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Spec review: "URI (or IRI)"

From: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>
Date: Sun, 02 Sep 2007 19:36:45 +0200
Message-ID: <46DAF4AD.3090203@gmx.de>
To: "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>


I was reading through parts of Section 3, and noticed that the spec 
seems to inherit outdated terminology from HTML4, and makes it even 
worse by throwing in IRIs.

For instance, in 3.7.4 (<http://www.w3.org/html/wg/html5/#the-link>), it 

"The destination of the link is given by the href attribute, which must 
be present and must contain a URI (or IRI)."

First of all, the destination can be a relative reference as well, so it 
should either say "URI or relative reference", or "URI-Reference" 
(RFC3986, Section 4.1).

Looking at <http://www.w3.org/html/wg/html5/#terminology>, it says:

"For readability, the term URI is used to refer to both ASCII URIs and 
Unicode IRIs, as those terms are defined by RFC 3986 and RFC 3987 
respectively, and as modified by RFC 2732. On the rare occasions where 
IRIs are not allowed but ASCII URIs are, this is called out explicitly. 
[RFC3986] [RFC3987] [RFC2732]"

I find that confusing, in particular if other sections of the text 
continue to say "URI (or IRI)". (Of course the reference to RFC2732 
doesn't make any sense at all, as it has been incorporated into RFC3986.)

So, to include both URIs, IRIs, and URI references and IRI references, 
the spec should really talk about "IRI references" (including all of 
them), and point to the definition in RFC3987, Section 2.2. If there's a 
need to use a different term for that, I'd recommend *not* to use "URI", 
because that's really a true subset of the things that the spec means to 

Best regards, Julian
Received on Sunday, 2 September 2007 17:37:01 UTC

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