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HTML5 "URL" definition vs. Web architecture [was: heads-up about "new" URLs section in HTML5 editor's draft]

From: Michael(tm) Smith <mike@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 30 Jun 2008 13:33:38 +0900
To: "Roy T. Fielding" <fielding@gbiv.com>
Cc: public-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <20080630043336.GC5162@sideshowbarker>
Roy,

Based on your comments, I've raised this as a formal issue for the
group and for the spec -- issue-56

"Roy T. Fielding" <fielding@gbiv.com>, 2008-06-29 21:02 -0700:

> Please note that we spent 12 years reaching a global agreement on
> the meaning of URI, URL, URN, Web addresses, or whatever else you
> might call them, in order for all implementations to be interoperable
> and for all protocols to obey the same restrictions on generation
> of those identifiers.  The result is IETF STD 66, RFC 3986, and
> it defines the most important standard of all the standards that
> make up what we call the Web.
>
> I suggest that the section be removed or replaced with the
> limited and specific needs for parsing href and src attribute
> values such that the attribute's value string is mapped to a
> URI-reference with a defined base-URI.  HTML owns that process
> of extracting a valid URI-reference from an attribute's value
> string.  A simple string parsing description, with associated
> context-specific error-handling, is more than sufficient to
> satisfy the needs of HTML5 without appearing to override an
> existing standard that has recently been agreed to by all
> vendors, including the few browser vendors that care about HTML5.
>
> In contrast, pretending to define a new URL standard as part
> of HTML5 is not acceptable.  HTML5 is a user of the Web, not a
> definer of it.  HTML will never define the identifiers for the Web.
> That would be a fundamental violation of the Web architecture.
>
> ....Roy
>
>
> On Jun 27, 2008, at 3:49 AM, Michael(tm) Smith wrote:
>
>> 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 Monday, 30 June 2008 04:34:17 UTC

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