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Re: Proposed Charter and Agenda for IRI BOF at IETF 76

From: Mark Nottingham <mnot@mnot.net>
Date: Sun, 27 Sep 2009 08:04:10 +1000
Cc: Larry Masinter <masinter@adobe.com>, "PUBLIC-IRI@W3.ORG" <PUBLIC-IRI@w3.org>
Message-Id: <A9C2E38A-8D42-4B29-A565-F9320EB9EBFC@mnot.net>
To: Roy T. Fielding <fielding@gbiv.com>
I agree with Roy, and would add that this document hides the new  
information (i.e., how to get from random bits to a valid URI or IRI)  
too deeply; for example, if HTTPbis wanted to reference this thing, it  
would need to do so by specifying a section in the IRI spec, even  
though HTTP doesn't use IRIs at all.

What I'd like to see is:
   a. A revision of the IRI spec (if necessary), and
   b. A new spec defining how to get from random bits to a URI or an  
IRI (allowing the application to choose which one it needs to end up  

Then, different specs can refer to URIs if they want to, IRIs if they  
want to, and optionally specify this processing as a step beforehand,  
and do so clearly.

On 26/09/2009, at 5:19 AM, Roy T. Fielding wrote:

> Larry, your changes to the IRI draft make it incomprehensible.
> I think this is getting ridiculous.  We don't need a working group.
> We don't even need an updated draft, at least not for LEIRI, Href,
> and whatever it is that we call HTML5 references.
> HTML5 wants to specify the *process* of taking arbitrary data entry
> in various places and transforming it into a) something the browser
> displays, and b) a URI for use on the wire.  What they are calling URL
> is the arbitrary data entry part, NOT the resulting URI, which is why
> it is so frigging annoying and inconsistent with all other standards.
> LEIRI made the same mistake.
> The purpose of IRI is to specify the allowed syntax for what one
> might see on the side of a bus as a Web address in i18n-friendly,
> human-readable form.  That is why the IRI syntax does not allow
> common delimiters like whitespace, quotes, and brackets (except
> for IPv6 literals).  It does not define a data-entry box.
> URI is in the same boat, except that it also defines the allowed
> syntax for on-the-wire usage in HTTP, etc.  It is intentionally
> limited for use in embedded plain text.  It does not define a
> data entry box.
> Both IRI and URI are intended to define standards for the Internet
> in the same way as the US Postal Service residential addresses have
> a standard normal form.  The fact that an envelope does not prevent
> a person from writing an arbitrary form of address in the hope that
> a mail carrier can interpret it for them is not an indication that
> the standard is somehow "wrong" -- what matters is that following
> the standard is known to be interoperable, and everything else is
> just an experiment in forgiveness.
> What HTML5 wants to define is how to process a data entry box
> in the same way across all browser implementations, and there is
> nothing wrong with such a definition appearing in HTML5 *except*
> for the fact that the editor has chosen an existing well-known
> term that means something else to describe it, which conflicts
> with all prior uses of that term.  Just stop that nonsense by
> changing the HTML5 draft wording to talk about references, not URLs.
> HTML5 does not require changes to IRI, and certainly not to URI.
> Changing IRI (or URI) so that it conforms both to the side of a
> bus definition and a data entry definition is insane.  They are
> not the same thing.  They do not share the same concerns.  A
> reference might allow anything, depending on its context and the
> technology used to parse it; it is the post-processing that
> produces an IRI/URI.
> ....Roy

Mark Nottingham     http://www.mnot.net/
Received on Saturday, 26 September 2009 22:05:07 UTC

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