[uf-discuss] format for identifiers?

Simon Kittle si at kittle.co.uk
Mon Nov 28 14:10:34 PST 2005

> > I think the question might have been misread.  I understood the 
> > question to be, "is there or should there be a microformat for 
> > indicating that something IS an identifier", as opposed to 
> "is there 
> > or should there be a microformat FOR identifiers".  E.g. given the 
> > string "urn:isbn:<whatever>", indicating that that string 
> represents 
> > an identifier.
> I don't believe the question was misread. Tantek's point was 
> that there's no need for a microformat, we already have it 
> covered with URIs.

Isn't this just the same issue (as someone already pointed out) as with
URL's in the hCard format.  There is still a 'url' class you specify isn't
there?  Surely the above URI argument would mean this 'url' class is
redundant and it should be implied by the presence of an A tag with a URL in

I'm new to this so if I've got my theory wrong please bear with me :)  

But the way I see the url class in the hCard format is not a way to say
"this is a url", but rather to say "this is explicity this persons url".  It
gives the model consistancy (everything in a class) and it allows for
further href links to be used - but also, perhaps it would allow you to not
use an HREF to display a URL, if you wanted to (does the hCard spec allow

Obviously there aren't many reasons why you'd want to not use an A HREF to
describe a URL - but you may not want to use such a scheme for displaying
book isbn's, or other non-internet abstract urn namespaces.

So perhaps C Hudley was asking a question along the lines of: just like
there may be be multiple URLs in an hCard (one described with url, for
starters, attached to it's parent with the 'url' class) - there might be a
page with multiple urn:isbn:* numbers, so what would be a good way to
describe that? (to attach the URI to something else)

So it's not that he was after a way to identify these things (for which
there exists a URI scheme already) but a way to put them into context, like
grouping a bunch of tags under class='vcard' and marking one class='url'
puts it into context.

- Simon

> > I would suggest that the point of the identifier is that it 
> represents 
> > some resource, and merely marking up a string as being an 
> identifier 
> > doesn't accomplish much without being able to dereference it and 
> > obtain the resource it identifies.
> So, you're saying URIs are only useful when they're URIs?
> > Saying "urn:isbn:<whatever>" is an identifier doesn't do much good; 
> > the point is that given that identifier, I can tell that 
> it's talking 
> > about a book and I can go obtain information about that book.  In 
> > which case, a href="" comes to mind.  I think there's room for some 
> > debate here.
> I'm not sure what use case you're going at here.
> > - David
> >
> > On 11/23/05, Tantek Çelik <tantek at cs.stanford.edu> wrote:
> >>
> >> Hello C. Hudley, welcome to the list!
> >>
> >> On 11/23/05 9:54 AM, "C. Hudley" <chudley at gmail.com> wrote:
> >>
> >>> Has any work been done on a format for identifiers?  By 
> "identifier" 
> >>> I mean "some kind of arbitrary string that identifies the 
> object at 
> >>> hand in some system".  Examples of the kinds of identifiers that 
> >>> might be in scope would be ISBNs for books, PMIDs for 
> pubmed, node 
> >>> ids for weblog entries, DOIs for journal articles, flickr ids for 
> >>> flickr images, etc.
> BTW, see http://www.iana.org/assignments/uri-schemes and 
> http:// www.iana.org/assignments/urn-namespaces, which have 
> schemes and namesspaced for most of the things you list above.
> -ryan
> --
> Ryan King
> ryan at technorati.com
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