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Re: change "URL" to "web address" throughout the HTML 5 spec (Issue-56 urls-webarch)

From: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>
Date: Fri, 21 Aug 2009 18:19:17 +0300
Cc: public-html@w3.org
Message-Id: <B93ACCBE-FD76-40A9-BB0C-6B306EBC9009@iki.fi>
To: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Replay of IRC comments in email as encouraged:

On Aug 20, 2009, at 17:58, Dan Connolly wrote:

> Please take out the "willful violation" note and replace the
> term URL by web address (or another of your choosing;
> "hypertext reference" met with approval of several interested
> people http://esw.w3.org/topic/IETF_HTML5_Meeting_March_2009 ).

FWIW, my most preferred term is "URL", but my second most preferred  
term is "Web address". I think hypertext reference, IRI [reference],  
URI [reference], LEIRI [reference], etc. would all be worse here.

> For reference, the term URL is defined in an IETF standard this way:
>   ... The
>   term "Uniform Resource Locator" (URL) refers to the subset of URIs
>   that, in addition to identifying a resource, provide a means of
>   locating the resource by describing its primary access mechanism
>   (e.g., its network "location").
>    -- http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc3986.txt
> and URIs are defined as absolute URIs, so strings such as
> "../xyz" are not URIs (they're URI references) and hence
> they're not URLs. The definition of "web address" does
> include them, meanwhile.

Trying to kill a wildly successful term like URL (as opposed to  
updating the spec to match the success) is on terminology level  
similar to trying to kill a wildly successful format like HTML on the  
technology level instead of updating it. People who can read a "URL"  
on the side of a bus and type it to an address bar and people who  
author links with "URLs" far outnumber RFC lawyers. (Fortunately,  
though, trying to kill a term from the specs isn't as bad as trying to  
kill a format.)

"../xyz" is a "relative URL", and "http://example.com/xyx" is an  
"absolute URL" in common usage.

Henri Sivonen
Received on Friday, 21 August 2009 15:20:01 UTC

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