Re: revised "generic syntax" and "data:" internet drafts

Edward Cherlin (
Wed, 2 Apr 1997 13:40:14 -0800

Message-Id: <v0300781daf687ef07cea@[]>
In-Reply-To: <Pine.SUN.3.96.970402152823.245G-100000@enoshima>
Date: Wed, 2 Apr 1997 13:40:14 -0800
From: Edward Cherlin <>
Subject: Re: revised "generic syntax" and "data:" internet drafts

On Wed, 2 Apr 1997 16:23:59 +0200 (MET DST),
"Martin J. Duerst" <> wrote:
>On Tue, 1 Apr 1997, Larry Masinter wrote:
>> I haven't seen announcements on these drafts, but there's
>> a revised "generic syntax" draft:
>> with those changes that seemed uncontroversial, and a revision
>I downloaded draft-fielding-url-syntax-04.txt and had a look at it.
>A lot of things have settled down, and the draft as a whole is now
>in extremely good shape.
>However, I am very astonished to find one important thing missing,
>on which I had assumed that rough consensus was achieved and for
>which an excellent proposal for text (by Roy Fielding) exists.

I'm surprised, too. I thought we had this worked out, and that there was no
significant objection or controversy.

>The issue is (you might guess it :-) the internationalization of
>URLs. The place where one would expect the text by Roy Fielding
>to go is the end of Section 2.1., but the only text it contains is:
>   In current practice, many different character encoding schemes are
>   used in the first mapping (between sequences of represented
>   characters and sequences of octets) and there is generally no
>   representation in the URL itself of which mapping was used.  For
>   this reason, a client without knowledge of the origination
>   mechanism cannot reliably unescape characters for display.
>This is a clear confession of the hopeless deficiencies of the current
>solution. Many people have pointed out that a better solution exists,
>and the there is an easy upgrade path to this solution. It was also
>explained in many details that adopting such a solution would bring
>substantial benefits to those affected by the current non-solution,
>while nobody preferring the current chaos would be required to
>change anything.
>Therefore, I herewith propose that the following two paragraphs
>(text by Roy Fielding) be added to the end of Section 2.1:
>   URL creation mechanisms that generate the URL from a source which
>   is not restricted to a single character->octet encoding are
>   encouraged, but not required, to transition resource names toward
>   using UTF-8 exclusively.
>   URL creation mechanisms that generate the URL from a source which
>   is restricted to a single character->octet encoding should use UTF-8
>   exclusively.  If the source encoding is not UTF-8, then a mapping
>   between the source encoding and UTF-8 should be used.
>For the detailed arguments for this proposal, I refer you to
>> both of which I believe are ready for "last call".
>Well, if the above text regarding UTF-8 is added to the syntax draft,
>it should indeed be ready for last call.
>Regards,	Martin.

Second the motion.

Edward Cherlin     Everything should be made
Vice President     Ask. Someone knows.       as simple as possible,
NewbieNet, Inc.                                 __but no simpler__.                Attributed to Albert Einstein