Registration Process for Public Text Owner Identifiers

1 Introduction

[Mirrored from: "Registration Process for Public Text Owner Identifiers" (May 1996)]

The Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML) defined in ISO 8879:1986 (E) defines "public text" as "text that is known beyond the context of a single document or system environment, and which can be accessed with a public identifier." Examples of public text include entire or partial document type definitions, entity sets, and document instances that are either standardized or registered. Public text does not imply published text; the owner of public text may chose to restrict access to that text. However, the collection and publication of public text provides many advantages to the SGML community.

Public text simplifies access to shared constructs, reduces the amount of material interchanged, and reduces errors introduced during copying. The publication of public SGML constructs promotes uniformity of design, style, and naming conventions within the SGML community and reduces duplication of effort in developing application-specific SGML constructs.

ISO 8879 does not define publication procedures for public text. Instead, it defines formal public identifiers that are used to identify public text in a universally recognized fashion. Each formal public identifier begins with an owner identifier that unambiguously identifies the owner of the public text. The formal public identifier in addition contains a text identifier that is assigned by the owner. The owner should not use the same text identifier for more than one public text, but ISO 8879 does not provide controls to prevent the owner from doing so. The owner is also responsible for determining whether the text is to be published and, if so, how.

Owner identifiers may be registered or unregistered. While unregistered owner identifiers are intended to be unambiguous, it is at least theoretically possible for two owners to select the same unregistered owner identifiers. In contrast, registered owner identifiers are unambiguous by construction. ISO/IEC 9070:1991 (E) defines procedures for assigning registered owner identifiers. Registered owner identifiers can be constructed from existing identifiers recognized within ISO. The possibilities are enumerated in ISO/IEC 9070 and include the designation and number of an ISO publication, an ISBN prefix, and an organization code assigned in accordance with ISO 6523. ISO/IEC 9070 also provides for a registration authority to issue registration numbers to owners that are not otherwise registered. Such a registration number is then used as part of an owner identifier.

The ISO Council has designated the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to act as this registration authority. The GCA has applied to ANSI to be designated as a registrar that enacts the registration procedures defined by ISO/IEC 9070. This document provides a detailed description of how the GCA proposes doing so. The GCA's objective as the registrar is to provide a repository and locator service of SGML public text for use by the members of the SGML community.

2 Scope

This document specifies the procedures the GCA shall follow as a registrar for public text owner identifiers. The identifiers to which this procedural document refers are those described in ISO/IEC 9070 that prescribes registration procedures for public text owner identifiers and provides for the naming of SGML public text.

3 Definitions

For the purpose of this procedural document, the following definitions apply:

3.1 applicant:

An organization or individual requesting the assignment of a name for an object from a JTC 1 registration authority.

3.2 formal public identifier:

A public identifier that is constructed according to rules defined in ISO 8879 so that its owner identifier and the components of its text identifier can be distinguished.

3.3 owner identifier:

The portion of a public identifier that identifies the owner or originator of public text. As defined in ISO 8879 and ISO/IEC 9070, within a formal public identifier, it consists of several delimited components.

3.4 registrar:

A person or organization appointed by a registration authority, responsible for preparing and maintaining one or more registers.

3.5 registration authority:

An organization nominated and appointed by the ISO/IEC Council to register the objects required by a technical standard.

3.6 registration:

The assignment of an unambiguous name to an object in a way that makes the assignment available to interested parties.

3.7 registration number:

The component of an owner identifier assigned by the registration authority established by ISO/IEC 9070.

3.8 register:

One or more files containing the information being registered and the unambiguous name assigned to each registered object.

3.9 text identifier:

The portion of a public identifier that identifies a public text so that it can be distinguished from any other public text with the same owner identifier.

4 Registration procedure

4.1 Registration numbers

Registration numbers shall be six-character alphanumeric string such as "A00001". The GCA shall assign registration numbers sequentially. Lowercase letters will not be used. To avoid possible confusion when a registration number is printed in particular fonts, the letter "O" will not be used.

4.2 Applications

Any individual or organization wishing to register an SGML construct may request a registration number. Such request is made by completing and submitting the appropriate request form to the registrar and paying applicable fees. All forms of business shall be conducted in English. Initially applications will be submitted to the GCA via US Mail. In the future, electronic submission may also be possible, but will require a mechanism for electronic payment of fees.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the current application is not a duplicate of another application currently contained in the register(s).

The application requests the following information:

  1. Contact Name
  2. Organization Name
  3. Organization Address
  4. Telephone number (optional)
  5. Fax number (optional)
  6. E-mail address (optional)
  7. ftp site and directions (optional)
  8. URL for World Wide Web (optional)

The first three fields are required; the GCA shall not assign a registration number without them. Except for the organization name, multiple values (up to 5) may be provided for each field.

4.3 Application review

The GCA shall acknowledge receipt of an application within two weeks of receipt, either electronically or through the US mail. If the application is complete and accompanied by the required fee, the GCA shall assign a registration number and the acknowledgment will notify the applicant of the assigned number. If the request form is incomplete, the fee is unpaid or paid incorrectly, or questions arise, the GCA shall return the application and any accompanying payment with an explanation of why the application could not be processed.

The GCA shall assign a registration number to any submission for which the information and fee are correct. The GCA assumes no responsibility for the validity of the submission. Immediately upon assignment of a registration number, the applicant shall be notified in writing or electronically of the registration number.

5 Database maintenance

5.1 Database content

The database shall consist of records accessed by registration number. Each record shall contain all information on the applicable registration form, possibly modified by update requests submitted by the owner.

5.2 Backup

The registrar shall maintain an electronic copy of all information required to maintain the register. At least two copies of the register shall be maintained. The register shall be backed up on a weekly basis and weekly backups shall be stored in a different building than the original copy. In addition, the registrar shall keep a printed copy of all applications and responses.

5.3 Database updates

Registration numbers shall never be reused and shall not be reissued. Other information in the database (such as owner address) can be changed. The GCA shall respond to revision requests within two weeks of receipt in the same manner as it responds to new applications.

5.4 Confidential information

Since the register shall only contain information submitted by the applicant and the assigned registration numbers, it contains no confidential information. Therefore, it may be distributed with no concerns about issues of privacy.

6 Registry publication and distribution

The GCA shall provide either paper or electronic copies of the registers for a fee covering at least duplication and distribution costs, to any organization or individual making a request. Such copies will be sent to the applicant within two weeks of receipt of the request and accompanying payment. They will contain current information for all records. Current information means that for which application and updates have been accepted prior to two weeks before the copy is sent. When the GCA World Wide Web site is established, a page containing the current database will be provided. There will be no fee for accessing this page. The page shall include any links provided by owners on their applications, to owners' Web sites. The owners sites may in turn provide lists of formal public identifiers for published public text as well as links to the actual public text.

7 Fees

Minimal fees may be charged to cover costs of application processing and maintenance of the register database. The levels of such fees shall be agreed upon between the registrar and the registration authority. Fees may be charged to:

8 Formal public identifiers

When ANSI designates the GCA to be an official ISO/IEC 9070 registrar, formal public identifiers using assigned registration numbers shall have owner identifiers beginning:

+//ISO/IEC 9070/RA::nnnnnn

where nnnnnn is the registration number. ISO/IEC 9070 recommends that the owner identifier continue with


where country is the ISO 3166 two-character alphabetic country code that identifies the country of the owner. These procedures recommend that the owner identifier continue as in the example in note 21 of ISO/ IEC 9070 with a hierarchical assignment of organization, division, department, and so forth that progressively identifies the owner with greater precision. Until GCA is designated a registrar by ANSI, owner identifiers shall instead begin:


and otherwise be the same.

For example, suppose the ABC SGML Consulting firm located in Germany applies for registration and is issued the registration number A09987. The owner decides to set up two identifiable groups of public text: one associated with parts catalogues and the other associated with cellular phone assembly. It uses the following owner identifiers for public text in these groups:



When ANSI appoints GCA to be the registrar, these owner identifiers will change to:



For more examples refer to ISO 9070, A.2.

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