Re: URL internationalization!

Gregory J. Woodhouse (gjw@wnetc.com)
Thu, 20 Feb 1997 15:47:42 -0800 (PST)


Date: Thu, 20 Feb 1997 15:47:42 -0800 (PST)
From: "Gregory J. Woodhouse" <gjw@wnetc.com>
To: "Roy T. Fielding" <fielding@kiwi.ICS.UCI.EDU>
Cc: URI mailing list <uri@bunyip.com>
Subject: Re: URL internationalization! 
In-Reply-To: <9702201154.aa16860@paris.ics.uci.edu>
Message-Id: <Pine.SGI.3.95.970220153223.21842A-100000@shellx.best.com>

I believe Roy's comments are right on the mark here. URLs are resource
identifiers which have the added convenience of being easily transcribable
and can be chosen to have some mnemonic value, but it is not their function
to implement a directory service. To use a worn out example, URLs are to
the web as i-nodes are to the Unix filesystem. Just as directories give us
meaningful file names under Unix (and not just i-node numbers), directory
services on the Internet are the right way to introduce names which are
meaningful in local character sets. An advantage of directory services is
that it is possible to have multiple directory services for the same file
system (as a simple example think of long filenames and 8.3 filenames under
Windows 95). The same web could easily support Directory services for
English and Japanese.

It may sound a bit strange for me to say this now as I have objected in the
past to the idea that certain URI schemes should use what are in essence
binary strings. That URLs are transcribable and easily remembered is a
considerable convenience, and this feature of the URL mechanism is a great
asset. However, this should not obscure the fact tht URLs are not meant to
implement a directory service.

---
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If you're going to reinvent the wheel, at least try to come
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