RE: about tv:

From: Michael A. Dolan (
Date: Mon, Feb 15 1999

Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 15 Feb 1999 12:14:16 -0800
To: "Larry Masinter" <>, "Warner ten Kate" <>
From: "Michael A. Dolan" <>
Cc: <>
Subject: RE: about tv:


I am trying to (after the fact) work on coming up with an acceptable
definition of tv:.  It has limited function, but it has proven very useful
in practice.

If the tv: syntax is that hopelessly offensive to everyone, I will stop
trying to defend it.  But that doesn't make it go away.  It is in current
public practice, and its use will grow a lot over the next year - well
before any other transport-independent scheme I know of is deployed publicly.

So, I think it is, in fact, a valuable exercise to try to define it in
terms that might be acceptable to everyone in *some* context.  My
assumption is that this list is the right forum for that discussion (even
though I was *not* the person who initiated this thread).

FYI, I took a definitional tact (URN) that was not in fact the original
author's intent for tv: in the hopes that there was *some* definition that
was clear and acceptable to everyone.  Else it is relegated to an
"informational" (RFC).  But such an outcome is not in the best interest of
the users of tv: as it will remain open to endless debate and some
interpretation (especially if its context is ill-defined).  And, not having
it standardized makes referencing the tv: URI problematic for certain other
standards bodies.

I would *love* to continue the bigger TV object naming discussion, and have
given the subject a *lot* of thought.  But I would (independently) like to
close on defining tv: for the reasons stated above.

So, in summary of where I think we are is that we have established that to
put live TV in an HTML page, you need a URI scheme(s) (or at least noone
objected to Werner and my premise statements to this).

If you believe that tv: is useful, and will continue to be used no matter
what, and that it should be well-defined as soon as possible by experts,
then the primary question is: can we specify tv: in *some* manner that is
well-defined within the requirements of a URI.

I solicit your expert help on this specific task.


At 09:54 AM 2/14/99 PST, Larry Masinter wrote:
>The questions of "what is a URN" or "what is a URL" tend to
>lean away from engineering and toward philosophy or even
>I suggest a different approach. Imagine, for a moment, the
>possibility that an author might want to create content
>which is intended to be delivered MORE THAN ONE WAY. That
>is, not JUST by 'tv', but, say, the same content delivered
>EITHER by 'tv' OR via HTTP on a (forfend) regular old PC.
>But what would a regular old PC do with this "tv" URL?
>Clearly it doesn't mean "turn on the TV now and watch it".
>There's some other semantics that is actually wanted;
>you're invoking some image which is inherited from the
>context, I suppose. I'm not entirely sure.
>I urge you to think out of the box and come up with
>a design that's actually useful in multiple contexts.
>Sometimes you get boxed in by imagining a world in which
>everyone is just watching interacting with web pages 
>while watching their TV.
>But people don't just watch the web. They save it, store it,
>forward it, mail it, put it in databases, search it. 
>How could you design something that would work in all
>those other scenarios, at least as well as today's
>'best practice' URL uses? Don't create a design that's
>_only_ useful for "www-tv".
Michael A. Dolan, Representing DIRECTV,  (619)445-9070   FAX: (619)445-6122
PO Box 1673 Alpine, CA 91903, Overnight: 20239 Japatul Rd, Alpine, CA 91901