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Re: Idea: Authority-declared sub-syntax for URL paths

From: Randall Sawyer <srandallsawyer@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 8 Aug 2011 12:02:27 -0700
Message-ID: <CACJYzX0==LeXs20Bt450ozTwBMSM+Ow0JbikwcAuiSLfYQJ8UA@mail.gmail.com>
To: Mykyta Yevstifeyev <evnikita2@gmail.com>
Cc: public-iri@w3.org
First, I will answer question 2:  No, this idea leaves  RFC 3986 unaffected.

That being said, I can answer question 1 thus:  Use the rules for
normalization in section 6 of RFC 3986 as a basis for classification as in:
<All valid paths are case-insensitive>, or
<All valid paths ends in '.html'>, or
<All valid paths contain only the characters [A-Za-z0-9_]>, etc.

The whole point is to minimize speculation in the normalization procedure -
increasing accuracy.  This will also facilitate canonicalization - reducing
redundancy.

Randall

> On Aug 8, 2011 1:53 AM, "Mykyta Yevstifeyev" <evnikita2@gmail.com> wrote:
> > Randall,
> >
> > Just two questions to clarify:
> >
> > 1. How do you plan to classify path formats?
> > 2. Wouldn't it require changing RFC 3986?
> >
> > (Broadly speaking, any additional information regarding the URI
> > processing may be put as part of the path in the form of ";param=values"

> > like in 'ftp' URIs
> > (
http://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-yevstifeyev-ftp-uri-scheme-05#section-3.1).

> > But unless you find the answer to question 1, the idea doesn't seem to
> > be sufficient enough to employ this way.)
> >
> > Mykyta
> >
> > 08.08.2011 7:56, Randall Sawyer wrote:
> >>
> >> Hello, All!
> >>
> >> Only recently have I stumbled upon the need to parse and normalize
> >> URLs for a couple of projects I'm working on. In doing my research -
> >> including reading all of rfc3986 and part of A. Barth's "Parsing URLs
> >> for Fun and Profit" - I find it frustrating the amount of effort
> >> required to anticipate and correct malformed URLs. I have a
> >> suggestion as to how content-providers and client-developers may
> >> voluntarily make their services and products work better together. [I
> >> have searched the archives for something like this, and have not found
> >> any so far.]
> >>
> >> What I have in mind is something comparable to SGML/XML validation.
> >> Just as a *ML document may contain a declaration at the top stating
> >> that it is compliant with a specific template, what if we made it
> >> possible for an organization to declare that every existent path on
> >> their site is compliant with a specific path-syntax template?
> >>
> >> Imagine going to visit a city - and instead of just running in head
> >> long, hoping you'll be able to catch on to the local customs - you
> >> first pause at the gates long enough to read the placard listing the
> >> local customs.
> >>
> >> The former case is very much like the status quo of parsing and
> >> correcting each path segment, hoping for success. If a browser - on
> >> the other hand - was provided a set of guidelines as to the
> >> characteristics of a normalized path on that site, then computation
> >> time decreases, and access to content is facilitated.
> >>
> >> I already anticipate some issues:
> >> 1) Where to put the placard, and what to name it. These need to be
> >> the same for every site - or perhaps some universally named meta-data
> >> pointing TO the placard. [By 'placard', I mean path-syntax-template]
> >>
> >> 2) Declared compliance is not the same as actual compliance - same
> >> goes for an *ML file, though. That is the responsibility of the
> >> author(ity).
> >>
> >> 3) What if a content-provider decides to opt for a path syntax which
> >> covers MOST, but NOT ALL, of its existing paths? The template then
> >> would need to also include a list of exceptional paths (perhaps using
> >> a wildcard if the offending path is an upper level directory).
> >>
> >> Any thoughts? Is this desirable? Would it potentially interfere with
> >> existing protocols or standards?
> >>
> >> Randall
> >>
> >
> >
On Aug 8, 2011 1:53 AM, "Mykyta Yevstifeyev" <evnikita2@gmail.com> wrote:
> Randall,
>
> Just two questions to clarify:
>
> 1. How do you plan to classify path formats?
> 2. Wouldn't it require changing RFC 3986?
>
> (Broadly speaking, any additional information regarding the URI
> processing may be put as part of the path in the form of ";param=values"
> like in 'ftp' URIs
> (
http://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-yevstifeyev-ftp-uri-scheme-05#section-3.1).

> But unless you find the answer to question 1, the idea doesn't seem to
> be sufficient enough to employ this way.)
>
> Mykyta
>
> 08.08.2011 7:56, Randall Sawyer wrote:
>>
>> Hello, All!
>>
>> Only recently have I stumbled upon the need to parse and normalize
>> URLs for a couple of projects I'm working on. In doing my research -
>> including reading all of rfc3986 and part of A. Barth's "Parsing URLs
>> for Fun and Profit" - I find it frustrating the amount of effort
>> required to anticipate and correct malformed URLs. I have a
>> suggestion as to how content-providers and client-developers may
>> voluntarily make their services and products work better together. [I
>> have searched the archives for something like this, and have not found
>> any so far.]
>>
>> What I have in mind is something comparable to SGML/XML validation.
>> Just as a *ML document may contain a declaration at the top stating
>> that it is compliant with a specific template, what if we made it
>> possible for an organization to declare that every existent path on
>> their site is compliant with a specific path-syntax template?
>>
>> Imagine going to visit a city - and instead of just running in head
>> long, hoping you'll be able to catch on to the local customs - you
>> first pause at the gates long enough to read the placard listing the
>> local customs.
>>
>> The former case is very much like the status quo of parsing and
>> correcting each path segment, hoping for success. If a browser - on
>> the other hand - was provided a set of guidelines as to the
>> characteristics of a normalized path on that site, then computation
>> time decreases, and access to content is facilitated.
>>
>> I already anticipate some issues:
>> 1) Where to put the placard, and what to name it. These need to be
>> the same for every site - or perhaps some universally named meta-data
>> pointing TO the placard. [By 'placard', I mean path-syntax-template]
>>
>> 2) Declared compliance is not the same as actual compliance - same
>> goes for an *ML file, though. That is the responsibility of the
>> author(ity).
>>
>> 3) What if a content-provider decides to opt for a path syntax which
>> covers MOST, but NOT ALL, of its existing paths? The template then
>> would need to also include a list of exceptional paths (perhaps using
>> a wildcard if the offending path is an upper level directory).
>>
>> Any thoughts? Is this desirable? Would it potentially interfere with
>> existing protocols or standards?
>>
>> Randall
>>
>
>
Received on Monday, 8 August 2011 19:03:05 GMT

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