Message-Id: <9508111235.AA12531@mocha.bunyip.com> Subject: Re: Globalizing URIs To: Dirk.vanGulik@jrc.it (Dirk.vanGulik) Date: Fri, 11 Aug 1995 14:35:50 +0200 (MET DST) Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org In-Reply-To: <9508111008.AA02658@ jrc.it> from "Dirk.vanGulik" at Aug 11, 95 12:08:17 pm From: Martin J Duerst <email@example.com> > >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. Many thanks for the data, which is very interesting. But I really see problems with the conclusions you draw. In particular: >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% If we assume a hypothetical URL <http://www.xanadu.com/newproducts/intro.html> Then as given above, it means that 48% of the people were able to tell that "www.xanadu.com" was the name of the host where the information resided. And 22% were able to tell that /newproducts/intro.html was the path and file name of the document. This is a TECHNICAL understanding, and to be able to decide whether people are "bothered any further", we would have to ask different questions, along the line: Did you realize that there is a correspondence between the characters 'xanadu' in the URL and the fact that the document was about a company with name 'Xanadu'? Did it help you when taking a notice of this URL on paper that there was a correspondence between characters such as 'xanadu' and 'newproducts' and the fact that your aquaintance that gave you the URL mentionned that it was about some great 'new products' by a company called 'Xanadu'? Did you notice that your URL, or the URL of your company, contains (between some weird characters, maybe), characters that you clearly can associate with the name of your company or some of its parts or with your name? Do you think this helps you remember the URL, and helps other poeple understand what it could point to? For your company and your documents, would you try to make URLs look like arbitrary telephone numbers, or would you rather try to make them as self-speaking as possible, if you could, and would you assume that others would try to do the same, or not? I hope I don't have to tell you how I expect these questions to be answered. There is quite a difference between technical understanding of what part of the URL is what, and the (maybe implicit) understanding of the correspondences between character sequences in the URL and names in the real world. Regards, Martin.