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Input on Fielding's -02 draft

From: Tim Bray <tbray@textuality.com>
Date: Sun, 01 Jun 2003 17:33:32 -0700
Message-ID: <1057786949.IAA22192@phantom.w3.org>
To: uri@w3.org

(Mostly editorial)

1.2.2, 2nd para, last sentence.  There is a grammatical awkwardness 
Using ...  is termed a "dereference" of...
The gerund cries out for another; I suggest something like "To use .. is 
to "dereference"  " or "Using ... is termed "dereferencing" or "the term 
'dereference' is used to describe the action using..."

2.1 last sentencee

Recommend inserting a phrase as follows: "...escaping any octets, and 
only those octets, that are not in the unreserved..."

2.2 2nd para, "URI" is used in the plural

2.3, first word.  Why do we need to talk about "Data" characters... how 
are they distinguished.  Just begin "Characters that are allowed..."

2.3, 1st para after BNF block.  "Unreserved characters can be escaped 
without changing the semantics of a URI".  This is at best highly 
misleading in the case of URIs used as XML namespace names, whose only 
semantic is identification and comparison, and where comparison is 
typically done using strcmp(), and thus escaping an 'a' character will 
indeed change its semantics.

3. 2nd-last para, last sentence.  Also, see section 3.3.  Here it says 
"non-hierarchical path will be treated as opaque data."  What this and 
section 3.3 are really saying is that the 'segment' nonterminal is 
opaque to generic URI parsers.  Given that, the result that a path 
containing only one segment is also opaque falls out.  The draft never 
really comes out and says this about the 'segement'; when I read this in 
3., I thought "well of course, why are they saying that", and I think 
that if you did make this clear about segments this sentence might 
become superfluous.

Section 3.1 and elsewhere.  Draft refers to '#' as crosshatch and '@' as 
'commercial at sign'.  I'm an old text geek and I don't really know 
these names.  Might it be a good idea, for maximum reach, to adopt (or 
at least mention) the Unicode names?

3.3, 2nd last para.  Why do we need this text about observed usages of 
';' and ',' and so on in segments?  I think some more clarity about the 
principle of segment opacity is in order.  But I question the utility of 
this whole paragraph.

3.5 Here we have the notion of a "secondary resource" introduced.  I 
think this is as good as any other way to talk about fragments, but 
you're introducing new art, so why not define the term right here 
officially and try to introduce it into the vocabulary, might help make 
the lives of other specwriters easier.

3.5, 2nd para.  I find the first sentence really hard to understand, and 
I'm not sure I believe what I think it's trying to say.  I suspect the 
reason it exists is to set up for the 'Therefore, ' at the start of the 
2nd sentence.  Why bother, lose that and the Therefore and just start 
out by saying that the interpretation of a fragment is dependent, etc... 
that's just the way it is, whether we like it or not we're stuck with 
it, so why just not say it?

3.5, 3rd para, last sentence.  The word "defines" is wrong.  I suppose 
if I say <foo id="x23"> I've kind of defined what #x23 means.  But if 
someone uses an arbitrary XPath or byte-offset kind of fragment 
identifier, the representation cannot usefully be said to have "defined" 
its meaning.  Also, this is in direct conflict with the later remarks 
that even though not transmitting fragment-IDs is information-lossy, it 
preserves the right of users to point at whatever they want to point at; 
which cannot be consistent with the notion that the representation 
defines the meaning of the fragment.   I would say instead "... in a 
reprepresentation in whose context the fragment identifier is meaningful".

5.1.1, 2nd para; might it be appropriate to mention xml:base here? 
After all HTML's base element gets its own Appendix C.  In which context 
I should point out that in XHTML it's "base" not BASE.  Actually, it 
might be better just to lose appendix C.
Received on Sunday, 1 June 2003 23:47:57 GMT

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