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Re: HTML5 proposes introduction of new family of URI schemes

From: Martin J. Dürst <duerst@it.aoyama.ac.jp>
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2012 11:59:54 +0900
Message-ID: <4F17872A.1010209@it.aoyama.ac.jp>
To: Jonathan A Rees <rees@mumble.net>
CC: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>, Noah Mendelsohn <nrm@arcanedomain.com>, "www-tag@w3.org" <www-tag@w3.org>, Paul Cotton <Paul.Cotton@microsoft.com>, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>, Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Hello Jonathan, Julian,

On 2012/01/19 0:31, Jonathan A Rees wrote:
> On Sat, Jan 14, 2012 at 5:56 PM, Julian Reschke<julian.reschke@gmx.de>  wrote:

>> It seem<http://dev.w3.org/html5/spec/Overview.html#custom-handlers>
>> contains the rest of the information.
>
> Maybe it does, but it doesn't answer my question - to what problem is
> this a solution? Also how is it expected to play out in practice? What
> will the new security dialogs look like and will they baffle users
> like all the others do? Has anyone already implemented it?
>
> The list of 'legacy schemes' is a red flag for me. By what criteria is
> inclusion in the list determined? Suppose the list needs to be
> changed, does that require a change to the HTML specification? What is
> it about 'mailto', really, that causes it to be treated differently
> from 'http'? The word 'core' doesn't explain much to me.

Actually, it's not too difficult to explain. And 'mailto' is really at 
the core of it. If you use a 'traditional' email client, and you click 
on a 'mailto' link on a Web page, then the browser makes sure this 
'mailto' URI/IRI is handed off to your email client, and the email 
client creates a new mail message for you and lets you edit it.

These days however, webmail is being used more and more. What web mail 
users would like to have is the same facility: You click on a 'mailto' 
link, and a new email message is created by your webmail. It's easy for 
a webmail service to provide an URI/IRI where the 'mailto' URI/IRI can 
be added and the result creates the new email message that you were 
hoping for. But there's a missing piece: How to get the 'mailto' into 
that URI/IRI automatically.

I have to admit that personally, I'm not using webmail. But at least to 
me, the above scenario, and the need for some additional facility, is 
quite evident. And we probably don't want to restrict this to 'mailto' 
only, because we don't know how technology will evolve.

I think once we can agree that there's a need, we can look at the issues 
in more detail. Would you agree with what I wrote above as a starting 
point? Also, Julian, you seems to be very clearly opposed to the 
specific proposed solution, with some serious arguments, but do you 
actually agree that there is a need to be able to activate webmail with 
a 'mailto' link, and that there may be similar needs for other URI/IRI 
schemes?

As you are asking for a distinction with 'http', that's easy: Because 
http is already handled by the browser, there's at least currently no 
need for such a thing as 'webhttp' (i.e. a single web site handling all 
of your browsing activity). But that also may not be set in stone, it 
may be possible that in the future, some users will view all their pages 
through facebook, and others through tor :-(.

Regards,    Martin.


> A more conservative design would be to have a single new web: URI
> scheme with a subscheme registry (sort of link urn:), rather than lots
> of new URI schemes. This wouldn't allow registering behavior for
> mailto:, but might mean fewer surprises and less standards innovation.
>
> Not opposed, just confused. Someone has thought about this a lot, and
> I don't know what they've thought.
>
>> Best regards, Julian
>
>
Received on Thursday, 19 January 2012 03:00:37 GMT

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