Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 18th Jul 2016 21:46 UTC
Internet & Networking

In 1992 Tim Berners-Lee created three things, giving birth to what we consider the Internet. The HTTP protocol, HTML, and the URL. His goal was to bring 'Hypertext' to life. Hypertext at its simplest is the ability to create documents which link to one another. At the time it was viewed more as a science fiction panacea, to be complimented by Hypermedia, and any other word you could add 'Hyper' in front of.

[...]

There was a fervent belief in 1993 that the URL would die, in favor of the ‘URN’. The Uniform Resource Name is a permanent reference to a given piece of content which, unlike a URL, will never change or break. Tim Berners-Lee first described the "urgent need" for them as early as 1991.

Interesting history of the URL.

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Comment by ricegf
by ricegf on Tue 19th Jul 2016 13:32 UTC
ricegf
Member since:
2007-04-25

The Uniform Resource Name is a permanent reference to a given piece of content which, unlike a URL, will never change or break.


If the given piece of content is deleted from the web, I suspect the URN will break. Perhaps "never" should be read as "less frequently". :-)

Reply Score: 6

NeverLand...
by dionicio on Tue 19th Jul 2016 15:02 UTC
dionicio
Member since:
2006-07-12

"In 1996 Keith Shafer, and several others proposed a solution to the problem of broken URLs. The link to this solution is now broken. Roy Fielding posted an implementation suggestion in July of 1995. The link is now broken."

There is falsehood on digital media -and access to it- being perennial. Sweat, resources and smarts have to be invested on preservation and exposure.

Thanks to Zack Bloom, Eager.io and to Thom and the OS Team for bringing that beautiful document that far.

Static Internet Archival [and this is very important to Governments] should be extremely cheap and tax exempt for all actors involved.

Reply Score: 3

RE: NeverLand...
by dionicio on Tue 19th Jul 2016 15:35 UTC in reply to "NeverLand..."
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

From all things that can be done to make Search an Open Effort, simplicity, stability and concision is of the Most Priority.

On Corporations having such a heavy voice on the W3C, those democratizing efforts are being effectively tampered.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by tidux
by tidux on Tue 19th Jul 2016 19:11 UTC
tidux
Member since:
2011-08-13

> There was a fervent belief in 1993 that the URL would die, in favor of the ‘URN’. The Uniform Resource Name is a permanent reference to a given piece of content which, unlike a URL, will never change or break.

This is at least somewhat possible with IPFS. Content is distributed and addressed by hash.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by tidux
by Alfman on Wed 20th Jul 2016 05:33 UTC in reply to "Comment by tidux"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

tidux,

This is at least somewhat possible with IPFS. Content is distributed and addressed by hash.


That's neat. Networks like Freenet and even bittorrent also use the same kind of hash based content retrieval.

IMHO replacing URL syntax with another representation like hashing doesn't fix the core problem though, which is that the references can outlive the resources they point to. This tends to be a problem even with distributed networks, and this problem seems fundamentally unsolvable without an infinite amount of storage to save absolutely everything ever put online. The moment you purge anything (ie because finite storage forces you to), you'll cause potential requests for the document in the future to fail.


Some networks (ie P2P networks) are able to cope better with mechanisms for voting on which resources deserve to remain on the network by popularity and which ones have to be culled. The regular Web + URLs doesn't have this benefit. Although for the guy who's trying to find content from 2016 in 2026, ether way he'll likely come up empty handed because the data has long been replaced by something more popular.

If only there were a way for researchers in the future to hook into today's internet...

Reply Score: 3

P2P and MeshNets...
by dionicio on Wed 20th Jul 2016 14:08 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by tidux"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

The 'holographic' nature of P2P makes it the Natural Successor to Hierarchic Archival. Popular documents become naturally less prone to dye forever because they are many orders of magnitude redundant, and distributed along many servers, which also makes it a lot more of work to deliberately mess with or tamper it.

Clear should be to OSnews Bloggers that there are strong interests about P2P [and decentralized Mesh-Network Architectures] Not to succeed.

Reply Score: 2

RE: P2P and MeshNets...
by dionicio on Wed 20th Jul 2016 14:37 UTC in reply to "P2P and MeshNets..."
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

Survival of the message is paramount to the Internet philosophy. In that sense P2P is 100% consanguineous to it. Hierarchical is a legacy which never fitted at all.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by tidux
by dionicio on Wed 20th Jul 2016 14:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by tidux"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

P.D: Agree with Alfman.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by tidux
by dionicio on Wed 20th Jul 2016 14:57 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by tidux"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

"If only there were a way for researchers in the future to hook into today's Internet..."

Simple, well documented & frozen formats have a better chance [Do you hear HTML or Anything-Else non versioned? (or Anything-Else 'matrioshka' accumulating former specifications)].

As unpopular as is, Theora video has a better chance, because its simplicity and fully exposed specification. Also GIF. This is not a FOSS/Commercial issue (in the long term).

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by tidux
by dionicio on Wed 20th Jul 2016 15:04 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by tidux"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

Strongly recommending a TIFF or PNG multi-page backup for every document.

Reply Score: 2

Aberrant monstrosities
by Alfman on Wed 20th Jul 2016 04:54 UTC
Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

All in all, a very interesting article. Thanks for posting!

The application/x-www-form-urlencoded format is in many ways an aberrant monstrosity, the result of many years of implementation accidents and compromises leading to a set of requirements necessary for interoperability, but in no way representing good design practices


This kind of captures my opinion of many technologies, which evolved to become what they are without strictly representing a good design practice. Protocols can often be illogical and only make sense in the context of their evolution.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Aberrant monstrosities
by kwan_e on Wed 20th Jul 2016 05:01 UTC in reply to "Aberrant monstrosities"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

This kind of captures my opinion of many technologies, which evolved to become what they are without strictly representing a good design practice. Protocols can often be illogical and only make sense in the context of their evolution.


Like the laryngeal nerve of giraffes.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Aberrant monstrosities
by Alfman on Wed 20th Jul 2016 05:40 UTC in reply to "RE: Aberrant monstrosities"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

kwan_e,

Like the laryngeal nerve of giraffes.


Yes very much like that.


God subcontracted that one ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Aberrant monstrosities
by dionicio on Wed 20th Jul 2016 14:20 UTC in reply to "Aberrant monstrosities"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

"...and only make sense in the context of their evolution.."

Life doesn't allow a single unviable generation ;)

This issue makes [in my view] the biggest difference between Academic and On-the-ground Works.

Reply Score: 2