Internationalization and URLs

On the issue of "non-Uniform URLs", you've pointed out that some URLs
have alternate forms that are equally valid, including both with and
without the %xx encoding. This may be true, but it still is the case
that <<what is printed on paper>> can be typed by everyone who sees it
without them actually knowing anything about character set encodings.

You're proposing something that would no longer have that constraint.
That's OK with me, but what you're proposing should not then be called
a URL.

I said:

>Gavin, there *IS* no layer. That's the problem. There's no protocol
>layer or implementation layer between "what's printed in the
>newspaper" and "what the user types into the keyboard" except
>wetware. "See URL", "Type URL". If the URL I see contains "Franc,ois"
>and the keyboard I'm sitting at doesn't have a way of entering a
>"c-cedilla", then I can't type in the URL. Period. I don't know how
>you can "deal with this" or "make it transparent".

and your reply:

> Don't type in the c-cedilla, type in an encoded representation of it
> (which is what would be sent down the wire). 

I think you're suggesting that newspapers should print "Franc,ois" and
those who do not have c-cedilla on their keyboard should know how to
translate such a thing into the appropriate %xx code.  Is this really
a reasonable suggestion?

We've been going back and forth about this on the "www-international"
list. I don't think I'm making a lot of headway making myself
understood, though.

I'd appreciate some feedback (private or public) from others here; if
I can't find anyone who sees what I'm talking about, I'll shut up.


Follow-Ups: References: