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One question I did have while reading the 257 mails on this subject was
based on yoour example.
I was thinking, with http, your agent knows that it is to retrieve a
document - simple and easy.
What does it *do* when it finds a URN? (sllightly different slant on the
"how do we define it in the first place discussions").
In your case, it returned URL resources ... I started to think (based on
some other examples in previous emails) that the general case will be to
get a URL for a URN.. In one case the ISBN URN would return a URL
Of course this won't always be the case. What would URN:car do? I would
guess not a lot, but how would we know when it does and doesn't return a
pointer to something physical? ISBN might return a URL, but it also
represents non-url things - i.e. a physical book.
I am working on something just now that is starting to bring up a lot of
questions like this.
The easy way to go about it is to just say it is an identifier of
something - plain and simple. But I get the feeling they can be a lot
more useful than that.
From: Joshua Allen [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Monday, July 29, 2002 6:11 AM
To: Mike Champion; email@example.com
Subject: RE: [xml-dev] Un-ask the question (was Re: [xml-dev] URIs and
Names on the Web)
> I fully agree that abstract "resources" and "namespaces" should have
> authoritative description on the web. It just seems a conceptual
BTW, you can get meaningful information about a non-http URN on the web
today. For example, Google search for ISBN:1-558-60622-X returns a few
pages. If people chose to start publishing comments to either Usenet or
web pages about URN:ISBN:1-558-60622-X, you can be sure that they would
be accessible to anyone who chose to query.
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