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URI/URL good practices -- [was: Re: Group Note FPWD is done]

From: Jose M. Alonso <josema@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 21 Apr 2009 16:32:26 +0200
Cc: eGov IG <public-egov-ig@w3.org>, John Sheridan <John.Sheridan@nationalarchives.gsi.gov.uk>
Message-Id: <2FE2ED50-22AB-4AAA-87F6-F59707D89F96@w3.org>
To: Hugh Barnes <Hugh.BARNES@disability.qld.gov.au>
Hi Hugh,

Thanks for your suggestions that touch mainly on the sections that  
John and I lead. I opened ISSUE-25.

I think you are entering Best/Good Practices here. Since we have been  
referring to the doc as an issues document, we might want not to go  
there yet but just state what the issues are and how some are dealing  
with them.

You said that:
> I realise all that may be too much detail for an overview document.  
> I cautiously offer to help with a draft. Only "cautiously" because I  
> can't guarantee availability.


I want to strongly support the idea of Best Practices-like work though  
for year 2-3. I would love to have discussion on this once Note  
published, for example on the big topic of "how government information  
should be published on the Web?".

My proposal: integrate the first comment with John's piece (he's the  
one who did the well written ones), and postpone the rest for the  
future work, maybe adding a hint in OGD section or just by linking to  
John's piece from there for now.

What do you think?
Of course, we encourage you to remove the "cautiously" from there in a  
couple months time, join the Group and co-author some of the upcoming  
stuff :)

Cheers,
Jose.


El 17/04/2009, a las 5:38, Hugh Barnes escribió:
> Hi
>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: public-egov-ig-request@w3.org
>> [mailto:public-egov-ig-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Jose M. Alonso
>> Sent: Monday, 2 March 2009 8:09 PM
>> To: eGov IG
>> Subject: Group Note FPWD is done
>>
>> All,
>>
>> It has been a very intense weekend. Some of us, namely Kevin,
>> John and
>> me have been working until the very last minute on developing the
>> final draft. We have worked on the document until yesterday night,
>> then called it done.
>>
>
> I have only recently caught up with the list backlog. This looks  
> like the beginnings of an excellent resource. I agree, as some have  
> suggested, that it might need to be slightly differently pitched to  
> most W3C documents, in order to make the most impact on its target  
> audience.
>
>> Final document is a snapshot of the current Editor's Draft
>> [1] and we
>> are requesting publication on March 10; comments will be welcomed
>> until April 26.
>>
>
> Something I'd like to see emphasised more is good practice around  
> URIs (generally URLs in this context). They are given a few  
> mentions, and those parts are really very well written (and bear  
> repeating):
>
> "Transposed to namespaces and URIs this is quick sand on which to  
> build an essential information infrastructure using the Web.</ 
> p><p>To give an example of the consequences of this churn,  
> governments have difficulty maintaining persistent URIs even to  
> documents. Increasing volumes of official reports and documents are  
> published on the Web alone making the long term availability of  
> those resources an important issue. In this context 'link rot' is  
> not just an inconvenience of the user, it undermines public  
> accountability as documents cease to be available." [1]
>
> I would only add to this that inability to persist resources and  
> manage URLs inhibits willingness to link between government  
> agencies. This is a loss for users who wants a seamless government  
> website experience and don't care which agency (or even government)  
> hosts the information they seek. Government departments need to deep  
> link more and with minimal risk consideration.
>
> A small working group within Queensland Government has produced some  
> guidelines for minting and managing URLs because we believe they are  
> pivotal to an effective web presence. The guidelines are accompanied  
> by a business case and a solution specification. Though we have  
> received some level of in-principle endorsement, I don't believe our  
> mindshare is strong. We still struggle to convey the importance of  
> the concepts. Important underpinning government-wide resources like  
> legislation remain difficult to link to. (This also makes it near- 
> impossible for us to populate the AGLS.mandate element.)
>
> So I suggest a (sub)section giving the topic more prominence. It  
> would probably fit well within http://www.w3.org/2007/eGov/IG/Group/docs/note#OGD.how 
> .
>
> The section should cover:
> * that resources must be addressable canonically and persistently,  
> including the appropriate and correct provision of fragment  
> identifiers [2]
> * the importance of trust in encouraging inward links and use of  
> exposed data
> * why URLs should be readable, logical, internally consistent, and  
> truncatable (provides yet another interface to your data)
> * managing and persisting URLs through HTTP rather than client-side  
> techniques like JavaScript
>
> It might also cover:
> * why HTTP redirects should only be made where the resource is  
> essentially the same (I see a lot of redirects from a "deep"  
> resource to a section entry page at its new location)
> * why risk-averse indirect linking practices (e.g. interstitial  
> pages, inplace warnings ("[external website]"), JavaScript warnings  
> [3], spawning new windows, referrer URLs) are harmful and do little  
> except inconvenience users
>
> I realise all that may be too much detail for an overview document.  
> I cautiously offer to help with a draft. Only "cautiously" because I  
> can't guarantee availability.
>
> Cheers
>
> Hugh Barnes
> Resource Discovery Officer
> Disability Services Queensland / Department of Communities
> +61 7 324-74533
>
> ______
> [1] http://www.w3.org/2007/eGov/IG/Group/docs/note#modalities
> [2] The draft itself is exemplary in providing identifiers as anchor  
> points (e.g. [1] itself), but unfortunately these only cover the  
> extent of the section headings. I think this is a legacy W3C  
> template remnant.
> [3] for example, links out of http://www.dbcde.gov.au/communications_for_business/industry_development/digital_economy/future_directions_blog/topics/open_access 
> , which is cited in the draft as [AU-OGD], and perhaps shouldn't be  
> for this reason.
>
>
>
> "Queensland celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2009. Check out  
> what's on today at www.q150.qld.gov.au."
>
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Received on Tuesday, 21 April 2009 14:33:25 GMT

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