W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-tag@w3.org > April 2002

Re: Mailto misnamed not misdesigned (Was: Hyperlinks depend on GET (was: Re: REST and the Web))

From: Martin Duerst <duerst@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 03 Apr 2002 10:45:34 +0900
Message-Id: <>
To: "Tim Berners-Lee" <timbl@w3.org>, "Paul Prescod" <paul@prescod.net>, <www-tag@w3.org>
At 15:36 02/04/01 -0500, Tim Berners-Lee wrote:

>The mailto:  schema name was badly chosen, but the concept is
>sound as originally defined.  It was intended simply to be a space
>in which to put all the internet email addresses, which are called
>mailboxes.  A mailbox is an abstract thing, related to email messages
>by (for example)  To: From: and Cc: feilds but also used in many
>other situations.  It also normally has a relationship with the social
>-- typically a person or group --which owns it.
>The unfortunate choice of name "mailto", my fault,  has lead browser
>designers to think that it specifies an action. It is supposed to specifiy
>an address. A perfectly reasonable representation on a user's screen
>would be a compilation of links to messages sent to or from that
>address (which the user knows about)

Would be very useful to have such a functionality,
with or without an URI.

>and also a represenattion
>with photo, name, and so on, of the person with whom the  mailbox
>is associated, and a button "compose mail to this person".
>Software which launches an email composition window is
>relatively boring -- but it is of course also the eaiest thing to do.

And very helpful in many cases.

>Agreed.  "mailto"  does *not* express behaviour -- it just sounds as though
>it does.

As currently used (not as originally intended), it does
express behavior. What about defining a new one
(e.g. mailadress: or so) for the original purpose?

Regards,   Martin.
Received on Tuesday, 2 April 2002 21:14:00 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Wednesday, 7 January 2015 15:32:31 UTC