Re: The UR* scheme registry, Citing URL/URI specs

Dan Connolly (
Fri, 24 Oct 1997 17:56:00 -0500

Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 24 Oct 1997 17:56:00 -0500
From: Dan Connolly <>
To: Al Gilman <>
Subject: Re: The UR* scheme registry, Citing URL/URI specs

Al Gilman wrote:
> The HTML specification has trouble deciding which RFC(s) to cite
> to define acceptable URLs.  The right answer is that the HTML
> spec should not be trying to define acceptable URLs.

Documents don't try; people try. The people writing the HTML
specs aren't trying to make this judgement. We're just
trying to cite the standard for the generic syntax.

>  This is a
> deal between the browser and the marketplace which is somewhat
> disciplined through the registry efforts of the IETF, but does
> not pass under the thumb of the HTML specification.

Yeah verily.

> The _HTML_ requirements on URLs are that they are expressed in
> the appropriate SGML type so that they can be embedded in text
> where an attribute value is needed.  What strings (schemes)
> browsers should be capable of handling is not the place of HTML
> to define.  That is the architecture bug at the moment.  HTML
> talks as though it defines URLs by reference to RFCs.  HTML per
> se shouldn't be pretending to regulate URLs at all.  The IETF
> process should be cited as a source for more information.  This
> is an informative, not normative clause, i.e. the more
> information available from the IETF is outside the scope of the
> HTML language rules.

Huh? So you want the HTML spec to say

	The value of the href attribute is a URI. For the definition
	of the term URI, go hang out at the IETF for a while
	until you figure it out.


I just want it to say:

	The value of the href attribute is a URI[RFCXXX].

Larry has suggested that I write

	The value of the href attribute is a URI[W3C-NOTE-xxxx].

I'll do that if I have to, but I think it stresses the
W3C/IETF relationship. In the area of URIs, I think Harald
and I have agreed on a "One works, the other facilitates"[1]
relationship, just like for HTTP.

I'd like Harald to confirm.

[1] Presentation given at the W3C Advisory Committe in
Reading, England, January 1996

Dan Connolly, W3C Architecture Domain Lead