RE: telephone URLs, comments on draft-antti-telephony-url-04

At 23.18 -0700 98-06-29, Larry Masinter wrote:
>I wasn't ever suggesting that the base could change. The only
>issue is that you can set up a context "tel://1/650/812/" against which
>local numbers "4365", "4333" could be resolved.

Then we have a meta-discussion here, and that is what a base can be used
for, or rather (the way I see it), what a hierarchy is.

>From my point of view, what I have used as a criteria is that IF one have a
namespace, which is well-defined, as a hostname, and bound to that some
names, AND that namespace can change name without changing the names inside
that namespace, then we have a hierarchy that works.

For example, the URL's to files on a host in the http scheme do exist can
be formed like:


If it is the case that the hostname changes from foo to bar, the
hierarchies do work still:


This is definitely not the case with phone numbers as they are allocated
individually, and when the "base" changes, each one of the numbers inside
that country- or areacode have to be changed individually.

>From my perspective, the phone numbers should not, because of this, be
treated like a hierarichal namespace.

>I think this is of marginal value, but on the other hand, a notation
>that made it clear that "tel:12345" was somehow a relative name with
>a missing component would be a _good thing_.

The notation "tel:118" can be used for numbers which are supposed to be
dialled as is, i.e. regardless of what area you are in, and what local
telco you are using.

>And people are used to
>"//" in URLs, they sometimes add them anyway

That is for me an argument, but I rather see something that works, than
picking something that might be broken. I.e. when designing protocols, I
don't belive in evolution when that evolution are brought forward by weird
forces (as one example, I personally belive that one of the problems we
have with the com domain is that the browsers started guessing easy is it to make marketing people in companies in
Sweden understand that the "se" domain should be used, when their main
argument is that Netscape does not look up things in the "se" domain?).

>(I've seen mailto:// even) , but getting folks
>to add the "+" might be hard.

People just have to learn using the '+'. That is the international standard
that exists, and one should not change that.

That is actually the main argument for me. We have one standard that is
used world-wide (except in the US). That standard for writing phone numbers
uses a '+' as identifier for a country code. We should not impose a new way
of writing phone numbers.

>> They did see problems with the suggestion from you when the case happens
>> that one number changes area code (or the area code disappears like in
>> Denmark), i.e. that the base changes in the relative URL you are
>> describing.
>I don't understand what the problem is. Could you explain the
>"problems with the suggestion from me"?
>If I say "base = tel://1/415/812/" and then it changes to
> "base = tel://1/650/812/" for some numbers and stays the same
>for others (as happened), now I have to make some of the relative
>numbers into absolute, and leave the rest relative. Why is that
>more of a problem than having to change every number?

The problem is that if you have:


And change that to the area 650, the numbers 812, 813 and 814 may not (and
is definitly not when doing the renumbering they do in Europe at the
moment) stay the same. You will get maybe:


(The difference in length was intentional!)

I.e. yes, one _can_ change all the relative numbers aswell, but, the
notation of a hierarchy gives the impression that there is some kind of
stronger relationship between the numbers in the same area. There is no
such relationship. (See above!)

>>                                                    It is, to
>> use their wording, unlikely that the  base of phone numbers changes the
>> same for all numbers in the same base, even inside a country code like
>> Sweden.
>Of course not; mainly the codes split.

Wrong. The telephone number allocation in the world (except in the US)
increases the length of the number, and minimizes the amount of area codes.
In many countries the area codes disappear so people can take their number
with them when they move.

>> According to them, each phone number is individual, is allocated in blocks
>> which have nothing to do with the area code or such, and each number is
>> also changed individually when they need to change.
>Yes, I didn't think so. I'm not sure what point you are making, though.

I hope the discussion in the beginning of this mail did help.

>> It is also the case that some allocations (for example according to a
>> proposal for a "411"-service within the global 118 number series in Sweden,
>> which I think is stupid, but anyways) are hierarichal because of a
>> _postfix_ and not prefix. The format for this number is 118yxx, where y='0'
>> and y='5' is saved for national services, while the industry can ask for at
>> most two numbers in this series for national and international services.
>Then there is no short form. I'm not sure why this is a counterexample,

Because one can say that IF you use Telco with code 15 for national 411
service, you should dial 11815, and if you use Telco with code 16 for
national 411 service, you should dial 11814.

How do you express that fact, so one should dial 118 + the "base" which
differs depending on what telco you happen to use?

This is one case where you really have a "base"!


Received on Tuesday, 30 June 1998 11:31:05 UTC