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RE: Namespace name: better to use URN or URL?

Here is an extract from RFC 1738 (Uniform Resource Locators (URL)):

A new scheme may be introduced by defining a mapping onto a conforming URL
syntax, using a new prefix. URLs for experimental schemes may be used by
mutual agreement between parties. Scheme names starting with the characters
"x-" are reserved for experimental purposes.

The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) will maintain a registry of
URL schemes. Any submission of a new URL scheme must include a definition of
an algorithm for accessing of resources within that scheme and the syntax
for representing such a scheme.

URL schemes must have demonstrable utility and operability. One way to
provide such a demonstration is via a gateway which provides objects in the
new scheme for clients using an existing protocol. If the new scheme does
not locate resources that are data objects, the properties of names in the
new space must be clearly defined.

New schemes should try to follow the same syntactic conventions of existing
schemes, where appropriate. It is likewise recommended that, where a
protocol allows for retrieval by URL, that the client software have
provision for being configured to use specific gateway locators for indirect
access through new naming schemes.

Like many, I prefer a URL to a URN for namespaces because it is easier to
make it unique (and show it is unique). However, I am uncomfortable with
using "http://" at the start, so I would definitely be in favour of a scheme
using "namespace://" or "xmlns://" or "ns://". What do others here think?

Paul Spencer
CTO, alphaXML Ltd
alphaXML is recruiting XML Consultants
+44 (0)1491 630053

-----Original Message-----
From: Elliotte Rusty Harold [mailto:elharo@metalab.unc.edu]
Sent: 01 September 2001 14:56
To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
Subject: RE: Namespace name: better to use URN or URL?

What would happen if we were to use URLs with uncommon schemes? e.g.


Would this make new users less likely to assume they could resolve these
things while still preventing conflicts?

Would this be legal? Is there any official registry for URL schemes or can I
just make them up as I choose? Certainly Java made up a lot (jdbc, jndi,
doc, netdoc, etc.) and provides an architecture (protocol handlers) for
supporting arbitrary schemes. However I'm not sure if that usage is approved
by the standards that be.

| Elliotte Rusty Harold | elharo@metalab.unc.edu | Writer/Programmer |
|          The XML Bible, 2nd Edition (Hungry Minds, 2001)           |
|              http://www.ibiblio.org/xml/books/bible2/              |
|   http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0764547607/cafeaulaitA/   |
|  Read Cafe au Lait for Java News:  http://www.cafeaulait.org/      |
|  Read Cafe con Leche for XML News: http://www.ibiblio.org/xml/     |

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