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Re: How to refer to IRI's

From: Martin Duerst <duerst@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 24 Apr 2003 04:41:33 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: Ray Whitmer <raydwhitmer@aol.com>, public-iri@w3.org

Hello Ray,

Many thanks for your interest in IRIs.

At 10:52 03/04/23 -0600, Ray Whitmer wrote:

>As we work on the DOM Level 3 specification, the DOM WG is struggling with 
>a couple of issues, which are probably related, on which we would 
>appreciate any insignts:
>1.  How do we refer normatively to the IRI specification now, since we are 
>producing documents which are progressing rapidly.

I think this is a W3C-specific question, which this public list
may not be able to address completely. Various W3C specifications
have done various things to describe IRIs. The purpose of this list
is to work on and finish the IRI specification quickly, not to tell
people what to do in the meantime.

It also may depend on what functionality exactly the DOM WG is
planning to provide for IRIs. The DOM specs may use IRIs in
different places, and these different places may need different
solutions. For example, if the main functionality provided by the
DOM is just to allow the user to set the value of an IRI, that
may not need any particular reference to a specification
(Imagine that the DOM defines a set/get interface for XML
system identifiers. In that case, the DOM just has to make
sure that the values for the set/get allow characters outside
US-ASCII, and can leave the interpretation of these values
to the XML spec.) So some more discussion may be needed.

>2.  How do we generically refer to "Resource Identifiers" so that when the 
>Next Great Thing after URIs and IRIs comes along, after URIs and IRIs, 
>users of the specification can just use them instead of waiting for the 
>DOM specification to be updated to permit it.  I was going to just start 
>calling them RIS's, Resource Identifier Strings, and then map that to 
>present-day IRIs and URIs for the present, and anything in the future that 
>may come along.

One of the principles of IRIs is that they should not be used
indiscriminately where URIs are used, but that a spec actually
should explicitly say that a given parameter/attribute/... is
an IRI. This does not match well with the idea of 'automatic update'.

Also, URIs in general are defined to be very flexible, and
accommodate new functionality e.g. through new schemes. It is
generally considered better not to impose strict syntax checks
on interfaces that handle URIs to allow future evolution.

Also, I don't know of any other major issue than internationalization
that is outstanding. But if there were any, it wouldn't be on
this list that it would be discussed. So maybe asking on the
uri@w3.org list will give you a better idea.

Regards,    Martin.
Received on Thursday, 24 April 2003 04:53:49 UTC

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