> From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of
> Mike Taylor
> Sent: Wednesday, April 01, 2009 8:38 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] registering info: uris?
> Ross Singer writes:
> > I suppose my point is, there's a valid case for identifiers like
> > your doi, I think we can agree on that (well, we don't have to
> > agree, these identifiers will exist and continue to exist long
> > after we've grown tired of flashing out gang signs). What I don't
> > understand is the reason to express that identifier as:
> > info:doi/10.1111/j.1475-4983.2007.00728.x
> > when
> > http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-4983.2007.00728.x
> > can serve exactly the same function *and* be actionable.
This was exactly the point I was making, but you said it much more
coherently than what I said, Ross. If you are going to use a
"natural" identifier, like doi, isbn, lccn, etc., then use it, but
if you are going to Web-ify that "natural" identifier, use an HTTP
URI. It doesn't need to be actionable today, but can be tomorrow,
without anybody having to write a new resolution mechanism and
clients having to integrate that new resolution mechanism in their
systems. Typically, most resolution mechanisms for unresolvable
URI schemes use HTTP URIs anyway and amount to:
which could have just been:
> The problem with the latter identifier (and to be clear, yes, I agree
> that it COULD function as an identifier) is that it gives the
> impression that what you get when you dereference the DOI is that
> specific resource, i.e. it enshrines dx.doi.org as THE way of
> dereferencing DOIs.
I agree that Ross's DOI example could function as an identifier. I think
we can agree that RFC 3986 says that URIs are just tokens with a specified
syntax. Nothing in RFC 3986 says that a URI has to be actionable.
You are talking about an "impression" that isn't enshrined in RFC 3986.
It might be better to think about this in terms of the W3C's "Cool URIs
for the Semantic Web" document. That document classifies URIs into
three types: Real World Objects, Generic Documents and Web Documents. So
which type is: <http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-4983.2007.00728.x>?
It depends. If I say that it is a Real World Object, itís an identifier
for the actual DOI identifier. If I say that it is a Web Document, then
dereferencing it will give me a specific resource. In this case I can
have and probably should have both a Real World Object URI and a Web
> What if I don't want to get the article from dx.doi.org? Maybe if I
> go via that site, it'll point me to Elsevier's pay-for copy of an
> article, whereas if I'd fed the DOI to my local library's resolver, it
> would have sent me to Blackwell's version which the library has a
> subscription for. An actionable URI mandates (or at leasts strongly
> suggests) a particular course of action: but I don't want you to tell
> me what to _do_, I just what you to tell me what the Thing is.
People wanting to identify the DOI use the Real World Object URI and
people wanting to find out information about the DOI use the Web
Both these URI, Real World Object and Web Document, are HTTP URIs, so
there is little if any value in using info or URN URIs. People *tend*
to use URN URIs because RFC 2141 states that the URI has persistents
and people *tend* to use info URIs because RFC 4452 because it states
there is no persistents. However, persistents is a policy statement
made by the minter of a URI. You can make a persistents policy
statement about any URI including HTTP URIs.