W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > uri@w3.org > January 2010

Re: Status of RFC 1738

From: Mike Brown <mike@skew.org>
Date: Fri, 8 Jan 2010 01:40:03 -0700 (MST)
Message-Id: <201001080840.o088e49a035223@chilled.skew.org>
To: uri@w3.org
Charles Lindsey wrote:
> It has been suggested that 'file' is so ambiguous, with no consensus on  
> how the clean it up, that it may as well be abandoned. OTOH, most browsers  
> support it, at least for accessing resources on the localhost, and I  
> personally find it quite useful.

I'm not convinced 'file' really needs an RFC at all. The lack of specific, 
prescriptive guidelines aren't really impeding implementers, and 'file' URI 
interoperability in browsers isn't something I hear much clamoring for. I 
imagine anything we could come up with that discusses how specific browsers 
and OSes map 'file' URI components to file system paths or UNC paths is just 
going to be outdated very quickly, and any how-to info would basically 
reiterate the general guidelines which are already said well enough in RFC 
3986. And writing a vague list of things to watch out for (encoding issues, 
for example), while useful, doesn't really seem like ideal RFC material.

> When it is finally ready to go, declaring it as 'historic' might well be  
> in order.

I suppose, but I've said this here before: knowing that there's an RFC that's 
roughly 80% formally obsolete but still 20% active doesn't really bother me at 
all. If new implementations based on obsolete sections were getting a lot of 
traction and causing problems, I'd feel differently. But publishing new 
editorial RFCs with no substantial changes, just to split out the active 
content and satisfy a desire for tidiness, seems like a waste of time, and 
might even draw some criticism about bureaucracy and the publication of 
redundant RFCs. It might also unintentionally create the appearance of concern 
for the codification of the scheme, causing people to overthink the 'problem'.

Anyway, that's all just my opinion, and I admit it's lazy and fear-based. I'm 
not going to stand in someone's way if they really want to go down those 

I also still have the wiki up from our mid-2005 failed attempt to get 
something going: http://offset.skew.org/wiki/URI/File_scheme 
Feel free to create an account and use the wiki for future efforts.
Received on Friday, 8 January 2010 08:40:34 UTC

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