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heads-up about "new" URLs section in HTML5 editor's draft

From: Michael(tm) Smith <mike@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 27 Jun 2008 19:49:03 +0900
To: public-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <20080627104900.GA22731@sideshowbarker>
For those who aren't actively following checkins/changes to the
editor's draft of HTML5 spec: This is a heads-up that among the
significant changes to the draft that have been made since the
second public working draft earlier this month -- perhaps the most
significant content change that has been made since the 2nd public
working draft -- is section 2.3, "URLs":

  http://www.w3.org/html/wg/html5/#urls

In previous drafts, the URLs section was a just a placeholder,
with an editorial note about what it would eventually contain.
But it is now fairly complete (as far as meeting its intended
purposes). The intended purposes of the section are to:

  - define the following terms:
     - URL
     - valid URL
     - absolute URL
     - base URL
     - document base URL
     - input [URL]
     - common setter action [for URLs]
  - specify URL parsing rules for user agents
  - specify how user agents must resolve a URL (how to obtain an
    absolute URL by resolving a URL relative to a base URL)
  - define interfaces for URL manipulation and related URL
    decomposition attributes

Note in particular that the introduction to the section outlines
it broad purpose as follows:

  This specification defines the term URL, and defines various
  algorithms for dealing with URLs, because for historical reasons
  the rules defined by the URI and IRI specifications are not a
  complete description of what HTML user agents need to implement
  to be compatible with Web content.

Also be aware that the HTML5 draft specification intentionally
redefines the term "URL" in a way that is not completely
consistent with how that term is used in other existing
specifications -- and to make that more clear, the following note
was added:

  The term "URL" in this specification is used in a manner
  distinct from the precise technical meaning it is given in RFC
  3986. Readers familiar with that RFC will find it easier to read
  this specification if they pretend the term "URL" as used herein
  is really called something else altogether.

The rationale for redefining the term "URL" -- and for including
the sections that specify URL parsing rules for user agents and
how user agents must resolve URLs -- is provided in the "URLs"
section introduction:

  This specification defines the term URL, and defines various
  algorithms for dealing with URLs, because for historical reasons
  the rules defined by the URI and IRI specifications are not a
  complete description of what HTML user agents need to implement
  to be compatible with Web content.

Also note the throughout the draft, a number of instances of the
terms "URI" and "IRI" have now been replaced with the term "URL".

  --Mike

-- 
Michael(tm) Smith
http://people.w3.org/mike/
http://sideshowbarker.net/

Received on Friday, 27 June 2008 10:49:42 GMT

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