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

From: Randall Sawyer <srandallsawyer@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 9 Aug 2011 08:40:21 -0700
Message-ID: <CACJYzX3eztCw9nUGOwY2aeMB5eGpTGMO6simnS9y63vFQ6_JbQ@mail.gmail.com>
To: public-iri@w3.org
Implementation:
(I have decided to respond to my original post, rather than continue
on-going exchange with Mykyta Yevstifeyev)

>From RFC 3986, 3. Syntax Components:

URI = scheme ":" hier-part ["?" query] ["#" fragment]

where

hier-part = "//" authority [path]

I am proposing a standard means for 'authority' to convey SPECIALIZED syntax
for 'path' for all resources within 'authority'.  This syntax would
necessarily be compliant with path syntax defined in RFC 3986.

I submitted this posting just to see if someone else has already thought of
an idea like this.  I believe I need to compose an I-D for this idea.

Randall

On Aug 7, 2011 9:56 PM, "Randall Sawyer" <srandallsawyer@gmail.com> 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 Tuesday, 9 August 2011 15:40:56 GMT

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