
   ISBNs are for (or should be).

   Modified title of s7.1 to avoid clash with new s9.1.  Added IANA
   Considerations for "URN Query Parameters" registries (s9.2).

   Acknowledgements expanded.

   Amended Appendix A with text regarding <fragment> usage.

   Filled in details in Appendix D.1; added this Appendix D.7.

   Former Appendix E (guide to IETF document repositories) and pointer
   to it removed (comment from SM).

   Multiple editorial enhancements and fixes.

-------- snip --------

Also, the changes since RFC 2141 are now summed up in an Appendix
of the draft as follows:

-------- snip --------

D.1.  Essential Changes from RFC 2141

   Expanded Introduction to cover background material frequently
   requested by interested parties not well acquainted with RFCs and
   past/present work in the IETF, in particular prospective URN
   Namespace stakeholders and applicants for URN Namespace
   registrations.  The material included also serves to avoid normative
   downrefs to legacy RFCs that are very unlikely to be progressed on
   the Standards Track in the foreseeable future.

   Document references updated and split; Normative References now only
   to Full Internet Standards to allow for future progress of this memo
   on the IETF Standards Track.

   Formal syntax now specified using ABNF (STD 68), using productions
   from Generic URI Syntax (STD 66) and STD 68.

   NID Syntax slightly more restrictive than in RFC 2141 (compatible
   with existing and in-progress NID registrations).

   NSS syntax now allows "&" and "~" to align URN syntax with generic
   <pchar> rule from STD 66; an ambiguity in the formal rules and
   incompatibilities between the formal rules and the prose description
   in RFC 2141 have been straightened out ("%" no more allowed outside
   percent-encoding triples, other <reserved> characters no more
   admitted by formal syntax rules).

   Use of query and fragment part with URNs now specified, mostly by
   reference to STD 66.  Syntactical pattern for query part defined;
   IANA registry for query keywords in URN references established.

   This document also performs the outstanding formal registration of
   the 'urn' URI scheme.

   Supplemental material in Appendices documents considerations and
   decisions made in the development of this memo.

-------- snip --------

Best regards,