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Excess URI schemes considered harmful

From: Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 24 Sep 2001 14:15:22 -0400
Message-ID: <006401c14524$e1798020$bc061812@CREST>
To: "Larry Masinter" <masinter@parc.xerox.com>, <harald.alvestrand@maxware.no>, "Dan Zigmond" <djz@corp.webtv.net>, "Rich Petke" <rpetke@wcom.net>
Cc: <uri@w3.org>, "Dan Connolly" <connolly@w3.org>
I note, for includion in a future version of
http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2718.txt that there is a very high cost
associated with the deployment of new URI schemes. There a number of
flexibility points in web architecture, and
those such as  Content-Type, and XML Namespace creation have a much lower
cost.  The Web depends on a very high shared knowledge of the properties of
URI schemes. New ones should only be introduced is absolutely necessary.

Content-Types should be defined by URIs, as are XML Namespaces. These then
leverage the existing URI schemes to anchor thier meanings in the web. This
allows anyone to make a local private Content-Type or namespace for their
own use. This does NOT apply to URI schemes.  The process has to be rooted
somewhere, and that root is the URI spec and the *small* set of  URI
schemes.

I would recommend that this be emphasized.  Specific examples of the
creation of  arbitrary trivial schemes such as the "webdav:" have violated
this rule in the past.

Tim Berners-Lee
http://www.w3.org/People/Berners-Lee
Received on Monday, 24 September 2001 14:16:00 GMT

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