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Re: Grinding to a halt on Issue 27.

From: Ray Whitmer <raydwhitmer@aol.com>
Date: Tue, 29 Apr 2003 07:45:05 -0600
Message-ID: <3EAE81E1.7050905@aol.com>
To: WWW-Tag <www-tag@w3.org>

tbray@textuality.com wrote:
[...]

> In any case, at the moment, we're paralyzed on this issue because of 
> these unresolved differences.  This is on the face of it at one level 
> ridiculous, because the first W in WWW stands for "World" and it's a 
> no-brainer that identifiers ought to include non-ASCII characters.
>
> I think we do generally agree that the IRI work is in a good and 
> useful direction, and that one thing that would be totally useful 
> would be to get behind the work on the IRI draft:
>
>   http://www.w3.org/International/iri-edit/
>
> And get that nailed down and blessed.

FWIW the DOM WG has been wrestling with use of IRI's and coming close to 
being blocked by the issue, as well:

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Member/w3c-dom-ig/2003Apr/0036.html

I cite the above note, because it contains my own latest proposal, which 
appears dealing with some of the same sub-issues, although there is at 
least one sub-issue I have not seen mentioned: how to start allowing 
IRIs, when only a subset of IRIs are URIs.  URIs were "Universal", and 
universal was not enough?  We already have normative attributes and 
parameters calling them URI's.

On the other hand, after coming close to this issue, we do not consider 
it possible to avoid it.  Even if it were dropped from XML Namespaces 
1.1, which I suspect is not a good idea, the members of the DOM WG are 
not likely to be around to fix DOM when URIs get replaced by IRIs or 
something even more universal that comes along later (and there are a 
number of improvements I could suggest to make them "more universal").

As such, lacking any stable specification, the latest proposal declares 
what the DOM specification means when it says URI: something that really 
is universal (hopefully a superset of URI spec, future IRIs, and The 
Next Great Thing), represented by a string, and has a few basic 
characteristics.  The characteristics were derived by looking at the DOM 
spec, and what it needs to be able to do with these universal 
identifiers: complete incomplete (relative) identifiers, compare for 
equality, etc. but the details of completion and retrieval are deferred 
to the spec, (i.e. HTML, XML1.0, XML 1.1) being implemented.

I am not sure it is the best solution, but it is what we are considering 
at our teleconference tomorrow.  Others have suggested we should only 
refer to specific specifications for identifiers, but it is not clear to 
me how that is compatible with the recent request from the I18N WG 
"replace all URIs with IRIs" and the similar wisdom that is sure to 
follow when The Next Great Thing appears.

Ray
Received on Tuesday, 29 April 2003 09:45:44 GMT

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