IETF publishes URN specs as RFCs
21:12, 20 Oct 2002 UTC | Simon St.Laurent

Larry Masinter noted that the IETF has now published RFC 3406, Uniform Resource Names (URN) Namespace Definition Mechanism, as well as RFCs 3401, 3402, 3403 and 3404 on the Dynamic Delegation Discovery System (DDDS).

RFC 3406 provides a firmer foundation for the registration of URN schemes:

"lays out general definitions of and mechanisms for establishing Uniform Resource Names (URN) "namespaces". The URN WG has defined a syntax for URNs in RFC 2141, as well as some proposed mechanisms for their resolution and use in Internet applications in RFC 3401 and RFC 3405. The whole rests on the concept of individual "namespaces" within the URN structure. Apart from proof-of-concept namespaces, the use of existing identifiers in URNs has been discussed in RFC 2288."

Unlike XML namespaces, URN namespaces are actively managed by the IETF, with an IANA registration process described in the document.

RFCs 3401 through 3404 define DDDS, which implements

"lazy binding of strings to data, in order to support dynamically configured delegation systems. The DDDS functions by mapping some unique string to data stored within a DDDS Database by iteratively applying string transformation rules until a terminal condition is reached."

In particular, RFC 3404 defines how to use "DDDS to resolve any URI to a set of endpoints or 'resolvers' that can give additional information about the URI independent of its particular URI scheme." This should open up a much broader number of URI schemes to resolution and processing, perhaps relaxing the current dependency on the http scheme for cases where resolution or separately-stored metadata are needed.

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