[whatwg] Reserving XRI and URN in registerProtocolHandler

Brett Zamir brettz9 at yahoo.com
Fri Nov 26 08:14:40 PST 2010

On 11/26/2010 11:59 PM, Julian Reschke wrote:
> On 26.11.2010 16:55, Brett Zamir wrote:
>> On 11/26/2010 7:13 PM, Julian Reschke wrote:
>>> On 26.11.2010 11:54, Brett Zamir wrote:
>>>> ...
>>>> My apologies for the lack of clarity on the approval process. I see 
>>>> all
>>>> the protocols listed with them, so I wasn't clear.
>>>> In any case, I still see the need for both types being reserved 
>>>> (and for
>>>> their subnamespaces targeted by the protocol handler), in that
>>>> namespacing is built into the XRI unlike for informal URNs which could
>>>> potentially conflict.
>>>> ...
>>> I'm still not sure what you mean by "reserve" and what that would mean
>>> for the spec and for implementations.
>> I just mean that authors should not use already registered protocols
>> except as intended, thinking that they can use any which protocol name
>> they like (e.g., the Urn Manufacturers Company using "urn" for its
>> categorization scheme).
>>> I do agree that the current definition doesn't work well for the "urn"
>>> URI scheme, as, as you observed, semantics depend on the first
>>> component (the URN namespace). Do you have an example for an URN
>>> namespace you actually want a protocol handler for?
>> ISBNs.
> Oh, that's a good point. In particular, if the URN WG at some day 
> makes progress with respect to retrieval.
> So, would it be possible to write a generic protocolHandler for URN 
> which itself delegates to more specific ones?

If a site were interested in handling all of the cases, I would think 
so, but I doubt that would happen. I doubt the neighborhood bookstore 
site is going to try to deal with XMPP URNs or whatever else, even if 
the spec called for some (bandwidth-wasting) response by the server to 
indicate it was abdicating responsibility.

The only optimal way I can really see this is if there were say a fourth 
argument added to registerProtocolHandler which allowed (or in the case 
of URNs or what I'll call "XRN" for now, required) specifying a 
namespace (perhaps also allowing URN subnamespace specificity via 
colons, e.g., "ietf:rfc").


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