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Re: Are IDNs allowed in http IRIs?

From: Roy T. Fielding <fielding@gbiv.com>
Date: Thu, 18 Mar 2004 21:32:56 -0800
To: uri@w3.org
Message-Id: <E0234B9C-7966-11D8-9DE4-000393753936@gbiv.com>

> Are IDNs allowed in http IRIs?  It seems like a silly question, but
> currently the IRI draft tries to inherit the answer from the URI & HTTP
> specs, and the URI draft tries to inherit the answer from the HTTP 
> spec,
> and of course the HTTP spec knows nothing of IDNs.  The result is that
> the question has no clear answer.  Does it need a clear answer, and if
> so, which document is the place to provide that answer?

I'll let Martin answer the specific question.  The more general question
is how do IETF specifications update one another given the dependencies
within the technology?  The answer is that they don't.  Specifications
are a snapshot in time that implementers use as a reference for guiding
(not requiring) interoperability.  Protocols (and the implementations of
those protocols) are what gets updated.

When 2396 is updated, all protocols that depend on 2396 (including HTTP)
are automatically revised as a result -- that is the nature of a 
normative
reference and why the IETF places constraints on what can be referenced
normatively.  By the same token, if someone were to update the standard
for US-ASCII, then the URI technology must follow along with that 
update,
at least until a revised URI specification is produced that says 
otherwise.

As such, the http URI will be defined in terms of the new URI RFC as
soon as that RFC is published, unless (or until) a revised 2616 is
published that says differently.  I don't know about the http IRI,
since AFAICT an IRI is a presentation layer above URI and therefore
not subject to any of the scheme specifications.

If all of the HTTP implementations send the host subcomponent verbatim
within the Host header field, then that is how the revision to 2616
will be defined as well.

....Roy
Received on Friday, 19 March 2004 00:33:26 GMT

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