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RE: Heads-up re: IPv6 addresses in URLs (from IPng-WG minutes)

From: Jim Gettys <jg@pa.dec.com>
Date: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 13:51:17 -0800
Message-Id: <9801122151.AA25584@pachyderm.pa.dec.com>
To: Josh Cohen <joshco@microsoft.com>
Cc: koen@win.tue.nl, mogul@pa.dec.com, http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com
X-Mailing-List: <http-wg@cuckoo.hpl.hp.com> archive/latest/5151
This whole issue is really one for the URI documents, rather than HTTP...
Of course, we'd like them to get to draft standard soon as well, so
that we can reference them rather than incorporating duplication.  Yet
another headache of mine of last week...

At the IETF, a number of us (quite interesting collection of people),
talked through this issue (over beer in the bar, of course; was the most
fun conversation of the IETF I had...)...  This was alluded to in the minutes
(the "design team").
	Attending included: 
		Brian Carpenter, (IAB chair)
		Larry Masinter
		Henrik Frystyk
		Steve Deering (Cisco, and IPNG heavyweight).
		probably one or two more I forget.

Bottom line was that the browsers were the least of the problem;
we almost certainly could get the big players to change the browsers...

But...  The browser is the tip of the iceberg...  The first proposal (things 
like brackets or other syntactic changes to URI's) would break a large number 
of tools that know about HTML, XML and the like, and that therefore something 
like the .ipv6 domain hack proposal was the only viable approach.  These 
tools vastly outnumber the browsers in the world.

Steve was going to take the []less proposal back to the working group meeting.  
Sounds like the proposal got taken back, but not everyone understood the 
issue (in particular that the browsers were the least of the problem) and 
think that URI syntax changes are feasible....  (wish they were, as URI 
syntax is far from ideal, but reality can be very hard...).

Looks like some further education of the IPV6 community may be in order,
if Steve Deering  or Brian Carpenter thinks that things may go wrong...
			- Jim

>  From: Jeffrey Mogul <mogul@pa.dec.com>
>  Date: Mon, 12 Jan 98 12:11:41 PST
>  To: http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com
>  Subject: Heads-up re: IPv6 addresses in URLs (from IPng-WG minutes)
>  I was skimming the minutes of the IPng WG from the Washington, DC IETF
>  meeting, and found this:
>  [Start of excerpt]
>      IPv6 Addresses in URL's / B. Carpenter
>      --------------------------------------
>      Design team meet in the bar a few nights ago.
>      Need numeric address in URL's for emergency operations (or robotic apps).
>      Colons break URL parsers "hostname" syntax
>      Proposals:
>        http://--ABCD-EF12-
>        http://[ABCD:EF12:]:80/
>      Issue:  Should IPng w.g. reopen the "colon" notation?
>      Heated discussion.  Most comments that this is stupid, we should
>      not reopen IPv6 text notation.  Long discussion.  Issue seems to be
>      that many parsers that take URL's are very limited.
>      No one was in favor of changing current text representation.
>      Extremely strong consensus!
>      It was noted that the issue is probably only relevant for complete
>      web browsers (e.g., Netscape, Microsoft, etc.), not all other
>      applications that use URL's.  If the complete web browsers can be
>      changed it is very likely to be sufficient.  Recommend that the
>      primary preferred syntax for IPv6 addresses in URL's be:
>        http://[ABCD.EF01::2345:6789]:80/
>      The IPv6 address should be enclosed in brackets.  URL parsers that
>      can not support this notation can either support the proposed
>      alternative syntax:
>        http://--ABCD-EF12-
>      or not allow IPv6 addresses to be entered directly.
>  [End of excerpt]
>  I'm not sure if this is really an "issue" for HTTP/1.1, but I suspect
>  that the IESG will want to be sure that HTTP/1.1 syntax is compatible
>  with IPv6, and if there are conflicts, we should probably make sure
>  they are addressed.  Or make an explicit statement that we are not
>  going to address them in this version of the protocol (and why not).
>  -Jeff
Jim Gettys
Industry Standards and Consortia
Digital Equipment Corporation
Visting Scientist, World Wide Web Consortium, M.I.T.
jg@w3.org, jg@pa.dec.com
Received on Monday, 12 January 1998 13:55:22 UTC

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