Illegality of '~' in URLs

Olle Jarnefors (ojarnef@admin.kth.se)
Fri, 22 Dec 95 15:18:17 +0100


Date: Fri, 22 Dec 95 15:18:17 +0100
Message-Id: <9512221418.AA15880@mercutio.admin.kth.se>
From: Olle Jarnefors <ojarnef@admin.kth.se>
To: uri@bunyip.com
Cc: Peter Svanberg <psv@nada.kth.se>, Olle Jarnefors <ojarnef@admin.kth.se>
Subject: Illegality of '~' in URLs

14 % of the http: URLs used in messages to the html-wg mailing
list this month includes the character tilde, '~'. (See the list
at the bottom of this message.) Most or all of these originate
from the Unix operating system, I assume.

RFC 1738 doesn't allow this character in http: URLs, though:

> httpurl        = "http://" hostport [ "/" hpath [ "?" search ]]
> hpath          = hsegment *[ "/" hsegment ]
> hsegment       = *[ uchar | ";" | ":" | "@" | "&" | "=" ]
> uchar          = unreserved | escape
> unreserved     = alpha | digit | safe | extra
> safe           = "$" | "-" | "_" | "." | "+"
> extra          = "!" | "*" | "'" | "(" | ")" | ","

Would it hurt to remove this restriction on URL syntax?
In http: URLs? In all URLs?

/Olle

--
Olle Jarnefors, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm <ojarnef@admin.kth.se>


Tilde-illegal URLs found in messages on the html-wg list 951201/951222
----------------------------------------------------------------------

http://homepage.interaccess.com/~driscoll/
http://infomatch.com/~haibeck
http://www.acl.lanl.gov/~rdaniel/
http://www.cs.columbia.edu/~william
http://www.cs.princeton.edu/~burchard/www/interactive/
http://www.dsv.su.se/~jpalme
http://www.spyglass.com/~eric/
http://www.ucc.ie/~pflynn/books/wwwbook.html

49 of the URLs did _not_ contain '~'.