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Re: Spec review: "URI (or IRI)"

From: Robert Burns <rob@robburns.com>
Date: Sun, 2 Sep 2007 13:30:50 -0500
Message-Id: <7EE33B5E-7C45-4640-B61A-6B0E7051D922@robburns.com>
Cc: "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
To: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>

On Sep 2, 2007, at 1:13 PM, Julian Reschke wrote:

> Robert Burns wrote:
>> ...
>> I wonder if we shouldn't be more specific and use the locator term  
>> when it applies. I'm not sure if any RFC deals with this, but many  
>> of the attributes that take IRIs in HTML5 really only take  
>> locators and not the broader identifier (is there an RFC on  
>> IRLs?).  If an attribute is going to take IRI as its data type,  
>> then I think we should clearly define what it means when the IRI  
>> is not a locator. For example, the proposal I made on associating  
>> attributions, citations, and references, where I defined how URNs  
>> (or would it be IRNs?) would be used[1].
>> So I think there are two axes to deal with: 1) ASCII  v Unicode  
>> and 2) Locator and Name versus Identifier.
>> ...
> Not sure. URLs can be used as names, when chosen carefully  
> (namespace names come to mind). URNs can be used as locators, if  
> people choose to define and implement a protocol. (See also <http:// 
> tools.ietf.org/html/rfc3986#section-1.1.3>).
> Can you elaborate where the distinction is meaningful in the  
> context of HTML?

Actually, I think you just did elaborate :-) The xmlns: attributes  
take an IRI. Those IRIs include by definition a URLs. They also  
include URNs and either 'names' or 'locators' expressed through  
Unicode characters. However, its not clear what using a URN means for  
an href attribute. If that URN is defined using a scheme that defines  
a transport protocol, then a resource could indeed be located. Are  
there any examples of this. Even in my proposal to use URNs for the  
@cite attribute, the idea is to resolve those URNs (or IRNs) into  
URLs (or IRLs) before retrieving the located resource. I suppose  
something like the "tel:" scheme is a bit more ambiguous: is that a  
name or a location appended to that scheme? However, there are  
clearly IRIs that are locators and when an attribute takes IRIs that  
are not locators I think we should say something about what that  
means (as we can easily with xmlns: attributes or as done in the  
earlier mentioned proposal[1]).

Take care,

[1]:  <http://esw.w3.org/topic/HTML/AttrtibuCitaQuotationReferencing>  
(see also


Received on Sunday, 2 September 2007 18:31:35 UTC

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