URNBIS P. Saint-Andre
Internet-Draft Filament
Obsoletes: 2141, 3406 (if approved) J. Klensin
Intended status: Standards Track September 5, 2016
Expires: March 9, 2017

Uniform Resource Names (URNs)


A Uniform Resource Name (URN) is a Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) that is assigned under the "urn" scheme and a particular URN namespace, with the intent that the URN will be either a persistent, location-independent resource identifier or in some cases an abstract designator that is persistent but that does not identify a resource. With regard to URN syntax, this document defines the canonical syntax for URNs (in a way that is consistent with URI syntax), specifies methods for determining URN-equivalence, and discusses URI conformance. With regard to URN namespaces, this document specifies a method for defining a URN namespace and associating it with a namespace identifier, and describes procedures for registering namespace identifiers with the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA). This document obsoletes both RFC 2141 and RFC 3406.

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction

A Uniform Resource Name (URN) is a Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) [RFC3986] that is assigned under the "urn" scheme and a particular URN namespace, with the intent that the URN will be either a persistent, location-independent resource identifier or in some cases an abstract designator that is persistent but that does not identify a resource. A URN namespace is a collection of such URNs, each of which is (1) unique, (2) assigned in a consistent and managed way, and (3) assigned according to a common definition. (Some URN namespaces create names that exist only as URNs, whereas others assign URNs based on names that were already created in other identifier systems, such as ISBNs [RFC3187] and ISSNs [RFC3044].)

The assignment of URNs is done by an organization (or, in some cases, according to an algorithm or other automated process) that has been formally delegated a URN namespace within the "urn" scheme (e.g., a URN in the 'example' URN namespace [RFC6963] might be of the form "urn:example:foo").

This document rests on two key assumptions:

  1. Assignment of a URN is a managed process.
  2. The space of URN namespaces is itself managed.

While other URI schemes may allow resource identifiers to be freely chosen and assigned, such is not the case for URNs. The syntactical correctness of a name starting with "urn:" is not sufficient to make it a URN. In order for the name to be a valid URN, the namespace identifier (NID) needs to be registered in accordance with the rules defined here and the remaining parts of the assigned-name portion of the URN need to be generated in accordance with the rules for the registered URN namespace.

So that information about both URN syntax and URN namespaces is available in one place, this document does the following:

  1. Defines the canonical syntax for URNs in general (in a way that is consistent with URI syntax), specifies methods for determining URN-equivalence, and discusses URI conformance.
  2. Specifies a method for defining a URN namespace and associating it with a NID, and describes procedures for registering URN NIDs with the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA).

For URN syntax and URN namespaces, this document modernizes and replaces the original specifications for URN syntax [RFC2141] and for the definition and registration of URN namespaces [RFC3406]. These modifications build on the key requirements provided in the original functional description for URNs [RFC1737] and on the lessons of many years of experience. In both those original documents and the present one, the intent is to define URNs in a consistent manner so that, wherever practical, the parsing, handling, and resolution of URNs can be independent of the URN namespace within which a given URN is assigned.

Together with input from several key user communities, the history and experiences with URNs dictated expansion of the URN definition to support new functionality, including the use of syntax explicitly reserved for future standardization in RFC 2141. All URN namespaces and URNs that were valid under the earlier specifications remain valid even though it may be useful to update some of them to take advantage of new features.

Summaries of changes from RFC 2141 and RFC 3406 appear in Appendix B and Appendix C respectively. This document obsoletes both [RFC2141] and [RFC3406]. While it does not explicitly update or replace [RFC1737] or [RFC2276], the reader who references those documents should be aware that the conceptual model of URNs in this document is slightly different from those older specifications.

1.1. Specificity and this Standard

To a degree much greater than when URNs were first considered and their uses outlined (see [RFC1737]), issues of persistent identifiers on the Internet involve fundamental design tradeoffs and research questions that are much broader than URNs or the URN approach. Ideal and comprehensive specifications about what should be done or required across the entire range of URNs would require general agreement about, and solutions to, those issues. While some of those issues were introduced by the Internet or computer-age approaches to character encodings and data abstraction, others predate the Internet and computer systems by centuries; there is unlikely to be agreement about comprehensive solutions in the near future.

Among these general issues, one that is specific to URNs is the fairly abstract topic of "resolution", discussed in Section 1.2, Section 2.3.1, and elsewhere below. It is possible to define the relationships quite precisely for a URN that resolves to a URL, where that URL in turn resolves to (or locates) a single target document or similar resource; however, that is only one special case (albeit an important one). URNs (either individually or entire URN namespaces as defined below) that do not resolve to URLs at all or that resolve to metadata or non-Internet objects are among URN use cases explicitly permitted by this specification; each leaves the concept of "resolution" somewhat more abstract and difficult than the simple case of resolution to a URL.

A similar set of issues arises for character sets and encodings. URNs, especially URNs that will be used as user-facing identifiers, should be convenient to use in local languages and writing systems, easily specified with a wide range of keyboards and local conventions, and unambiguous. There are tradeoffs among those goals and it is impossible at present to see how a simple and readily-understandable set of rules could be developed that would be optimal, or even reasonable, for all URNs. The discussion in Section 2.2 defines an overall framework that should make generalized parsing and processing possible, but also makes recommendations about rules for individual URN namespaces.

Although this specification consequently contains some requirements and flexibility that would not be present in a more perfect world, this has been are necessary in order to produce any consensus specification at all, rather than just giving up on URNs despite their widespread deployment.

1.2. Terminology

The following terms are distinguished from each other as described below:

A member of a non-URN identifier system or of a URN namespace
Identifier system:
A managed collection of names that exists outside of the URN system
URN namespace:
A managed collection of names that is associated with a URN namespace identifier (NID)
A name that is a member of a URN namespace
The identifier associated with a URN namespace
The URN-namespace-specific part of a URN
The combination of the 'urn:' scheme, the NID, and the NSS

This document uses the terms "resolution" and "resolver" in roughly the sense in which they were used in the original discussion of architectural principles for URNs [RFC2276], i.e., "resolution" is the act of supplying services related to the identified resource, such as translating the persistent URN into one or more current locators for the resource, delivering metadata about the resource in an appropriate format, or even delivering a document object from a convenient source without requiring further intermediaries. At the time of this writing, resolution services are described in [RFC2483]. In order to underline the difference between names (here, URNs) and locators, this document uses the term Uniform Resource Locator (URL), rather than the generic term Uniform Resource Identifier (URI), to refer to locators; see also Section 1.1.3 of [RFC3986].

If there are or will be resolution services available for a URN, this document calls the URN a "resource identifier" in roughly the sense that term is used in [RFC3986]. If there is no intention to provide any resolution services, and the distinction is important, this document calls the URN an "abstract designator".

Several other important terms used in this document, including some "normalization" operations that are not part of the Unicode Standard [UNICODE], are defined in the URI specification [RFC3986].

The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT", "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "NOT RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119].

2. URN Syntax

As discussed above, the syntax for URNs in this specification allows significantly more functionality than was the case in the earlier specifications, most recently [RFC2141]. It is also harmonized with the general URI syntax [RFC3986] (which, it must be noted, was completed after the earlier URN specifications).

However, this specification does not extend the URN syntax to allow direct use of characters outside the ASCII range [RFC20]. That prohibition implies that any such characters need to be percent-encoded as described in Section 2.1 of the URI specification [RFC3986].

The basic syntax for a URN is defined using the Augmented Backus-Naur Form (ABNF) as specified in [RFC5234]. Rules not defined here (specifically: alphanum, fragment, and pchar) are defined as part of the URI syntax [RFC3986] and used here to point out the syntactic relationship with the terms used there. The definitions of some of the terms used below are not comprehensive; additional restrictions are imposed by the prose that can be found in sections of this document that are specific to those terms (especially r-component in Section 2.3.1 and q-component in Section 2.3.2).

   namestring    = assigned-name
                   [ rq-components ]
                   [ "#" f-component ]
   assigned-name = "urn" ":" NID ":" NSS
   NID           = (alphanum) 0*30(ldh) (alphanum)
   ldh           = alphanum / "-"
   NSS           = pchar *(pchar / "/")
   rq-components = [ "?+" r-component ]
                   [ "?=" q-component ]
   r-component   = pchar *( pchar / "/" / "?" )
   q-component   = pchar *( pchar / "/" / "?" )
   f-component   = fragment

The question mark character "?" can be used without percent-encoding inside r-components, q-components, and f-components. Other than inside those components a "?" that is not immediately followed by "=" or "+" is not defined for URNs and SHOULD be treated as a syntax error by URN-specific parsers and other processors.

The following sections provide additional information about the syntactic elements of URNs.

2.1. Namespace Identifier (NID)

Namespace identifiers (NIDs) are case insensitive (e.g., "ISBN" and "isbn" are equivalent).

Characters outside the ASCII range [RFC20] are not permitted in NIDs, and no encoding mechanism for such characters is supported.

Section 5.1 and Section 5.2 impose additional constraints on the strings that can be used as NIDs, i.e., the syntax shown above is not comprehensive.

2.2. Namespace Specific String (NSS)

The namespace specific string (NSS) is a unique string within a URN namespace that is assigned and managed in a consistent way and that conforms to the definition of the relevant URN namespace. The combination of the NID (unique across the entire "urn" scheme) and the NSS (unique within the URN namespace) ensures that the resulting URN is a globally unique URI.

The NSS as specified in this document allows characters not permitted by earlier specifications (see Appendix B). In particular, the "/" character, which is now allowed, effectively makes it possible to encapsulate hierarchical names from other identifier systems. For instance, consider the hypothetical example of a hierarchical identifier system in which the names take the form of a sequence of numbers separated by the "/" character, such as "1/406/47452/2". If the authority for such names were to use URNs, it would be natural to place the existing name in the NSS, resulting in URNs such as "urn:example:1/406/47452/2".

The changes to the syntax for the NSS do not modify the encoding rules for URN namespaces that were defined in accordance with [RFC2141]. If any such URN namespace that is used outside of the URN context (i.e., in a non-URN identifier system) also allows the use of "/", "~", or "&" in the native form within that identifier system, then the encoding rules for that URN namespace are not changed by this specification.

Depending on the rules governing an identifier system and its associated URN namespace, names that are valid in that identifier system might contain characters that are not allowed by the "pchar" production referenced above (e.g., characters outside the ASCII range or, consistent with the restrictions in RFC 3986, the characters "/", "?", "#", "[", and "]"). While such a name might valid within the identifier system, it is not a valid URN until it has been translated into an NSS that conforms to the rules of that particular URN namespace. In the case of URNs that are formed from names that exist separately in another identifier system, translation of a name from its "native" format to URN format is accomplished by using the canonicalization and encoding methods defined for URNs in general or for that URN namespace. Software that is not aware of namespace-specific canonicalization and encoding rules MUST NOT construct URNs from the name in the other identifier system.

In particular, with regard to characters outside the ASCII range, URNs that appear in protocols or that are passed between systems MUST use only Unicode characters encoded in UTF-8 and further encoded as required by RFC 3986. To the extent feasible consistent with the requirements of names defined and standardized elsewhere, as well as the principles discussed in Section 1.1, the characters used to represent names SHOULD be restricted to either ASCII letters and digits or to the characters and syntax of some widely-used model such as those of IDNA [RFC5890], PRECIS [RFC7613], or the Unicode Identifier and Pattern Syntax specification [UAX31].

In order to make URNs as stable and persistent as possible when protocols evolve and the environment around them changes, URN namespaces SHOULD NOT allow characters outside the basic Latin repertoire [RFC20] unless the nature of the particular URN namespace makes such characters necessary.

2.3. Optional Components

This specification includes three optional components in the URN syntax. They are known as r-component, q-component, and f-component and are described in more detail below. Because this specification focuses almost exclusively on URN syntax, it does not define detailed semantics of these components for URNs in general. However, each of these components has a distinct role that is independent of the URN and its URN namespace. It is intended that clients will be able to handle these components uniformly for all URNs. These components MAY be used with URNs from existing URN namespaces, whether or not a URN namespace explicitly supports them. However, consistent with the approach taken in RFC 3986, the behavior of a URN that contains components that are undefined or meaningless for a particular URN namespace or resource is not defined. The following sections describe these optional components and their interpretation in greater detail.

2.3.1. r-component

The r-component is intended for passing parameters to URN resolution services (taken broadly, see Section 1.1) and interpreted by those services. (By contrast, passing parameters to the resources identified by a URN, or to applications that manage such resources, is handled by q-components as described in the next section.)

The URN r-component has no syntactic counterpart in URLs.

The sequence "?+" introduces the r-component. The r-component ends with a "?=" sequence (which begins a q-component) or a "#" character (number sign, which begins an f-component). If neither of those appear, the r-component continues to the end of the URN. Note that characters outside the ASCII range [RFC20] MUST be percent-encoded using the method defined in Section 2.1 of the generic URI specification [RFC3986].

As described under Section 3, the r-component SHALL NOT be taken into account when determining URN-equivalence. However, the r-component SHALL be supplied along with the URN when presenting a request to a URN resolution service.

This document defines only the syntax of the r-component and reserves it for future use. The exact semantics of the r-component and its use in URN resolution protocols are a matter for potential standardization in separate specifications, presumably including specifications that define conventions and a registry for resolution service identifiers.

Consider the hypothetical example of passing parameters to a resolution service (say, an ISO alpha-2 country code [ISO3166-1] in order to select the preferred country in which to search for a physical copy of a book). This could perhaps be accomplished by specifying the country code in the r-component, resulting in URNs such as:

While the above should serve as a general explanation and illustration of the intent for r-components, there are many unresolved issues with them, including their relationship to resolution mechanisms associated with the particular URN namespace at registration time. Thus r-components SHOULD NOT be used for actual URNs until additional development and standardization work is complete, including specification of any necessary registration mechanisms.

2.3.2. q-component

The q-component is intended for passing parameters to either the named resource or a system that can supply the requested service, for interpretation by that resource or system. (By contrast, passing parameters to URN resolution services is handled by r-components as described in the previous section.)

The URN q-component has the same syntax as the URI query component, but is introduced by "?=", not "?" alone. For URNs that may be resolved to a URL, the semantics of the q-component are identical to those for the query component of that URL. Thus URN resolvers returning a URL for a URN with a q-component do this by copying the q-component from the URN to the query component of the URL. If the URN does not resolve to a URL, the interpretation of the q-component is undefined by this specification. An example of the copying operation appears below.

If the URN does not resolve to a URL (i.e., is an abstract designator) or if it resolves directly to an object or a non-URL resource designator, the interpretation of the q-component is undefined by this specification. Thus, for URNs which may be resolved to a URL, the semantics of q-component are identical to those for queries to the resource located via that URL.

For the sake of consistency with RFC 3986, the general syntax and the semantics of q-components are not defined by, or dependent on, the URN namespace of the URN. In parallel with RFC 3896, specifics of syntax and semantics, e.g., which keywords or terms are meaningful, of course may depend on a particular URN namespace or even a particular resource.

The sequence "?=" introduces the q-component. The q-component terminates when a "#" character appears (number sign, which begins an f-component). If that character does not appear, the q-component continues to the end of the URN. The characters slash ("/") and question mark ("?") may represent data within the q-component. Note that characters outside the ASCII range [RFC20] MUST be percent-encoded using the method defined in Section 2.1 of the generic URI specification [RFC3986].

As described in Section 3, the q-component SHALL NOT be taken into account when determining URN-equivalence.

URN namespaces and associated information placement in syntax SHOULD be designed to avoid any need for a resolution service to consider the q-component. Namespace-specific and more generic resolution systems MUST NOT require that q-component information be passed to them for processing.

Consider the hypothetical example of passing parameters to an application that returns weather reports from different regions or for different time periods. This could perhaps be accomplished by specifying latitude and longitude coordinates and datetimes in the URN's q-component, resulting in URNs such as the following.

If this example resolved to an HTTP URL, the result might look like:

2.3.3. f-component

The f-component is intended to be interpreted by the client as a specification for a location within, or region of, the named resource.

The URN f-component has the same syntax as the URI fragment component. If a URN containing an f-component resolves to a single URL associated with the named resource, the f-component from the URN can be applied (usually by the client) verbatim as the fragment of that URL. If the URN does not resolve to a URL (e.g., is an abstract designator), the interpretation of the f-component is undefined by this specification. Thus, for URNs which may be resolved to a URL, the semantics of f-components are identical to those of fragments for that resource.

For the sake of consistency with RFC 3986, neither the general syntax nor the semantics of f-components are defined by, or dependent on, the URN namespace of the URN. In parallel with RFC 3896, specifics of syntax and semantics, e.g., which keywords or terms are meaningful, of course may depend on a particular URN namespace or even a particular resource.

The f-component is introduced by the number sign ("#") character and terminated by the end of the URI. Any characters outside the ASCII range [RFC20] that appear in the f-component MUST be percent-encoded using the method defined in Section 2.1 of the generic URI specification [RFC3986].

As described under Section 3, the f-component SHALL NOT be taken into account when determining URN-equivalence.

Clients SHOULD NOT pass f-components to resolution services unless those services also perform object retrieval and interpretation functions.

The f-component is primarily intended to distinguish the constituent parts of resources named by URNs. Thus, for URNs that resolve to URLs of the named resources, the semantics of an f-component are defined by the media type of those resources, not by the URN namespace.

Consider the hypothetical example of obtaining resources that are part of a larger entity (say, the chapters of a book). Each part could be specified in the f-component, resulting in URNs such as:


3. URN-Equivalence

3.1. Procedure

For various purposes such as caching, it is often desirable to determine if two URNs are "the same". This is done most generally (i.e., independent of the scheme) by testing for equivalence (see Section 6.1 of [RFC3986]).

The generic URI specification [RFC3986] is very flexible about equality comparisons, putting the focus on allowing false negatives and avoiding false positives. If comparisons are made in a scheme-independent way, i.e., as URI comparisons only, URNs that this specification considers equal would be rejected. The discussion below applies when the URIs involved are known to be URNs, and thus uses the terms "URN-equivalent" and "URN-equivalence" to refer to equivalence as specified in this document.

Two URNs are URN-equivalent if their <assigned-name> portions are octet-by-octet equal after applying case normalization (as specified in Section of [RFC3986]) to the following constructs:

  1. the URI scheme "urn", by conversion to lower case
  2. the NID, by conversion to lower case
  3. any percent-encoded characters in the NSS (that is, all character triplets that match the <pct-encoding> production found in Section 2.1 of the base URI specification [RFC3986]), by conversion to upper case for the digits A-F.

Percent-encoded characters MUST NOT be decoded, i.e., percent-encoding normalization (as specified in Section of [RFC3986]) MUST NOT be applied as part of the comparison process.

If a r-component, q-component, or f-component (or any combination thereof) is included in a URN, it MUST be ignored for purposes of determining URN-equivalence.

URN namespace definitions MAY include additional rules for URN-equivalence, such as case-insensitivity of the NSS (or parts thereof). Such rules MUST always have the effect of eliminating some of the false negatives obtained by the procedure above and MUST NOT result in treating two URNs as not "the same" if the procedure here says they are URN-equivalent. For related considerations with regard to NID registration, see below.

3.2. Examples

This section shows a variety of URNs (using the "example" NID defined in [RFC6963]) that highlight the URN-equivalence rules.

First, because the scheme and NID are case-insensitive, the following three URNs are URN-equivalent to each other:

Second, because the q-component and f-component are not taken into account for purposes of testing URN-equivalence, the following three URNs are URN-equivalent to the first three examples above:

Third, because the "/" character (and anything that follows it) in the NSS is taken into account for purposes of URN-equivalence, the following URNs are not URN-equivalent to each other or to the six preceding URNs:

Fourth, because of percent-encoding, the following URNs are URN-equivalent only to each other (note that, although %2C is the percent-encoded transformation of "," from the previous examples, such sequences are not decoded for purposes of testing URN-equivalence):

Fifth, because characters other than percent-encoded sequences in the NSS are treated in a case-sensitive manner (unless otherwise specified for the URN namespace in question), the following URNs are not URN-equivalent to the first three URNs:

Sixth, on casual visual inspection of a URN presented in a human-oriented interface the following URN might appear the same as the first three URNs (because U+0430 CYRILLIC SMALL LETTER A can be confused with U+0061 LATIN SMALL LETTER A), but it is not URN-equivalent to the first three URNs:

4. URI Conformance

4.1. Use in URI Protocol Slots

Because a URN is, syntactically, a URI under the "urn" scheme, in theory a URN can be placed in any protocol slot that allows for a URI (e.g., the 'href' and 'src' attributes in HTML, the <base/> element in HTML, the 'xml:base' attribute in XML [XML-BASE], and the 'xmlns' attribute in XML for XML namespace names [XML-NAMES]).

However, this does not imply that, semantically, it always makes sense in practice to place a URN in a given URI protocol slot; in particular, because a URN might not specify the location of a resource or even point indirectly to one, it might not be appropriate to place a URN in a URI protocol slot that points to a resource (e.g., the aforementioned 'href' and 'src' attributes).

Ultimately, guidelines regarding when it is appropriate to use URIs under the "urn" scheme (or any other scheme) are the responsibility of specifications for individual URI protocol slots (e.g., the specification for the 'xml:base' attribute in XML might recommend that it is inappropriate to use URNs in that protocol slot). This specification cannot possibly anticipate all of the relevant cases, and it is not the place of this specification to require or restrict usage for individual protocol slots.

4.2. Parsing

In part because of the separation of URN semantics from more general URI syntax [I-D.ietf-urnbis-semantics-clarif], generic URI processors need to pay special attention to the parsing and analysis rules of RFC 3986 and, in particular, must treat the URI as opaque unless the scheme and its requirements are recognized. In the latter case, such processors may be in a position to invoke scheme-appropriate processing, e.g., by a URN resolver. A URN resolver can either be an external resolver that the URI resolver knows of, or it can be functionality built into the URI resolver. Note that this requirement might impose constraints on the contexts in which URNs are appropriately used; see Section 4.1.

4.3. URNs and Relative References

Section 5.2 of [RFC3986] describes an algorithm for converting a URI reference that might be relative to a given base URI into "parsed components" of the target of that reference, which can then be recomposed per RFC 3986 Section 5.3 into a target URI. This algorithm cannot be applied directly to URNs because their syntax does not support the necessary path components. Whenever a URN resolves to a URL which may be used to access the resource, there is a more specific interpretation of q-component and f-component: the q-component is copied verbatim to the query portion of the URL (if that URL scheme supports query), and the f-component is copied verbatim to the fragment portion of the URL. Even though the notion of a URN as a "persistent", "permanent" identifier does not reconcile easily with relative referencing, resources named with URNs may contain relative references that do not apply to the URN itself.

Given the foregoing, a relative reference SHOULD NOT be evaluated directly with respect to a URN. Instead, a relative reference SHOULD be evaluated indirectly with respect to one of the following:

  1. a base URI (other than a URN) declared by the resource itself; or
  2. a base URI (other than a URN) obtained through the URN resolution process; or
  3. the URL of the resource as obtained through the URN resolution process

(Case 2 permits the resolution process to explicitly supply a base URI if the resource content is supplied directly by the resolution service rather than via an intermediate "location" URI.)

If no such base URI exists, use of a relative reference with respect to a URN is an error. Client behavior in this case is undefined.

Resolution services SHOULD ensure that a base URI is supplied whenever they provide resource content directly to a client.

4.4. Transport and Display

When URNs are transported and exchanged, they MUST be represented in the format defined herein. Further, all URN-aware applications MUST offer the option of displaying URNs in this canonical form to allow for direct transcription (for example by cut-and-paste techniques). Such applications might support display of URNs in a more human-friendly form and might use a character set that includes characters that are not permitted in URN syntax as defined in this specification (e.g., when displaying URNs to humans, such applications might replace percent-encoded strings with characters from an extended character repertoire such as Unicode [UNICODE]).

To minimize user confusion, a URI browser SHOULD display the complete URN (including the "urn" scheme and any components) to ensure that there is no confusion between URN NIDs and URI scheme identifiers. For example, a URI beginning with "urn:xmpp:" [RFC4854] is very different from a URI beginning with "xmpp:" [RFC5122]. Similarly, a potential DOI URI scheme [DOI-URI] is different from, and possibly completely unrelated to, a possible DOI URN namespace.

4.5. URI Design and Ownership

As mentioned, the assignment of URNs within a URN namespace is a managed process, as is the assignment of URN namespaces themselves. Although design of the URNs to be assigned within a given URN namespace is ceded by this specification to the URN namespace manager, doing so in a managed way avoids the problems inherent in unmanaged generation of URIs as described in the recommendations regarding URI design and ownership [RFC7320].

5. URN Namespaces

A URN namespace is a collection of names that obey three constraints: each name is (1) unique, (2) assigned in a consistent way, and (3) assigned according to a common definition.

  1. The "uniqueness" constraint means that a name within the URN namespace is never assigned to more than one resource and never reassigned to a different resource (for the kind of "resource" identified by URNs assigned within the URN namespace). This holds true even if the name itself is deprecated or becomes obsolete.
  2. The "consistent assignment" constraint means that a name within the URN namespace is assigned by an organization or created in accordance with a process or algorithm that is always followed.
  3. The "common definition" constraint means that there are clear definitions for the syntax of names within the URN namespace and for the process of assigning or creating them.

A URN namespace is identified by a particular NID in order to ensure the global uniqueness of URNs and, optionally, to provide a cue regarding the structure of URNs assigned within a URN namespace.

With regard to global uniqueness, using different NIDs for different collections of names ensures that no two URNs will be the same for different resources, since each collection is required to uniquely assign each name. However, a single resource MAY have more than one URN assigned to it, either in the same URN namespace (if the URN namespace permits it) or in different URN namespaces, and either for similar purposes or different purposes. (For example, if a publisher assigns an ISBN [RFC3187] to an electronic publication and that publication is later incorporated into a digital long-term archive operated by a national library, the library might assign the publication an NBN [RFC3188], resulting in two URNs referring to the same book.) Subject to other constraints, such as those imposed by the URI syntax [RFC3986], the rules of the URN scheme are intended to allow preserving the normal and natural form of names specified in other identifier systems when they are treated as URNs.

With regard to the structure of names assigned within a URN namespace, the development of a naming structure (and thereby a collection of names) depends on the requirements of the community defining the names, how the names will be assigned and used, etc. These issues are beyond the scope of URN syntax and the general rules for URN namespaces, because they are specific to the community defining an identifier system or a particular URN namespace (e.g., the bibliographic and publishing communities in the case of the 'ISBN' URN namespace [RFC3187] and the 'ISSN' URN namespace [RFC3044], or the developers of extensions to the Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol [RFC6120] in the case of the 'XMPP' URN namespace [RFC4854]).

URN namespaces inherit certain rights and responsibilities by the nature of URNs, in particular:

  1. They uphold the general principles of a well-managed URN namespace by providing persistent identification of resources and unique assignment of names in accordance with a common definition.
  2. Optionally, they can be registered in global registration services such as those described in [RFC2483].

There are two types of URN namespace: formal and informal. These are distinguished by the expected level of service, the information needed to define the URN namespace, and the procedures for registration. Because the majority of the URN namespaces registered so far have been formal, this document concentrates on formal URN namespaces.

5.1. Formal URN Namespaces

A formal URN namespace provides benefit to some subset of users on the Internet. In particular, it would not make sense for a formal URN namespace to be used only by a community or network that is not connected to the Internet. For example, it would be inappropriate for a URN namespace to effectively force someone to use a proprietary network or service not open to the general Internet user. The intent is that, while the community of those who might actively use the URNs assigned within that URN namespace might be small, the potential use of names within that URN namespace is open to any user on the Internet. Formal URN namespaces might be appropriate even when some aspects are not fully open. For example, a URN namespace might make use of a fee-based, privately managed, or proprietary registry for assignment of URNs in the URN namespace. However, it might still benefit some Internet users if the associated services have openly-published names.

An organization that will assign URNs within a formal URN namespace SHOULD meet the following criteria:

  1. Organizational stability and the ability to maintain the URN namespace for a long time; absent such evidence, it ought to be clear how the URN namespace can remain viable if the organization can no longer maintain the URN namespace.
  2. Competency in URN assignment. This will improve the likelihood of persistence (e.g., to minimize the likelihood of conflicts).
  3. Commitment to not reassigning existing URNs and to allowing old URNs to continue to be valid (e.g., if the assignee of a URN is no longer a member or customer of the assigning organization, if various information about the assignee or named entity happens to change, or even if the assignee or the named entity itself is no longer in existence; in all these cases, the URN is still valid).

A formal URN namespace establishes a particular NID, subject to the following constraints (above and beyond the syntax rules already specified):

  1. It MUST NOT be an already-registered NID.
  2. It MUST NOT start with "urn-" (which is reserved for informal URN namespaces).
  3. It MUST be more than two characters long.
  4. It MUST NOT start with ALPHA ALPHA "-", i.e., any string consisting of two letters followed by one hyphen.
  5. It MUST NOT start with the string "xn--" or any other string consisting of two letters followed by two hyphens. Such strings are reserved for potential representation of DNS A-labels and similar strings in the future [RFC5890].
  6. It MUST NOT start with the string "X-" so that it will not be confused with or conflict any experimental URN namespace previously permitted by [RFC3406].

All two-letter strings, and all two-letter strings followed by "-" and any sequence of valid NID characters, are reserved for potential use as NIDs based on ISO alpha-2 country codes [ISO3166-1] for eventual national registrations of URN namespaces. The definition and scoping of rules for allocation of responsibility for such country-code-based URN namespaces is beyond the scope of this document.

Applicants and reviewers considering new NIDs should also be aware that they may have semantic implications and hence be a source of conflict. Particular attention should be paid to strings that might be construed as identifiers for, or registered under the authority of, countries (including ISO 3166-1 alpha-3 codes) and to strings that might imply association with existing URI schemes, identifier systems, or trademarks. However, in line with traditional policies, disputes about "ownership" of particular strings are disagreements among the parties involved; neither IANA nor the IETF will become involved in such disputes except in response to orders from a court of competent jurisdiction.

5.2. Informal URN Namespaces

Informal URN namespaces are full-fledged URN namespaces, with all the associated rights and responsibilities. Informal URN namespaces differ from formal URN namespaces in the process for assigning a NID: for an informal URN namespace, the registrant does not designate the NID; instead, IANA assigns a NID consisting of the string 'urn-' followed by one or more digits (e.g., "urn-7") where the digits consist of the next available number in the sequence of positive integers assigned to informal URN namespaces. Thus the syntax of an informal URN namespace is:

    InformalNamespaceName = "urn-" Number
    Number                = DigitNonZero 0*Digit
    DigitNonZero          = "1"/ "2" / "3" / "4"/ "5"
                          / "6" / "7" / "8" / "9"
    Digit                 = "0" / DigitNonZero

The only restrictions on <Number> are that it (1) consist strictly of ASCII digits, that it (2) not have leading zeros, and that it (3) not cause the NID to exceed the length limitations defined for the URN syntax.

6. Defining and Registering a URN Namespace

6.1. Overview

Because the space of URN namespaces is itself managed, the definition of a URN namespace SHOULD pay particular attention to:

  1. The purpose of the URN namespace.
  2. The syntax of URNs assigned within the URN namespace, including the internal syntax and anticipated effects of r-components or q-components. (The syntax and interpretation of f-components are defined in RFC 3986.)
  3. The process for assigning URNs within the URN namespace.
  4. The security implications of assigning URNs within the URN namespace and of using the assigned URNs.
  5. Any potential interoperability issues with URNs assigned within the URN namespace.
  6. Optionally, the process for resolving URNs issued within the URN namespace.

The section on completing the template (Section 6.4) explains these matters in greater detail. Although the registration templates are the same in all cases, slightly different procedures are used depending on the source of the registration.

6.2. Registration Policy and Process: Community Registrations

The basic registration policy for URN namespaces is Expert Review as defined in the "IANA Considerations" document [RFC5226]. For URN namespaces or their definitions that are intended to become standards or constituent parts of standards, the output of the Expert Review process is intended to be a report, rather than instructions to IANA to take action (see below). The key steps are:

  1. Fill out the URN namespace registration template (see Section 6.4 and Appendix A). This can be done as part of an Internet-Draft or a specification in another series, although that is not necessary.
  2. Send the completed template to the urn@ietf.org discussion list for review.
  3. If necessary to address comments received, repeat steps 1 and 2.
  4. If the designated experts approve the request and no standardization action is involved, the IANA will register the requested NID. If standardization is anticipated, the designated experts will prepare a report and forward it to the appropriate standards approval body (the IESG in the case of the IETF); IANA will register the requested NID only after receiving directions from that body and a copy of the expert review report.

A URN namespace registration can be revised by updating the registration template, following the same steps outlined above for new registrations. A revised registration MUST describe differences from prior versions and SHOULD make special note of any relevant changes in the underlying technologies or URN namespace management processes.

Experience to date with URN namespace registration requests has shown that registrants sometimes do not initially understand some of the subtleties of URN namespaces, and that defining the URN namespace in the form of a specification enables the registrants to clearly formulate their "contract" with the intended user community. Therefore, although the registration policy for formal URN namespaces is Expert Review and a specification is not strictly required, registrants SHOULD provide a stable specification documenting the URN namespace definition and expanding upon the issues described herein.

Because naming can be difficult and contentious, URN namespace registrants and the designated experts are strongly encouraged to work together in a spirit of good faith and mutual understanding to achieve rough consensus (see [RFC7282]) on handling registration requests. They are also encouraged to bring additional expertise into the discussion if that would be helpful in providing perspective or otherwise resolving issues.

Especially when iterations in the registration process are prolonged, designated experts are expected to take reasonable precautions to avoid "race conditions" on proposed NIDs and, if such situations arise, to encourage applicants to work out any conflicts among themselves.

6.3. Registration Policy and Process: Fast Track for Standards Development Organizations, Scientific Societies, and Similar Bodies

The IETF recognizes that situations will arise in which URN namespaces will be created to either embed existing and established standards, particularly identifier standards, or to reflect knowledge, terminology, or methods of organizing information that lie well outside the IETF's scope or the likely subject matter knowledge of its designated experts. In situations in which the registration request originates from, or is authorized by, a recognized standards-related organization, scientific society, or similar body, a somewhat different procedure is available at the option of that body:

  1. The URN namespace registration template is filled out and submitted as in steps 1 and 2 of Section 6.2.
  2. A specification is required that reflects or points to the needed external standards or specifications. Publication in the RFC Series or through an IETF process (e.g., posting as an Internet Draft) is not expected and would be appropriate only under very unusual circumstances.
  3. The reviews on the discussion list and by the designated experts are strictly advisory, with the decisions about what advice to accept and the length of time to allocate to the process strictly under the control of the external body.
  4. When that body concludes that the application is sufficiently mature, its representative(s) will request that IANA complete the registration for the NID, and IANA will do so.

Decisions about whether to recognize the requesting entity as a standards-related organization, scientific society, or similar body are the responsibility of the IESG.

A model similar to this has already been defined for recognized standards-related organizations that wish to register Media Types. The document describing that mechanism [RFC6838] provides somewhat more information about the general approach.

6.4. Completing the Template

A template for defining and registering a URN namespace is provided in Appendix A. This section describes considerations for completing the template.

6.4.1. Purpose

The "Purpose" section of the template describes matters such as:

  1. The kinds of resources identified by URNs assigned within the URN namespace.
  2. The scope and applicability of the URNs assigned within the URN namespace; this might include information about the community of use (e.g., a particular nation, industry, technology, or organization), whether the assigned URNs will be used on public networks or private networks, etc.
  3. How the intended community (and the Internet community at large) will benefit from using or resolving the assigned URNs.
  4. How the URN namespace relates to and complements existing URN namespaces, URI schemes, and non-URN identifier systems.
  5. The kinds of software applications that can use or resolve the assigned URNs (e.g., by differentiating among disparate URN namespaces, identifying resources in a persistent fashion, or meaningfully resolving and accessing services associated with the URN namespace).
  6. Whether resolution services are available or will be available (and, if so, the nature or identity of the services). Examples of q-component and (when they are standardized) r-component semantics and syntax are helpful here, even if detailed definitions are provided elsewhere or later.
  7. Whether the URN namespace or its definition is expected to become a constituent part of a standard being developed in the IETF or some other recognized standards body.

6.4.2. Syntax

The "Syntax" section of the template contains:

  1. A description of the structure of URNs within the URN namespace, in conformance with the fundamental URN syntax. The structure might be described in terms of a formal definition (e.g., using Augmented BNF for Syntax Specifications (ABNF) as specified in [RFC5234]), an algorithm for generating conformant URNs, or a regular expression for parsing the name into consituent parts; alternatively, the structure might be opaque.
  2. Any special character encoding rules for assigned URNs (e.g., which character ought to always be used for quotes).
  3. Rules for determining URN-equivalence between two names in the URN namespace. Such rules ought to always have the effect of eliminating false negatives that might otherwise result from comparison. If it is appropriate and helpful, reference can be made to particular equivalence rules defined in the URI specification [RFC3986]. Examples of URN-equivalence rules include equivalence between uppercase and lowercase characters in the NSS, between hyphenated and non-hyphenated groupings in the name, or between single-quotes and double-quotes. There may also be namespace-specific special encoding considerations, especially for URNs that contain embedded forms of names from non-URN identifier systems. (Note that these are not normative statements for any kind of best practice related to handling of relationships between characters in general; such statements are limited to one particular URN namespace only.)
  4. Any special considerations necessary for conforming with the URN syntax. This is particularly applicable in the case of existing identifier systems that are used in the context of URNs. For example, if an identifier system is used in contexts other than URNs, it might make use of characters that are reserved in the URN syntax. This section ought to note any such characters, and outline necessary mappings to conform to URN syntax. Normally, this will be handled by percent-encoding the character as specified in Section 2.1 of the URI specification [RFC3986].
  5. Any special considerations for the meaning of q-components (e.g., keywords) or f-components (e.g., predefined terms) in the context of this URN namespace.

6.4.3. Assignment

The "Assignment" section of the template describes matters such as:

  1. Mechanisms or authorities for assigning URNs to resources. It ought to make clear whether assignment is completely open (e.g., following a particular procedure such as first-come, first-served (FCFS)), completely closed (e.g., for a private organization), or limited in various ways (e.g., delegated to authorities recognized by a particular organization); if limited, it ought to explain how to become an assigner of names or how to request assignment of names from existing assignment authorities.
  2. Methods for ensuring that URNs within the URN namespace are unique. For example, names might be assigned sequentially or in accordance with some well-defined process by a single authority, assignment might be partitioned among delegated authorities that are individually responsible for respecting uniqueness rules, or URNs might be created independently following an algorithm that itself guarantees uniqueness.

6.4.4. Security and Privacy

The "Security and Privacy" section of the template describes any potential issues related to security and privacy with regard to assignment, use, and resolution of names within the URN namespace. Examples of such issues include:

6.4.5. Interoperability

The "Interoperability" section MUST specify any known potential issues related to interoperability. Examples include possible confusion with other URN namespaces or naming systems because of syntax (e.g., percent-encoding of certain characters) or scope (e.g., overlapping areas of interest). If at all possible, concerns that arise during the registration of a URN namespace (e.g., due to the syntax or scope of an identifier system) should be resolved as part of or in parallel to the registration process.

6.4.6. Resolution

The "Resolution" section MUST specify whether resolution mechanisms are intended or anticipated for URNs assigned within the URN namespace (e.g., URNs within some URN namespaces are intended to act as abstract designators and thus are not intended to be resolved).

If resolution is intended, then this section SHOULD specify whether the organization that assigns URNs within the URN namespace intends to operate or recommend any resolution services for URNs within that URN namespace. In addition, if the assigning organization intends to implement registration for publicly advertised resolution services (for example using a system based on principles similar to those described in [RFC2276] and [RFC2483]), then this section SHOULD list or reference the requirements for being publicly advertised by the assigning organization. In addition, this section SHOULD describe any special considerations for the handling of r-components in the context of this URN namespace.

6.4.7. Additional Information

The "Additional Information" section includes information that would be useful to those trying to understand this registration or its relationship to other registrations, such as comparisons to existing URN namespaces that might seem to overlap.

This section of the template is optional.

7. IANA Considerations

7.1. URI Scheme

This section updates the registration of the 'urn' URI scheme in the Permanent URI Registry [URI-Registry].

[Note to RFC Editor: please replace "[ this document ]" with "RFC" and the number assigned to this document upon publication.]

URI Scheme Name:
URI Scheme Syntax:
See Section 2 of [ this document ].
URI Scheme Semantics:
The 'urn' scheme identifies Uniform Resource Names, which are persistent, location-independent resource identifiers.
Encoding Considerations:
See Section 2 of [ this document ].
Applications/Protocols That Use This URI Scheme Name:
Uniform Resource Names are used in a wide variety of applications, including bibliographic reference systems and as names for Extensible Markup Language (XML) namespaces.
Interoperability Considerations:
See Section 4 of [ this document ].
Security Considerations:
See Section 6.4.4 and Section 8 of [ this document ].
URNBIS WG [mailto:urn@ietf.org]
Author/Change Controller:
This scheme is registered under the IETF tree. As such, the IETF maintains change control.

7.2. Registration of URN Namespaces

This document outlines the processes for registering URN namespaces, and has implications for the IANA in terms of registries to be maintained (see especially Section 6). In all cases, the IANA ought to assign the appropriate NID (formal or informal) once the procedures outlined in this document have been completed.

8. Security and Privacy Considerations

The definition of a URN namespace needs to account for potential security and privacy issues related to assignment, use, and resolution of names within the URN namespace (e.g., some URN resolvers might assign special meaning to certain characters in the NSS); see Section 6.4.4 for further discussion.

In most cases, URN namespaces provide a way to declare public information. Normally, these declarations will have a relatively low security profile, however there is always the danger of "spoofing" and providing misinformation. Information in these declarations ought to be taken as advisory.

9. References

9.1. Normative References

[RFC20] Cerf, V., "ASCII format for network interchange", RFC 20, October 1969.
[RFC2119] Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.
[RFC3986] Berners-Lee, T., Fielding, R. and L. Masinter, "Uniform Resource Identifier (URI): Generic Syntax", STD 66, RFC 3986, January 2005.
[RFC5226] Narten, T. and H. Alvestrand, "Guidelines for Writing an IANA Considerations Section in RFCs", BCP 26, RFC 5226, May 2008.
[RFC5234] Crocker, D. and P. Overell, "Augmented BNF for Syntax Specifications: ABNF", STD 68, RFC 5234, January 2008.

9.2. Informative References

[DOI-URI] Paskin, N., Neylon, E., Hammond, T. and S. Sun, "The "doi" URI Scheme for the Digital Object Identifier (DOI)", June 2003.
[I-D.ietf-urnbis-semantics-clarif] Klensin, J., "URN Semantics Clarification", Internet-Draft draft-ietf-urnbis-semantics-clarif-04, June 2016.
[ISO3166-1] ISO, "Codes for the representation of names of countries and their subdivisions -- Part 1: Country codes", ISO 3166-1:2013, 2013.
[RFC1737] Sollins, K. and L. Masinter, "Functional Requirements for Uniform Resource Names", RFC 1737, December 1994.
[RFC2141] Moats, R., "URN Syntax", RFC 2141, May 1997.
[RFC2276] Sollins, K., "Architectural Principles of Uniform Resource Name Resolution", RFC 2276, January 1998.
[RFC2483] Mealling, M. and R. Daniel, "URI Resolution Services Necessary for URN Resolution", RFC 2483, January 1999.
[RFC3044] Rozenfeld, S., "Using The ISSN (International Serial Standard Number) as URN (Uniform Resource Names) within an ISSN-URN Namespace", RFC 3044, January 2001.
[RFC3187] Hakala, J. and H. Walravens, "Using International Standard Book Numbers as Uniform Resource Names", RFC 3187, October 2001.
[RFC3188] Hakala, J., "Using National Bibliography Numbers as Uniform Resource Names", RFC 3188, DOI 10.17487/RFC3188, October 2001.
[RFC3406] Daigle, L., van Gulik, D., Iannella, R. and P. Faltstrom, "Uniform Resource Names (URN) Namespace Definition Mechanisms", BCP 66, RFC 3406, October 2002.
[RFC3552] Rescorla, E. and B. Korver, "Guidelines for Writing RFC Text on Security Considerations", BCP 72, RFC 3552, July 2003.
[RFC4854] Saint-Andre, P., "A Uniform Resource Name (URN) Namespace for Extensions to the Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP)", RFC 4854, April 2007.
[RFC5122] Saint-Andre, P., "Internationalized Resource Identifiers (IRIs) and Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs) for the Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP)", RFC 5122, February 2008.
[RFC5890] Klensin, J., "Internationalized Domain Names for Applications (IDNA): Definitions and Document Framework", RFC 5890, August 2010.
[RFC6120] Saint-Andre, P., "Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP): Core", RFC 6120, DOI 10.17487/RFC6120, March 2011.
[RFC6648] Saint-Andre, P., Crocker, D. and M. Nottingham, "Deprecating the "X-" Prefix and Similar Constructs in Application Protocols", BCP 178, RFC 6648, June 2012.
[RFC6838] Freed, N., Klensin, J. and T. Hansen, "Media Type Specifications and Registration Procedures", BCP 13, RFC 6838, January 2013.
[RFC6943] Thaler, D., "Issues in Identifier Comparison for Security Purposes", RFC 6943, May 2013.
[RFC6963] Saint-Andre, P., "A Uniform Resource Name (URN) Namespace for Examples", BCP 183, RFC 6963, May 2013.
[RFC6973] Cooper, A., Tschofenig, H., Aboba, B., Peterson, J., Morris, J., Hansen, M. and R. Smith, "Privacy Considerations for Internet Protocols", RFC 6973, July 2013.
[RFC7282] Resnick, P., "On Consensus and Humming in the IETF", RFC 7282, June 2014.
[RFC7320] Nottingham, M., "URI Design and Ownership", BCP 190, RFC 7320, July 2014.
[RFC7613] Saint-Andre, P. and A. Melnikov, "Preparation, Enforcement, and Comparison of Internationalized Strings Representing Usernames and Passwords", RFC 7613, DOI 10.17487/RFC7613, August 2015.
[UAX31] The Unicode Consortium, "Unicode Standard Annex #31: Unicode Identifier and Pattern Syntax", June 2015.
[UNICODE] The Unicode Consortium, "The Unicode Standard", 2015.
[URI-Registry] IANA, "Permanent URI Schemes"
[XML-BASE] Marsh, J. and R. Tobin, "XML Base (Second Edition)", World Wide Web Consortium Recommendation REC-xmlbase-20090128, January 2009.
[XML-NAMES] Thompson, H., Hollander, D., Layman, A., Bray, T. and R. Tobin, "Namespaces in XML 1.0 (Third Edition)", World Wide Web Consortium Recommendation REC-xml-names-20091208, December 2009.

Appendix A. Registration Template

Namespace ID:
Requested of IANA (formal) or assigned by IANA (informal).
The version of the registration, starting with 1 and incrementing by 1 with each new version.
The date when the registration is requested of IANA, using the format YYYY-MM-DD.
The person or organization that has registered the NID, including the name and address of the registering organization, as well as the name and contact information (email, phone number, or postal address) of the designated contact person. If the registrant is a recognized standards development organization, scientific society, or similar body requesting the fact track registration procedure (see Section 6.3), that information should be clearly indicated in this section of the template.
Described under Section 6.4.1 of this document.
Described under Section 6.4.2 of this document. Unless the registration explicitly describes the semantics of r-components, q-components, and f-components in the context of this URN namespace, the semantics are undefined.
Described under Section 6.4.3 of this document.
Security and Privacy:
Described under Section 6.4.4 of this document.
Described under Section 6.4.5 of this document.
Described under Section 6.4.6 of this document.
A pointer to an RFC, a specification published by another standards development organization, or another stable document that provides further information about this URN namespace.
Additional Information:
Described under Section 6.4.7 of this document.
Revision Information:
Description of changes from prior version(s). (Applicable only when earlier registrations have been revised.)

Appendix B. Changes from RFC 2141

This document makes substantive changes from the syntax and semantics of [RFC2141]:

B.1. Syntax changes from RFC 2141

The syntax of URNs as provided in [RFC2141] was defined before the updated specification of URIs in [RFC3986]. The definition of URN syntax is updated in this document to do the following:

In particular, this specification does the following:

B.2. Other changes from RFC 2141

In addition, some of the text has been updated to be consistent with the definition of Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs) [RFC3986] and the processes for registering information with the IANA [RFC5226], as well as more modern guidance with regard to security [RFC3552] and privacy [RFC6973] issues and identifier comparison [RFC6943].

Appendix C. Changes from RFC 3406

This document makes the following substantive changes from [RFC3406]:

  1. Relaxes the registration policy for formal URN namespaces from "IETF Review" to "Expert Review" as discussed in Section 6.2.
  2. Removes the category of experimental URN namespaces, consistent with [RFC6648]. Experimental URN namespaces were denoted by prefixing the namespace identifier with the string "X-". Because experimental URN namespaces were never registered, removing the experimental category has no impact on the existing registries. Because they are not registered, strings that refer to experimental URN namespaces are not valid URNs. Truly experimental usages MAY, of course, employ the 'example' namespace [RFC6963].
  3. Adds some information to, but generally simplifies, the URN namespace registration template.

Appendix D. Contributors

RFC 2141, which provided the basis for the syntax portion of this document, was authored by Ryan Moats.

RFC 3406, which provided the basis for the namespace portion of this document, was authored by Leslie Daigle, Dirk-Willem van Gulik, Renato Iannella, and Patrik Faltstrom.

Their work is gratefully acknowledged.

Appendix E. Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Marc Blanchet, Leslie Daigle, Martin Duerst, Juha Hakala, Ted Hardie, Alfred Hoenes, Paul Jones, Barry Leiba, Sean Leonard, Larry Masinter, Keith Moore, Mark Nottingham, Julian Reschke, Lars Svensson, Henry S. Thompson, Dale Worley, and other participants in the URNBIS WG for their input. Alfred Hoenes in particular edited an earlier version of this document and served as co-chair of the URNBIS WG.

Juha Hakala deserves special recognition for his dedication to successfully completing this work, as do Andrew Newton and Melinda Shore in their roles as working group co-chairs and Barry Leiba in his role as area director and then as co-chair.

Appendix F. Change log for versions of draft-ietf-urnbis-rfc2141bis-urn

[[RFC Editor: please remove this appendix before publication.]]

F.1. Changes from -08 to -09

F.2. Changes from -09 to -10

F.3. Changes from -10 to -11

F.4. Changes from -11 to -12

F.5. Changes from -12 to -13

F.6. Changes from -13 to -14

F.7. Changes from -14 to -15

F.8. Changes from -15 (2016-02-04) to -16

F.9. Changes from -16 (2016-04-16) to -17

F.10. Changes from -17 (2016-06-27) to -18

Authors' Addresses

Peter Saint-Andre Filament EMail: peter@filament.com URI: https://filament.com/
John C Klensin 1770 Massachusetts Ave, Ste 322 Cambridge, MA 02140 USA Phone: +1 617 245 1457 EMail: john-ietf@jck.com