Re: infoURI standard officially blessed

From: Ben Hyde <>
Date: Wed, 16 Nov 2005 10:16:09 -0500

On Nov 15, 2005, at 5:33 PM, David Karger wrote:
> About the only rationale I can see for this approach is that the
> question of who owns, ie registers, names is contentions and
> everybody wants to be a registrant.

I learned from a very rich man that one should look for the big house
that overlooks the ocean. There are some very big houses that own
and operate the hubs around these registries: the phone number space,
the isbn space, the product code space, ICANN, Verisign - this list
is actually amazingly long - MAC addresses...

If you go visit these big houses you do see a lot of money flowing
thru. It can be nice to be landlord. But there are functional
activities performed. Quality (of various flavors) are maintained.
Always there is plumbing to handle resolving the registered thing to
some lump of info - product description, phone call clearing, book
particulars, etc. Each of these create property rights and
responsibilities and there need to be conflict resolution; and such
bureaucracy, policing, and lawyering is expensive.

> We go there to resolve the url because that location is
> authoratative regarding the url. Come the semantic web, names no
> longer imply authority---they are simply references.

I think this is key but I don't know quite what to make of it. The
property rights systems and the qualities they maintain inside each
of those big houses are useful. They throw off huge benefits, like
the efficiencies of the grocery/Walmart distribution channels. Or,
in the case of http, the network and our tools.

The good news is that inside one of these namespaces you have some
confidence about the quality of service.

But, I don't know of any registries that make it trivial for 3rd
parties to register that they offer service X on the names; for
example ratings on product-codes, or geo location info on IP
addresses. Such complementary services are typically left out in the
cold to compete in the open market. So
Amazon can offer reviews key'd off all these name spaces, but it
can't get the
registries for those numbers to help interested parties find them.

> silly and annoying that people keep trying to spin off new naming
> schemes that are, at the bottom, completely equivalent to URIs

It is silly and annoying, but no they aren't all equivalent because
each brings different house rules to the party.

For INFO: the house rules are in the spec but also set by the
registry operator: see here[1] (rtf isn't that cute). While the RFC
mentions that the registry will record service mechanisms I don't
actually see them; so it appears that for now the house mother hasn't
provided way to start finding services for your info: urls.


  - ben
Received on Wed Nov 16 2005 - 15:10:09 EST

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