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cost of new/private URI schemes well known? [was: section 1, intro, for review]

From: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Date: 19 Mar 2002 16:14:43 -0600
To: Paul Prescod <paul@prescod.net>
Cc: www-tag@w3.org
Message-Id: <1016576084.22371.234.camel@dirk>
On Mon, 2002-03-18 at 20:10, Paul Prescod wrote:
> Chris Lilley wrote:
> > 
> > ...
> > 
> > Okay, but with a flourish I can produce the URI
> > zip://atm.example.org/06902 or, worse, zip:06902 but just because
> > these now have URIs does not lessen in any way their proprietary
> > nature, and the second one is probably not dereferencable either.
> Okay, but
>  1. Why would anyone do such a thing? People know that non-HTTP URI
> schemes have a massive barrier to acceptance.


er.. ahem...

Would that it were so.

As maintainer of an index of URI schemes,
I can tell you, they don't. I can't even
keep up with all the crazy new URI
schemes I hear about.

I went looking into why mozilla parsed
as a relative URI, and found that they
treat new URI schemes potatoe chips: "crunch
all you want. We'll make more."

KDE likewise.

Mozilla has since cleaned up their act a little;
I know they fixed

I haven't looked into KDE in a while.

Nor have I checked whether this persists:

  To the question "how many private URL schemes are there?," the
  answer was given that there were perhaps 20-40 in use at
  Microsoft, with 2-3 being added a day; WebTV has 24, with
  6/year added. Maybe others have similar number of schemes.

  -- minutes of the
  Uniform Resource Locator Registration Procedures (urlreg) WG meeting
  at the 39th IETF Meeting in Munich, Bavaria, Germany, Aug 1997

You might think that these schemes are just private and
they don't matter. But then try using one in an HTML
document from the web, say:

	<a href="about:plugins">...</a>

and you'll quickly realize that it is an interoperability
issue: nobody else can use about: without bumping
into mozilla/netscape's use of it.

Then there's stuff like opaquelocktoken: and DAV:
that went all the way thru the IETF standards
process without much consideration of the cost
of real-estate in the URI scheme list.
(which, I suppose, is not really all that high,
in this case...)

Norm/Stuart/Ian, please let's add something to
section 2 on naming about the costs of
new URI schemes. Maybe it doesn't fit
in the one-page version, but before
we'er done elaborating, please let's.

By way of suggested text, see:

  The danger of too many accesses schemes

Dan Connolly, W3C http://www.w3.org/People/Connolly/
Received on Tuesday, 19 March 2002 17:14:15 UTC

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