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Re: Confusing use of "URI" to refer to IRIs, and IRI handling in the DOM

From: Smylers <Smylers@stripey.com>
Date: Sat, 28 Jun 2008 15:40:47 +0100
To: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20080628144047.GL9970@stripey.com>

Brian Smith writes:

> Ian Hickson wrote:
> > On Thu, 13 Mar 2008, Brian Smith wrote:
> > 
> > > ... the term "IRI" should be used throughout ...
> > 
> > Since the way that these values are treated doesn't actually follow
> > IRI rules, I've used the term "URL" instead.
> What you call a "URL" doesn't follow the rules for URLs either. ...
> Redefining terminology that is already well-known by the reader is
> confusing and counterproductive. ... When somebody sees "URL" they
> think "Hey, I already know what a URL is."

Indeed, most people will.

But most people's concept of precisely what constitutes a URL is pretty
fuzzy.  It isn't clear that what they think of on reading "URL" matches
the existing definition but not the HTML 5 one.  The nuances between
those definitions probably don't even register with many people, meaning
that the change doesn't affect them: their general idea of what a URL is
matches the HTML 5 definition just as closely as it does the original.

And I'd've thought that for many people "URL" simply means "the internet
address you can type in a web browser" (since this is by far the most
common situation in which people encounter URLs) -- in which case, their
beliefs about what a URL is comes from browser behaviour, not a spec.
For these people the HTML 5 definition is actually an improvement, since
it will result in the spec matching their existing beliefs!

Received on Saturday, 28 June 2008 14:41:28 UTC

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