W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > site-comments@w3.org > March 2004

Re: On W3C (/TR/) URI policies...

From: Bjoern Hoehrmann <derhoermi@gmx.net>
Date: Tue, 23 Mar 2004 14:11:25 +0100
To: "Ian B. Jacobs" <ij@w3.org>
Cc: site-comments@w3.org
Message-ID: <407317db.836542444@smtp.bjoern.hoehrmann.de>

* Ian B. Jacobs wrote:
>You shouldn't try to read meaning into a URI unless there's a published
>policy for a particular convention.

I disagree, I do whatever works best for me. I also read meaning into a
[ Play ] button on a remote control without reading the manual or the
relevant ISO standard (if any) that allows me to infer that a [ Play ]
button on a remote control makes the device play something. If it does
something else, the product is broken and I will complain about the
product.

>W3C has a published policy for URIs for TR documents. W3C does not have
>a published policy for numbers in other URIs such as /2001/tag.

You do, <http://www.w3.org/Consortium/Persistence> to mention one. This
policy in particular is rather interesting, it makes URIs such as e.g.
http://www.w3.org/2002/mmi/ink better than say http://www.w3.org/WAI/.
Are the resources relating to InkML more important than those on
Accessibility? I guess they are not...

>We have millions and millions of documents. You SHOULD use links or
>a search engine to find them, not your memory.

I disagree, but that is not the point here. I already found the document
in question. Once I've found a document, I want to know where it is and
not waste my time with searching for it again and again and again. There
are tools such as ,translations to work more efficiently with the web
site so that people do not have to waste the time you suggest to waste.

Until recently I was on a dial-up internet connection and read and wrote
most things offline. You cannot use search engines when offline. Offline
browsing typically does not work either due to poor cacheability and
probably also due to limitations of my favourite browser. Downloading
parts of w3.org does neither work, if I would tell my favorite robot to
download everything in say http://www.w3.org/2001/tag/ I would miss most
resources because they are in /2002/, /2003/, /2004/, etc. Hence links
do not work either.

I have bookmarks. Last time I checked about 15,000 bookmarks. I have
once started to sort and categorize them, but it turned out that this
is too much work for the little benefit. I only keep my bookmarks in
the hope that Google will some day allow me to upload them and offer
personal ranking. 

>If you have to resort to trial and error because our site does not
>provide you with useful navigation, please let us know clearly what
>resources you are looking for.

I consider URIs an integral part of the user interface of web sites,
hence I already did exactly what you ask for. I just ask you to follow
the usability guidelines <http://www.useit.com/alertbox/990321.html> as
is linked by the Director from <http://www.w3.org/Provider/Style/URI>.

>> After all, usability is not part of http://www.w3.org/Consortium/#goals
>> and there is links and copy and paste for people with learning
>> disabilities, dammit.
>
>We do not want people to memorize URIs. We want them to create
>bookmarks, to use our navigation tools, and to use our search tools.

I see. You are indeed successful then, at least in part. As I've already
pointed out, the poor usability of your web site does not make me use
your tools but rather get frustrated. Even the URI specification says,
"A URI often needs to be remembered by people, and it is easier for
people to remember a URI when it consists of meaningful components."

>> Some comments about this change:
>
>>   * It does not recover from speling errors, <http://www.w3.org/TR/css2>
>>     properly redirects to <http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS2/>,
>>     <http://www.w3.org/TR/css21> "Sorry, Not Found".
>
>Don't rely on mod_spelling to help you.

Don't run a web site with poor usability.

>See the TAG's architecture document:
>  http://www.w3.org/TR/2003/WD-webarch-20031209/#identifiers-comparison

...

>   "If a URI has been assigned to a resource, agents SHOULD refer to the
>resource using the same URI, character for character."

Oh well, this document links to
<http://www.w3.org/Provider/Style/URI.html> for wich the original URI is
<http://www.w3.org/Provider/Style/URI>, it refers to
<http://www.w3.org/TR/ATAG10> which unlike
<http://www.w3.org/TR/ATAG10/> never existed, etc.pp. This in fact
contradicts W3C policy, see <http://www.w3.org/2001/06/manual/#Linking>
and <http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/spec-prod/2001OctDec/0050.html>

>That, I believe, is a browser problem. In particular, see CUAP
>checkpoint 4.1.
>  http://www.w3.org/TR/cuap#uri

Yes. But it seems that document does not contain a fix, unfortunately.
Received on Tuesday, 23 March 2004 08:12:27 UTC

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