Re: revised "generic syntax" internet draft

Francois Yergeau (
Mon, 14 Apr 1997 12:15:51 -0400

Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 14 Apr 1997 12:15:51 -0400
To: "Roy T. Fielding" <fielding@kiwi.ICS.UCI.EDU>
From: Francois Yergeau <>
Subject: Re: revised "generic syntax" internet draft 
In-Reply-To: <>

À 22:55 13-04-97 -0700, Roy T. Fielding a écrit :
>Draft 04 does not have any such omission.  Non-ASCII characters are not
>allowed in URLs, period.

This is exactly the point: non-ASCII characters are used routinely, and
your insistance on saying otherwise in the spec doesn't change the facts.

>  Any application that transmits a URL in
>non-ASCII characters is declared non-compliant.

You are confusing characters and bytes.  While you may want to restrict the
transmitted bytes to 7 bits (but again, why?), you cannot restrict the
range of characters.  Hence a full mapping is required, not ASCII-only.
The current spec omits that mapping.

>>A bit preposterous, isn't it?  *Your* opinion alone is enough to break any
>Yes, it is.  That is the difference between "consensus" (what Martin
>was claiming) and "rough consensus".

Now you are confusing "consensus" and "unanimity".  Furthermore, Martin was
clearly referring to the rough consensus mentionned in the Internet
standards process, since we are discussing an Internet draft.

>   These design concerns are not always in alignment.  For example, it
>   is often the case that the most meaningful name for a URL component
>   would require characters which cannot be typed on most keyboards.
>   The ability to transcribe the resource location from one medium to
>   another was considered more important than having its URL consist
>   of the most meaningful of components.  In local and regional
>   contexts and with improving technology, users might benefit from
>   being able to use a wider range of characters.  However, such use
>   is not guaranteed to work, and should therefore be avoided.
>Your comments have done nothing to change the conclusions already
>represented within the draft.

These are not conclusions, only your opinions as editor of the draft.  You
consider typability more important than recognizing the widespread use of
non-ASCII characters, yet a number of people have expressed an opposite
opinion, to the point where something ressembling a rough consensus in that
direction has appeared.  I am not aware that your position as editor gives
your opinions precedence, or gives you the right to call them conclusions
when they are not.

François Yergeau <>
Alis Technologies Inc., Montréal
Tél : +1 (514) 747-2547
Fax : +1 (514) 747-2561