Re: Globalizing URIs

Dirk.vanGulik (
Fri, 11 Aug 1995 12:08:17 +0200

Date: Fri, 11 Aug 1995 12:08:17 +0200
From: "Dirk.vanGulik" <>
Message-Id: <9508111008.AA02658@>
Subject: Re: Globalizing URIs

A minor aside:

There seems to be quite some concern as wether URI's ought
to be human readble, type-able, visable, etc.

Based on medium sized survey, see below, I would suggest that we do
not focus too much on human readdable URLs, but we do insist
that URLs can be transfered from person to person and are
easy to type in. People seem to regard them as opague
strings, just like phone numbers.

They know how to enter them, but they cannot be bothered
by them any further.


We did a recent survey on how people used URLs. Only users
which requested more thant 2 Mb/three days or 250 documents
a week (whichever was first satisfied) for at least 4 consequtive
weeks where included. N=1329. Some results:

Knew what a URL was                            21%
Knew what URL stood for	                       18%
Knew how to go to a page if you gave them      89%   !!!!!
  'the address'
Could thell us how to see a URL of a page      22%
Could tell us the URL of the page              29%   !!!!! 
  they where looking at
Knew the URL of the insitute home page         71%
 (which is on their card)
Could tell us the URL of their own             83%
  home page (also on their card)
Given a URL, tell us where it comes
  from	  country/edu/gov domain correct       23%
	  protocol understanding               21% 
	  hostname understanding               48%
          file/path/script understanding       22%

Take the values with a bit of salt, not all participants
and investigators where equaly versed in the language used
to communicate. And the SD was quite high. The order of
the questions allowed 'guided recognition'.