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

From: Roy T. Fielding <fielding@apache.org>
Date: Thu, 4 Apr 2002 15:52:57 -0800
Cc: "Paul Prescod" <paul@prescod.net>, <www-tag@w3.org>
To: "Tim Berners-Lee" <timbl@w3.org>
Message-Id: <16F00D04-4827-11D6-B2DD-000393753936@apache.org>
> 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
> entity
> -- typically a person or group --which owns it.

Hmm, well, from my perspective outside the early CERN days, I'd have to 
disagree.
Mailto has been consistently defined and implemented to mean "get a 
composition
window with the following pre-filled attributes."  I absolutely agree that 
what
we should have is a URI for a mailbox that can be placed in a form for 
defining
the action of a POST, but mailto was created before FORM was invented.

I think it is critical that we not try to redefine the semantics of 
existing
URI after they have been introduced to the Web.  If someone wants a generic
URI for mailbox, they are going to have to invent something other than 
mailto
for that purpose.   Wishful thinking is not interoperable.

....Roy
Received on Thursday, 4 April 2002 19:25:33 GMT

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