On Thu, 2009-04-02 at 18:11 +0100, Erik Hetzner wrote:
> At Thu, 2 Apr 2009 13:47:50 +0100,
> Mike Taylor wrote:
> > 
> > Erik Hetzner writes:
> >  > Without external knowledge that info:doi/10.1111/xxx is a URI, I can
> >  > only guess.
> > 
> > Yes, that is true.  The point is that by specifying that the rft_id
> > has to be a URI, you can then use other kinds of URI without needing
> > to broaden the specification.
> Thanks for the clarification. Honestly I was also responding to Rob
> Sanderson’s message (bad practice, surely) where he described URIs as
> ‘self-describing’, which seemed to me unclear. URIs are only
> self-describing insofar as they describe what type of URI they are.

All I meant by that was that the info:doi/ URI is more informative as to
what the identifier actually is than just the doi by itself, which could
be any string.  Equally, if I saw an SRW info URI like:


that's more informative than some ad-hoc URI for the same thing.
Without the external knowledge that info:doi/xxx is a DOI and
info:srw/cql-context-set/2/ is a cql context set administered by the
owner with identifier '2' (which happens to be me), then they're still
just opaque strings.

I could have said that http://srw.cheshire3.org/contextSets/rel/ was the
identifier for it (SRU doesn't care) but that's the location for the
retrieval documentation for the context set, not a collection of
abstract access points.

If srw.cheshire3.org was to go away, then people can still happily use
the info URI with the continued knowledge that it shouldn't resolve to

With the potential dissolution of DLF, this has real implications, as
DLF have an info URI namespace.  If they'd registered a bunch of URIs
with diglib.org instead, which will go away, then people would have
trouble using them.  Notably when someone else grabs the domain and
starts using the URIs for something else.
Now if DLF were to disband AND reform, then they can happily go back to
using info:dlf/ URIs even if they have a brand new domain.

> I think that all of us in this discussion like URIs. I can’t speak
> for, say, Andrew, but, tentatively, I think that I prefer
> <info:doi/10.1111/xxx> to plain 10.111/xxx. I would just prefer
> <http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/xxx>

info URIs, In My Opinion, are ideally suited for long term identifiers
of non information resources.  But http URIs are definitely better than
something which isn't a URI at all.


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