Date: Thu, 20 Feb 1997 15:47:42 -0800 (PST) From: "Gregory J. Woodhouse" <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: "Roy T. Fielding" <fielding@kiwi.ICS.UCI.EDU> Cc: URI mailing list <email@example.com> Subject: Re: URL internationalization! In-Reply-To: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Message-Id: <Pine.SGI.3.95.970220153223.21842Aemail@example.com> I believe Roy's comments are right on the mark here. URLs are resource identifiers which have the added convenience of being easily transcribable and can be chosen to have some mnemonic value, but it is not their function to implement a directory service. To use a worn out example, URLs are to the web as i-nodes are to the Unix filesystem. Just as directories give us meaningful file names under Unix (and not just i-node numbers), directory services on the Internet are the right way to introduce names which are meaningful in local character sets. An advantage of directory services is that it is possible to have multiple directory services for the same file system (as a simple example think of long filenames and 8.3 filenames under Windows 95). The same web could easily support Directory services for English and Japanese. It may sound a bit strange for me to say this now as I have objected in the past to the idea that certain URI schemes should use what are in essence binary strings. That URLs are transcribable and easily remembered is a considerable convenience, and this feature of the URL mechanism is a great asset. However, this should not obscure the fact tht URLs are not meant to implement a directory service. --- firstname.lastname@example.org / http://www.wnetc.com/home.html If you're going to reinvent the wheel, at least try to come up with a better one.