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Re: Standardizing Firefox's Implementation of Link Fingerprints

From: Anthony Bryan <albryan@comcast.net>
Date: Wed, 04 Jul 2007 06:54:04 +0000
To: Travis Snoozy <ai2097@users.sourceforge.net>
Cc: ietf-http-wg@w3.org
Message-Id: <070420070654.19925.468B440B000F34FE00004DD52200750744020E979D0D040E@comcast.net>

 -------------- Original message ----------------------
From: Travis Snoozy <ai2097@users.sourceforge.net>
> As to why it's bad to try and add a feature to the URL syntax in this
> way -- see the metalink discussion that rattled through the list back
> in April[1]. Now, imagine that syntax, plus the hashing syntax. How
> would you make them work together? Could they? Would *you* want to look
> at a link like that?

That stuff for metalink was based on the original Link Fingerprints syntax. You're right, it wasn't pretty. We tried it because it was taking so long for clients to support the XML metalinks & hoped it could be used in the transition until people were familiar w/ metalinks. There didn't seem to be a real need for it either and it didn't simplify things, it was just easier to have a direct link to a metalink.
 
> Really, what it comes down to, is we need a full file format for richly
> describing links. And, in fact, we have such a format -- RDF. The
> entire point of RDF is to say "Hey, see this resource? Here's a whole
> bunch of information about it." 
> ...
> Yes, if metadata is put into a file, it's not part of the URL anymore.
> However, URLs are just bad, bad, bad ways to shuffle _lots_ of data
> around. Ideally, URLs that correlate to a document with complicated
> extra-URL information would actually point at a metadata file. This is
> how, e.g., ASX works: you get a link to the file, then your media
> player opens that file, sees a few more links and follows them. The
> process can repeat, and metadata is thrown in all along the way. It's a
> little extra work for humans who want to chase down the "last hop" link,
> but it's still all human-readable.

metalink stores metadata about a resource in an XML format [1]. If there's anything missing that would be useful, let us know.

Clients are finally starting to have fun with this metadata (checksums, alternate links, description, version, publisher, license, logo, OS, etc). Also, there's an RDF version [2] of metalink by Dan Brickley.

-- 
(( Anthony Bryan ... Metalink [ http://www.metalinker.org ]
  )) Easier, More Reliable, Self Healing Downloads

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metalink#Example_.metalink_file
[2] http://www.geospatialsemanticweb.com/2007/03/11/metalink-meets-rdf-and-sparql
Received on Wednesday, 4 July 2007 06:54:19 GMT

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