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Re: Repurposing the Hash Sign for the New Web comments

From: Noah Mendelsohn <nrm@arcanedomain.com>
Date: Wed, 18 May 2011 17:05:31 -0400
Message-ID: <4DD4349B.6040203@arcanedomain.com>
To: Karl Dubost <karld@opera.com>
CC: ashok.malhotra@oracle.com, Syd Lawrence <sydlawrence@googlemail.com>, www-tag@w3.org


On 5/18/2011 3:34 PM, Karl Dubost wrote:
> Hmm. I wonder what is happening when the link containing #! is clicked from a text mail client, IRC client, etc.

Well, it depends how that client handles links. If it runs a Javascript 
enabled user agent, then the "right thing" happens, the URI without the 
fragment is dereferenced, Javascript comes down and runs, and the intended 
content is shown to the user.

If the reference is, for whatever reason, handled by a non-Javascript 
enabled user agent, then you tend to get a rendering of the HTML that was 
trying to, but could not, load the Javascript. In particular, because 
resources:

	http://example.com#!one
	http://example.com#!two

result in the same URI being sent to the server, the same HTML tends to 
come back, and the user necessarily (in the non-Javascript case) gets the 
same display for both. Typically that's some kind of base "you lose" page, 
or other useless result.

That's among the reasons #! is so broken and so disruptive to Web arch. 
(Another is that, to get around this, many sites such as twitter do the 
equivalent of handing out both of the following for resource one, depending 
on circumstance:

	http://example.com#one
	http://example.com#!one

People who pass on links need to convert from one to the other depending on 
circumstance. (I just hit this the other day passing on a link to a tweet). 
A real mess.


Noah
Received on Wednesday, 18 May 2011 21:05:59 GMT

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