From: "Ronald E. Daniel" <email@example.com> Message-Id: <9509051429.ZM7678@idaknow.acl.lanl.gov> Date: Tue, 5 Sep 1995 14:29:02 -0600 In-Reply-To: Larry Masinter <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: Larry Masinter <email@example.com> Subject: Re: Self-censorship using URLs Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com On Sep 5, 12:09pm, Larry Masinter wrote: > > The URI-WG is defunct, so I suggest you monitor "firstname.lastname@example.org". > > The working group is "closed", not "defunct". The interpretation of > "closed" is that there are no more meetings scheduled, but the mailing > list remains open for discussion of URI related-issues that are not > being addressed by other WGs. Thanks for clarifying this Larry, I stand corrected. > While ratings/censorship etc. was discussed at the IETF BOF, I think > there's a URI issue that lurks here: many users would like to be able > to supply some kinds of metadata along with the rest of their > reference. > > The question is really just how we might accomodate that. For example, > you might say that metadata like 'rating' belongs in a URC. But the > current URC syntaxes being proposed seem too clumsy to stick inside a > HREF. This was not a need that had been identified until now, so the current URC proposals have not made any attempt at being graceful when put into HREFs. More on this in a minute. > You should note that in this example, the *publisher* didn't supply > the rating. Rather, it was the person making the reference. Hmmm, I am not sure that was his intent. Matthew, would you please clarify this point? If Larry's interpretation is right, I like this even less than before. It would be trivial to circumvent: Scenario: Little Billy is browsing at school and comes across a National Geographic article whose illustrations are links of the form: <A HREF="http:bare-breasts:nat-geo.org/whatever"> Billy's school board has decided that such pictures are not acceptable by the standards of their community, so Billy's browser has rejected Billy's request to view those pictures. Billy writes a quick HTML page of the form: <html> <A HREF="http:safe:nat-geo.org/whatever">here</A> </html> thus circumventing the restrictions. To prevent this we can't show URLs before they are selected, must encrypt bookmark files, can't "view source", can't report the URLs that caused errors, and can't have a telnet application on dear little Billy's machine. Furthermore, while it does not mandate self-labeling, it does not provide the freedom of choice of labeling organization that is fundamental to all other third-party schemes that I am familiar with. Instead I am to trust the rating supplied by some random document author? I don't think so. > <UL> > <LI> <A URC="Rating: V4; URL=http://sample.gif"> A very violent picture. </A> > <LI> <A URC="Rating: S5; URL=http://sexy.gif"> A very sexy picture. </A> > </UL> Trying to put some of this information into HTML documents could be done, but there are problems. URCs are required to be able to represent anything. That cannot be achieved with HTML in the fashion you outline above. Since HTML is defined to be an SGML application, we cannot have an arbitrary list of attributes for the <A> element. Certainly we could talk to the HTML-WG about adding the attributes author, title, subject, etc. to the <A> element. However, no matter what the set proposed, I can come up with an example that needs "just one more attribute". General-purpose elements, like <A meta="Author: Smith, John Title: Big bears in the bayous ...">link text</A> won't work either because that material cannot be validated with an SGML parser. (Actually, defining author, title, and a few other things as attributes of the <A> element is not so bad as long as everyone realizes that these are 80/20 choices. Of course, not everyone will realize that). > > As for your particular proposal, it seems very similar to the "KidCode" > > proposal from Borenstein, et. al. (Look for it in the Internet Drafts > > repositories). For a variety of reasons I believe that both proposals > > are undesirable. First, I have strong reservations > > about the idea of encoding rating info into the URL. > > Right, don't encode it _in_ the URL, put it in material that goes > _with_ the URL. Which would make it impossible to check at the client OR the server. > > The whole > > reason people are looking at URNs is because URLs already confound > > identity and location. Adding resource description info and implicit > > access control info is just going to aggrevate the scaling problems > > the web is already experiencing. > > Putting rating information with URLs doesn't aggrevate scaling > problems. I could be wrong about this, but I believe that such descriptions are subject to change on timescales that are shorter than the lifetime of the resource itself. Scenario: A publisher puts up an article on freedom of speech and rates it for all audiences. A few days later the publisher gets email from the proxy gateway in Singapore saying "please change rating to "P 3" (Politics, counter to established policies of legitimate government) or don't ever try to come into our fair country. Lots of other countries send similar messages. Somewhat later, requests to change the rating to "R 4" (Religion, heresey) are received from other sites. Mapping from old names to new names in order to fetch a resource is not going to reduce the problems of the web any, and just might make things a bit worse. -- Ron Daniel Jr. email: email@example.com Advanced Computing Lab voice: (505) 665-0597 MS B-287 TA-3 Bldg. 2011 fax: (505) 665-4939 Los Alamos National Lab http://www.acl.lanl.gov/~rdaniel/ Los Alamos, NM, 87545 tautology: "Conformity is very popular"