Thank you for your comprehensive statement of the current state of play, I was unaware of much of that. seems like it contains valuable interoperability advice, even if it is never approved.

From: Juha Hakala [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Tuesday, 21 May 2013 10:38 p.m.
To: Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative Forum
Cc: Stuart Yeates; Maarit Huttunen; Alfred Hoenes
Subject: Re: [BIBFRAME] Instance of ISBNs in MARC records


IETF URNbis working group

has produced an updated version of RFC3187 which does accommodate both
ISBN-10 and ISBN-13. The ISBN International Agency is well aware of this


This Internet Draft is currently out of date, and it is not likely that
the URNBis working group will approve of it.

The reason for this is that there is no agreement on how to treat URI
query and fragment properties. As specified here:

the initial approach was that the query and fragment are not part of the
identifier. The idea was that the identifier as a rule identifies the
entire document, and the fragment just takes the user to a specified
position within the document. This is in some respect aligned with how
the HTTP protocol works; the entire file is retrieved, and the browser
uses fragment to take the user into the wanted position within the
file.  Fragment must then be understood in the HTTP sense of the word;
it is also possible to identify logical parts / fragments, but how to do
this must be specified separately in each URN namespace.

Likewise, the query could be used to retrieve the document, descriptive
metadata about the document, technical metadata about the document, and
so forth, but the identified resource would remain the same.

Alas, the working group could not reach an agreement about how to use
fragment and query, and the latest version of the URN syntax

omits them, which I think is a problem since query and fragment have
been part of the URI syntax since 2005, but still no persistent
identifier system uses them. This may be an indication that mixing
identification and location information is not a great idea.

The authors of rfc3187bis are unwilling to produce a dumb down version
of the draft, so it does not look likely that the URNbis WG will be able
to complete its charter unless a workable compromise is found. IMHO it
would be a bad idea to say that e.g. a fragment is part of the
identifier string, since then it would not be possible to use fragments
in e.g. the ISBN namespace.

All the best,


On 21.5.2013 8:42, Stuart Yeates wrote:
>>> It's trivial for a computer to calculate that a 13-digit and 10-digit
>>> ISBN are the same.
>> Assuming Kevin et al. know of the situation, and program for it.
> There's actually a case for prodding the International ISBN Agency to update RFC 3187 so that that information is embedded in the URN representation. RFC 3187 predates 13 digit ISBNs. Some of the links and other information appear to be outdated too.
> cheers
> stuart


  Juha Hakala
  Senior advisor

  The National Library of Finland
  P.O.Box 15 (Unioninkatu 36, room 503)
  FIN-00014 Helsinki University
  tel +358 9 191 44293