Re: Consequences of Not Sharing URI Syntax

Foteos Macrides (
Mon, 09 Feb 1998 23:51:57 -0500 (EST)

Date: Mon, 09 Feb 1998 23:51:57 -0500 (EST)
From: Foteos Macrides <>
Cc: uri@Bunyip.Com
Subject: Re: Consequences of Not Sharing URI Syntax (Jim Gettys) wrote:
>[...]  The November draft submitted 
>by Fielding is closest to this model, but does need some further work; 
>e.g. the host part of the document needs clear deliniation from the rest 
>of the URI spec, so that it is clear that this is additional syntax which 
>is common in a number of schemes, but not at all inherent in URI syntax. 

	I'm not going to have Internet access again for a while after
tomorrow morning, so I'll put in my 2 cents now.

	I'm not sure what you mean by "inherent", but the draft seems to
make clear that a //<site> component is not required in URIs for all

4.3. URI Syntactic Components

   The URI syntax is dependent upon the scheme.  Some schemes use
   reserved characters like "?" and ";" to indicate special components,
   while others just consider them to be part of the path.  However,
   most URI schemes use a common sequence of four main components:


   each of which, except <scheme>, may be absent from a particular URI.
   For example, some URI schemes do not allow a <site> component, and
   others do not use a <query> component.

	The main thing that's come up and not in the URI draft is use of
'$' as a delimiter for server-side instructions, which would be considered
another (also optional) component of the URI field in URI-references,
with '$' moved from the mark group to a group of greater gravity.  I
don't know if that's appropriate to include in a Draft Standard, and if
they can only refer to other Draft Standards, how it could be included at
all (I'm not "reifying" the IETF standardization process, but I do think
that its traditional emphasis on implementation experience and backward
compatibility should not become any more "bogus" :).

	Can a $<instruction> be considered a "special component" like
;<parmeter>?  Most deployed UAs would treat a $<instruction> as part of
the component which immediately precedes it.  Where is the best formal
position for it w.r.t. <path>[;<parameter>][?<query>] ?


 Foteos Macrides            Worcester Foundation for Biomedical Research
 MACRIDES@SCI.WFBR.EDU         222 Maple Avenue, Shrewsbury, MA 01545