Re: infoURI standard officially blessed

From: Stefano Mazzocchi <>
Date: Tue, 15 Nov 2005 08:51:06 -0500

Alf Eaton wrote:
> Stefano Mazzocchi wrote:
>> 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.
> Stefano,
> Just as example, which dereferenceable URI would you use for the book
> "The History of Love", ISBN 0393060349, so that everybody would be able
> to use that URI as an identifier for that book?


I perfectly understand why


is more appealing than the PURL above: the info URI doesn't feel "owned"
as much as the PURL. But this is a mere illusion and it's due to the
fact that you are giving dereferencing away for just identification.

If you later want to dereference the info URI, you might need to hit a
lookup mechanism. In the best possible scenario, this lookup mechanism
is an extension of the DNS, but it's unlikely since DNSs are so hard to
change and deal with and sysadmins don't like that, so it's probably
going to be yet another web-redirection service, so you automatically
translate the above into, say:

and tell me, how is this any different than the above that we can
*already* have today?

Ah, well, yes, is owned by OCLC and is owned by
Herbert Van de Sompel.

At the end of the day, it's all about who you trust the most, which is
fine and human and *has* to be taken into account.

So, using a URN scheme allows us to move forward without having to fix
both indentification and localization at the same time, *but* don't get
fooled thinking that localization will be more natural with the 'info'
URI and that the 'resolver owenership' problem is solved, it's only
pushed under the carpet, probably hoping that nobody will notice while
diverse powers take ownership of those hubs and become yet another
"network solutions".

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 Tue Nov 15 2005 - 13:45:06 EST

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