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Re: URL Expansion proposal

From: Mike Meyer <mwm@contessa.phone.net>
Date: Sun, 14 Jan 1996 22:41:57 PST
Message-Id: <19960114.75BA5F8.14A47@contessa.phone.net>
To: www-talk@w3.org
> etc. From their viewpoint having to learn about http: and domains is truly
> redundant. UNIX has allowed the use of Aliases for a long time. Would you have
> opposed their use?

You're not trying to provide aliases. You're trying to wire down the
behavior of user-agents when presented with an ill-formed URL. This is
NOT the same thing. Users get to create aliases that are shortcuts for
their favorite command. What you've proposed is closer to a bad
implementation of DWIM.

Most user-agents allows things similar to aliases - either in the form
of hot lists, or icons that go to a particular site, or CLI commands
that go to a particular site, etc.

> Frankly, I do not see why a proposal intended to make it a
> little bit easier for business to advertise their main entry point to the web,
> and for people to remember it would cause such an emotional response.

You're right - it certainly doesn't warrant an emotional response. One
problem is that it doesn't acheive it's intent. Instead, it adds
confusion, similar to that already seen by advertisers assuming that
the conventions one browser has for ill-formed URLs are a standard:
advertisers will use the "short" form, which won't work in all
browsers. Further, by the time 95% of the users out there have a
browser in which it does work, somebody will probably have come up
with a better idea. Never mind that this convention is aimed at a
small segment of the WWW, and users of servers in other segments would
appreciate being able to provide a shortened URL as much as those in
the commercial world.

My gut reaction is that it's to early to try and standardize something
like this. I can think of a couple of alternatives that I'd rather
have my browser do, ranging from a slightly more flexible version of
what you've proposed to a search of the complete DNS name space, with
and without popups of various kinds. Having a variety of different
"conventions" will confuse things horrible; let users choose what they
like until a there's a consensus.

Received on Monday, 15 January 1996 01:49:35 UTC

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