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Re: URI for current resources

From: Gerald Oskoboiny <gerald@w3.org>
Date: Sat, 18 Nov 2000 18:08:53 -0500
To: roconnor@uwaterloo.ca
Cc: www-talk@w3.org
Message-ID: <20001118180853.S27267@w3.org>
On Sat, Nov 18, 2000 at 12:57:27PM -0800, roconnor@uwaterloo.ca wrote:
> I was reading through ``Cool URIs Don't Change'' to try to find a solution
> to my problem, and it didn't really help.

(for those who don't know, that's http://www.w3.org/Provider/Style/URI )

> Here is what I want to do.
> 
> I want to have a URL such as <http://www.example.com/~roconnor/Math1A/>
> contain data for my current index of Quiz solutions for my Math1A class.
> 
> These will link to things like
> <http://www.example.com/~roconnor/Fall2000/Math1A/Quiz4.sol>
> 
> I also think I should put the same index resource at
> <http://www.example.com/~roconnor/Fall2000/Math1A/>

I suggest putting it there instead of
<http://www.example.com/~roconnor/Math1A/>

> The problem is the following:  Next year say I teach Math 1A again.  So
> I'll have a new index at <http://www.example.com/~roconnor/Math1A/>

If you want a page for "the current session of Math1A taught
by Russell O'Connor", you could either set up a redirect from
<http://www.example.com/~roconnor/Math1A/> to the current
session and update the redirect each year/term, or publish
a simple page at that URI that says something like:

    I have taught a number of sessions of Math1A; the current
    session is _Fall 2000_. Past sessions include:

      - _Spring 2000_
      - _Fall 1999_
      - ...

> I can maintain my old index at
> <http://www.example.com/~roconnor/Fall2000/Math1A/>, but all
> the bookmarks and links people have made from my original page
> will be pointing to the wrong file.
> 
> This seems like a problem to me.

We have encountered similar problems when managing W3C's
TR space [1]: each spec has a "latest version" URI, e.g.

    http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/

and a "this version" URI, e.g.

    http://www.w3.org/TR/1999/REC-html401-19991224/

Currently, the "latest version" URIs are managed using symlinks
in the filesystem that point to the most recent dated specs.
But this means we need to use absolute links within the specs
so links will still work even if followed from the latest or
dated versions at different levels of the tree.

Another way to handle this would have been to use redirects
instead of symlinks, but that makes the "latest version" URIs
a bit more difficult to bookmark due to lame support of
temporary redirects in current browsers.

[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/

-- 
Gerald Oskoboiny       <gerald@w3.org>  +1 613 261 6630
System Administrator   http://www.w3.org/People/Gerald/
World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)      http://www.w3.org/
Received on Saturday, 18 November 2000 18:08:59 GMT

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