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Re: Opacity and mailto: in conflict

From: Tim Bray <tbray@textuality.com>
Date: Mon, 22 Sep 2003 07:27:22 -0700
Message-ID: <3F6F06CA.7060904@textuality.com>
To: Norman Walsh <Norman.Walsh@Sun.COM>
Cc: www-tag@w3.org

Norman Walsh wrote:

> In section 2.2, URI Opacity, we say:
> 
>   Although it is tempting to guess at the nature of a resource by
>   inspection of a URI that identifies it, this is not licensed by
>   specifications; this is called URI opacity.
> 
> Then later on we say
> 
>   mailto URIs identify mailboxes; ftp URIs identify ftp files and
>   directories; etc.
> 
> It seems to me that these two statements are in conflict. Either you
> aren't allowed to guess the nature of a resource from its URI, or you
> are: it can't be both ways.

Not in the slightest.  It is perfectly OK for software to look at the 
URI scheme and act on that basis, the semantics of URI schemes are 
well-documented.  The problem is looking into the opaque part, i.e. 
assuming that http://www.tbray.org/ongoing/Biz is a directory, or that 
http://example.com/foo.html yields HTML when dereferenced.  Does the 
spec need to be clearer on what's OK and what's not? -Tim
Received on Monday, 22 September 2003 10:28:51 GMT

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