W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-webapi@w3.org > June 2006

Re: URIs, RFCs, IRIs

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Thu, 1 Jun 2006 02:09:23 -0700
Message-Id: <C74CDA81-E7F5-4C00-82B7-5F44A10ACD25@apple.com>
Cc: public-webapi@w3.org
To: Chris Lilley <chris@w3.org>

On Jun 1, 2006, at 12:55 AM, Chris Lilley wrote:

> Hello public-webapi,
>  In http://www.w3.org/TR/2006/WD-Window-20060407/ there are  
> multiple references to RFC 2396. This is obsoleted by RFC 3986;  
> please replace references to the former by the latter and be sure  
> to use terminology consistent with 3986 which has some  
> clarifications and changes relative to RFC 2396.

That's the plan. There is already an editorial note to this effect.

> Also, why is a URI rather than an IRI or an XRI specified here? Is  
> this an oversight, or is it a deliberate decision to exclude usage  
> in countries such as China and Korea that make extensive use of  
> IRIs,or to require such IRIs to be hexified before using this  
> interface?

It is neither a mistake nor a deliberate malfeasance. The goal for  
the first version of the Window spec is to provide a rationalized  
subset of features that already exist in web browsers. Many do not  
support IRIs either in these APIs or anywhere else. As a new feature,  
IRI support would be out of scope for the first version.

In fact, it is hard to see how browsers will ever roll out universal  
support for IRIs, since the current practice for characters outside  
the ASCII range is to use the page encoding rather than UTF-8. And in  
fact there is a lot of content, particularly in China and Korea, that  
depends on the practice of using the page encoding. On UTF-8 pages  
(like google's chinese search results) this is equivalent to IRIs,  
but when using other common encodings like gb2312, changing over  
would be incompatible. An example of a site affected by this is  

XRIs would be even less appropriate, since an arbitrary valid URI is  
not a valid XRI, so far as I can tell. So this would be even more of  
an incompatible change.

Given these complexities I think it's best to table this issue until  
the next version of the Window spec. It is clear that using  
international characters in resource identifiers is desirable, but  
specifying something that contradicts existing practice would be bad,  
and it's not clear if there is a spec that is compatible with  
existing implementations and content.

Received on Thursday, 1 June 2006 09:09:34 UTC

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