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RE: ISSUE-54: doctype-legacy-compat

From: Larry Masinter <masinter@adobe.com>
Date: Fri, 23 Jan 2009 14:23:17 -0800
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
CC: Lachlan Hunt <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>, "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>, Sam Ruby <rubys@us.ibm.com>
Message-ID: <8B62A039C620904E92F1233570534C9B0118C8472B25@nambx04.corp.adobe.com>

I would think that a description in the registration of "about:" would talk about it as a way of accessing concrete resources and services within the browser or software interpreting the URI; that's certainly the case with all the current uses of "about:" that I'm familiar with. In some ways this is analogous to "file:" URIs used (as typical) without an authority or host component, and subject to the similar caveats and security warnings. In general, the use of "about:" would be restricted, since the sender of content containing an "about:" reference has no guarantees about the context in which the URI will be interpreted. So, I think it is, in general, a bad idea to recommend use of about URIs as a standard protocol element in any format used for interchange.

Secondly, "about:" URIs *do* have a clear retrieval path, and there is some expectation that, should you type one into a browser, you would get something meaningful; in this case, there is no requirement (or it would be unreasonable to expect) a browser to present something meaningful should one accidentally type about:sgml-compat into the address bar.

Far better, if you want to use a short string that has clear "no retrieval method implied", I would suggest 


and registering a "w3c" URN namespace.   This establishes that w3c is the keeper of the meaning of W3C token names, and that sgml-compat-dtd (or maybe just 'sgml-compat') is the name suggested.

It's been well established practice in other standards organizations to use the "urn:" scheme to name resources that have established semantics and intentionally have no established retrieval methods.


-----Original Message-----
From: public-html-request@w3.org [mailto:public-html-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Ian Hickson
Sent: Friday, January 23, 2009 1:42 PM
To: Dan Connolly
Cc: Lachlan Hunt; public-html@w3.org; Sam Ruby
Subject: Re: ISSUE-54: doctype-legacy-compat

On Fri, 23 Jan 2009, Dan Connolly wrote:
> Meanwhile, about: is not registered; it probably should be.

I intend to register about: at some point, probably near last call. The 
HTML5 spec already uses it for about:blank.

If anyone wants to write an I-D for the IETF to handle about:, that would 
be great, by the way. (Volunteers can contact me directly if they would 
like to discuss what such a draft should say.)

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Friday, 23 January 2009 22:23:59 UTC

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