Re: Registrar (Ed Krol)
Date: Wed, 14 Jul 1993 16:38:40 -0500
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To: Rob Raisch <>, Richard Rodgers <>
From: (Ed Krol)
Subject: Re: Registrar
Status: RO
I'm begining to think the problem here is that  we are trying to 
legislate morality.

First, what we are talking about is a symbolic reference here.  Symbolic
references don't make any sense unless you know what they are symbols
for.   When you write a program you don't pick an arbitrarily variable
to use as the end of a for loop, you have to know which one contians
the information you want.  

Second, there has been some talk about delegation of registration 
authority.  How are you going to get the registrar for a particular
area to conform.  If McGraw-Hill decides to use their pool of URN's
in a contrary way do you think you have the clout to say I'm sorry
you can't publish.

I think we don't particularly care whether a URN points to a changing
resource or a static resource. What we care about is that a person
has some means to find out what a symbol is for.  The question
is far bigger than static/dyanmic, draft/non-draft, all you want to do
is know what you got.

Perhaps we need a prefix operator like, showing my age pdp-11 assembler.

show #<URN>: Displays information on the server that knows about
             this URN (Possibly useful)

show <URN>: Displays the abstract for this resource.  E. g. "The current
            front page of the new york times"

show @<URN>: Displays the resource which the URN points to.