Re: [urn] call for comments: an alternative 2141bis document

Larry Masinter <> Mon, 19 November 2012 09:58 UTC

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From: Larry Masinter <>
To: Renato Iannella <>
Date: Mon, 19 Nov 2012 01:58:41 -0800
Thread-Topic: [urn] call for comments: an alternative 2141bis document
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Subject: Re: [urn] call for comments: an alternative 2141bis document
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> Hi we all know, it is impossible to say that _anything_ will be
> persistent (even beyond our lifetimes) in this industry.

> But I think that at least URNs _try_ to highlight to URN operators that they need
> to consider longevity

There is no clear line between meeting the requirements for "formal" and not; we (the IETF reviewers) are being asked to judge something we have little qualification to judge, namely the likely longevity of an organization's ability to "resolve" names for some period of time (how long?), and whether that registration and resolution service will remain "open" (in what way?) for an indefinite amount of time (how long?).

I like the criteria, just I'm uneasy about IETF judging them without bikeshedding.

> and the fact the URNs are not dependent on the DNS and the opaque NSS help
> towards that goal....but still requires ORG support for this to be realised (hence
> a dependency on ORG persistence).

I assume you mean "organizational" by "ORG" and not something more formal.
Of course URLs aren't all dependent on DNS either.  You're not saying why tel: is a URI scheme and not a URN namespace? 
I'm not sure what you mean by "opaque NSS".

> Perhaps we can update 3406bis and 2141bis along these lines. That is, qualify the
> "persistent, location-independent" statement with qualification.

I think it's a mistake to believe that URNs accomplish either of those, and people often skip the qualifications. URNs are not persistent. And "location-independent" cannot be determined.