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Re: Towards a consistent naming of W3C subdirectories

From: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 1 Jul 2009 16:10:21 -0500
To: Giovanni Campagna <scampa.giovanni@gmail.com>
Message-Id: <3B7EE86B-AEB3-4452-B9EC-2E3550D6EAC4@w3.org>
Cc: site-comments@w3.org

On 1 Jul 2009, at 3:50 PM, Giovanni Campagna wrote:

> 2009/7/1 Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>:
>> On 1 Jul 2009, at 2:56 PM, Giovanni Campagna wrote:
>>> 2009/7/1 Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>:
>>>> On 1 Jul 2009, at 12:53 PM, Giovanni Campagna wrote:
>>>>> I've been following the work on the new version of the W3C site  
>>>>> for a
>>>>> while, and I noticed that almost all the WG home pages, as well as
>>>>> other pages with dated URIs or other weirdness are not currently
>>>>> working.
>>>>> I expected that being caused by the refactoring and resulting  
>>>>> into new
>>>>> sensible path component. I sent this email to make sure this  
>>>>> happens.
>>>>> As an example, now we have /Style/CSS for CSS WG, but /html/wg for
>>>>> HTML WG and /2001/tag for the TAG or /2001/sw for the Semantic Web
>>>>> Activity.
>>>>> I think there are three models to solve this:
>>>>> 1- /WG/CSS, /TAG, /activities/SemanticWeb, /IG/Math, /XG/ 
>>>>> ModelBasedUI
>>>>> I.e., one (virtual) directory for kind of group, followed by the  
>>>>> group
>>>>> name
>>>>> 2- /Style/CSS, /TAG, /SemanticWeb/SWDeployment, /Markup/HTML,
>>>>> /RWC/WebApps, /Incubator/ModelBasedUI
>>>>> I.e. one (virtual) directory for Activity, followed by the group  
>>>>> name
>>>>> 3- /1996/CSS, /2001/TAG, /2001/SemanticWeb, /2007/HTML, /2008/ 
>>>>> WebApps,
>>>>> /2008/ModelBasedUI, /2007/XHTML2
>>>>> I.e. the group name, associated with the year of start
>>>>> All group names should be consistenly CamelCased if possible  
>>>>> (but I
>>>>> know that W3C servers are case-instensitive)
>>>>> Of the three possibility, I personally favor number one, because
>>>>> dropping the short name could bring to the list of currently  
>>>>> active
>>>>> working groups (one of the most difficult pages to reach,  
>>>>> probably,
>>>>> together with the list of TR ordered by working group).
>>>>> Dropping the short name from 2 could give directly the activity  
>>>>> page,
>>>>> but I suppose that every WG will keep a link to its Activity (and
>>>>> every Activity to its Domain), and people often want to group by
>>>>> technology, rather than by activity.
>>>>> Option n3 is the one I dislike most, because currently
>>>>> http://www.w3.org/XXXX is member / team only and thus completely
>>>>> useless.
>>>>> I know that the W3C has URI persistence policies, but you can  
>>>>> still
>>>>> keep the old link and set a 301 Moved Permantly redirect to the  
>>>>> new
>>>>> location. Also, most URIs are not covered by those policies.
>>>> Hi Giovanni,
>>>> While consistent URIs are nice, they should not be required. People
>>>> should reach pages through search engines or by following links,  
>>>> not
>>>> by having remember URIs.
>>>> I hope that the new site makes it easier to find information,  
>>>> without
>>>> needing
>>>> to worry about URIs.
>>>>  _ Ian
>>> Most of time you need the same pages time over time, for example you
>>> just need to check some WG's tracker or someother WG's blog.
>>> In that case, you either use bookmarks, which may become too crowded
>>> if you have to mantain a lot of addresses, or you manually type the
>>> address.
>> You shouldn't have to type addresses.
> Why shouldn't you?

I think there are times you need to type or write URIs. But I have  
understood that to be a suboptimal way of getting to a page that the URI
refers to.

> Or actually, why do we have addresses at all, if you don't have to
> type them? Why not just UUID?

We have addresses because they help with direct access. That doesn't  
that we should make people type them more than necessary.

As I said, short, consistent URIs are a benefit. Changing our widely  
URIs has a cost that we are unlikely to undertake. Instead we are  
making it
easier to find the information.

>>> Normally, you just type few characters and the browser
>>> automatically finds the complete URI from the history.
>>> I personally type addresses everytime I need something at the www.w3.org 
>>> .
>> I'm sorry to hear that. I hope the new site makes it possible for  
>> you to
>> avoid
>> typing URIs.
> You cannot do anything to that, because I access pages without
> starting from the main page and following links. I just want to go
> straight to specific resources, and the easiest way is to type the
> address.

You should be able to type "html" in a search box (or in your URI box)
and get to the page without typing (or knowing) the whole URI.

>>> In addition, you need to type URIs if you write them on emails,
>>> twitters, et similia. It is easier to remember
>>> <http://www.w3.org/Join/AsInvitedExpert> than
>>> <http://www.w3.org/2002/09/wbs/1/ieapp/>, and sure you don't want to
>>> say to your colleague "goto to w3c home page, type 'invited expert
>>> application' in the search field and hope for the better"
>>> That was from an usability point of view. The other point is that it
>>> looks better.
>> Agreed that shorter is better. :)
> Happy to see we agree on this.

I appreciate the discussion and think we agree on more than this, but  
I am
concerned about:

  * Minting redundant URIs and the cost of having them (see the TAG's  
    document on multiple published URIs for the same thing)
  * The cost of getting consensus about URI syntax (a project I have  
no interest in undertaking)
  * That we can achieve the goal of making it easy to get to  
information without focusing on the URI

If we were starting from scratch, we might do a better job as simpler,  
shorter URIs, but we're carrying
a lot of URI baggage at this point. :)

  _ Ian

>>  Ian
>>>>> Hope that this proposal will be accepted,
>>>>> Giovanni Campagna
>>>>> PS: sending this because I saw
>>>>> <http://beta.w3.org/2004/08/invexp.html> which should be
>>>>> <http://beta.w3.org/Consortium/invexp> or
>>>>> <http://beta.w3.org/Partecipation/invexp> (without the html  
>>>>> suffix)
>>>> --
>>>> Ian Jacobs (ij@w3.org)    http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs/
>>>> Tel:                                      +1 718 260 9447
>>> Giovanni
>> --
>> Ian Jacobs (ij@w3.org)    http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs/
>> Tel:                                      +1 718 260 9447
> Giovanni

Ian Jacobs (ij@w3.org)    http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs/
Tel:                                      +1 718 260 9447
Received on Wednesday, 1 July 2009 21:10:30 UTC

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