Re: infoURI standard officially blessed

From: Stefano Mazzocchi <>
Date: Mon, 14 Nov 2005 12:21:03 -0500

Hammond, Tony wrote:

[snipped a bunch of stuff]

> 6. Variety is good. I will certainly not support a cull to one
> species of URI alone - 'http'. It makes no sense to the information
> eco-system. Get real. Deal with it.

Don't know about you, but I value diversity when it gives me something,
not just because.

For example, I have no problems in the fact that all TCP/IP stacks of
all operating systems talk to each other. I have no problems that I can
buy an ethernet card or wi-fi router from all vendors and they work
together. I have no problems in having all SMTP servers behave or having
all HTTP servers use the same protocol.

I do have a problem when I can't read files because they are sent with
proprietary formats, or when different browsers implements the
recommendations differently forcing me to work around them.

I am dealing with diversity, every day, and I like less not more when
the diversity is introduced by nothing but ego reasons and "not invented
here" or "I don't want others to control my registries"

I'm one of the board directors of the Apache Software Foundation. The
web exists not only because of HTTP but because Apache, and not
Microsoft, has 70% of the web servers running.

I don't think you realize how much effort went in making the web what it
is today. You take for granted that a similar interoperable ecosystem
would emerge naturally in a different identification, lookup and
transport scheme. We'll see who needs to get real.

URNs make it easy to name things, but you pay a price later on, when you
don't know what to do with them or, when, in order to find out, you have
to code around a bunch of little inconsistencies and bugs from the
lookup and discovery systems and then the transport protocols.

I'd much rather invest on automatically dereferenceable URIs now and
avoid paying the discoverability price (not only the technical one but
also the social one!) later on.

As for what others will do, well, we'll deal with it, as usual and try
to make sense out of it.

Just allow me to express my frustration as a developer for yet another
specification that makes my job harder and not easier. And for no
particular reason rather than control.

Stefano Mazzocchi
Research Scientist                 Digital Libraries Research Group
Massachusetts Institute of Technology            location: E25-131C
77 Massachusetts Ave                   telephone: +1 (617) 253-1096
Cambridge, MA  02139-4307              email: stefanom at mit . edu
Received on Mon Nov 14 2005 - 17:15:07 EST

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