W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > June 2008

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

From: Justin James <j_james@mindspring.com>
Date: Fri, 27 Jun 2008 16:13:33 -0400
To: "'Mark Baker'" <distobj@acm.org>
Cc: "'Julian Reschke'" <julian.reschke@gmx.de>, "'Michael\(tm\) Smith'" <mike@w3.org>, <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <017901c8d892$46f1dda0$d4d598e0$@com>

-----Original Message-----
From: mark@coactus.com [mailto:mark@coactus.com] On Behalf Of Mark Baker
Sent: Friday, June 27, 2008 2:46 PM
To: Justin James
Cc: Julian Reschke; Michael(tm) Smith; public-html@w3.org
Subject: Re: heads-up about "new" URLs section in HTML5 editor's draft

>> Most people can't tell the difference between a URI and a URL and use the
>> terms interchangeably. Heck, I can barely discern the distinction most of
>> the time. Do we really want to make things even more confusing?

> That's my point.  We *do* want them to be able to at least recognize
> there's a difference, which is why calling HTML-embedded URIs, URLs,
> isn't such a great idea IMO.

At the risk of sounding ignorant, but if 95% of developers don't know that
there even is a concept called "URI" that is separate from the concept
called "URL", and if 50% of the remaining 5% don't remember/don't use/don't
care about the difference, then does it really matter? Would it be possible
to raise the issue with the URI group and say, "hey, this is clearly a
needless distinction, can we fold the two together, make 'URI' and 'URL'
synonyms, and be done with it?" Clearly, interchanging the two labels has
not hurt anyone.

I know that issues with URI/URL are not in the domain of this particular
group, but let's get real. HTML and related technologies (HTTP, JavaScript,
CGI, etc.) is where probably 99.9999% of URIs and URLs get published and
consumed. How many times do you see a telnet URI for instance?

I see this time and time and time again in these W3C standards, they make
sense only to people with both a PhD in Computer Science and a Master's
degree in linguistics. They are completely worthless to 90%+ of actual
developers because even if someone could understand what they say, it is
impossible for all but a few geniuses to actually hold enough of a spec in
their head to use it successfully while performing real world work.

J.Ja
Received on Friday, 27 June 2008 20:14:56 UTC

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