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Re: Proposal for an "address:" URI Scheme

From: Sean B. Palmer <sean@mysterylights.com>
Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2001 16:09:44 -0000
Message-ID: <007501c0ae35$bd082060$64d993c3@z5n9x1>
To: "chad" <yandros@mit.edu>
Cc: "Aaron Swartz" <aswartz@swartzfam.com>, <uri@w3.org>, <www-talk@w3.org>
>   address:///ru:Russia/00000/xxx/us:USA
> [...] You may wish to use something other than a colon, but I
> don't follow uri close enough anymore to know what else might
> be a good suggestion.

Punctuation often has an explicit or implied associated meaning in
URIs, so we'd have to be very careful about choosing the right thing.
The following are a list of reserved characters from the URI RFC [1]:-

      reserved    = ";" | "/" | "?" | ":" | "@" | "&" | "=" | "+" |
                    "$" | ","

As the first part of the "address:" scheme is most definitely an
"authority component", it must therefore abide by the syntax rules
that this carries, namely being preceeded by a "//", ended with a "/"
or "?" and containing data plus the reserved characters as per [1]:-

     Within the authority component, the characters ";", ":",
     "@", "?", and "/" are reserved.

Getting back to the suggestion, a //ru:Russia/ form would seem O.K.,
because ":" is an allowable reserved character within an authority
component, but it might be better to use a semi-colon for this purpose
(which represents parameters), a la:-


Where the first parameter is defined as an ISO standard country code,
and the second parameter is the prose country name defined as being
the official country name for your particular country. For example, if
a French person were creating an "address:" URI to an English address,
they might put:-


Whereas an English-speaking person would put:-


Obviously, this is something which we don't want to constrain! It is
simply a "best practise" brought about by the localized nature of
postal addresses. I'm still not tremendously happy about having a
prose parameter in the authority compenent 'though.

> Oh, and *definately* change the name of the scheme from
> `address'. Offhand, `geo' sounds reasonable.

But "geo" is so closely related with very specialized place names...
This scheme needs to indicate that it is used merely as a URI form for
standard (whatever that means) postal addresses. As I've stated before
"postal address" neatly becomes either:-

   or address:

"postal-address:" is a bit long, "post:" is too verb-like, and
"address:" seems to fit the bill nicely. Could you give a reason why
you don't like "address:" for the scheme name? You say to
"*definately*" change it, but don't state why you don't like it :-)

Many thanks for the input to everyone on this,

[1] http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2396.txt
   - Berners-Lee, T., Fielding, R., and L. Masinter,
     "Uniform Resource Identifiers (URI): Generic Syntax", RFC
     2396, August 1998.

Kindest Regards,
Sean B. Palmer
@prefix : <http://webns.net/roughterms/> .
:Sean :hasHomepage <http://infomesh.net/sbp/> .
Received on Friday, 16 March 2001 11:24:04 UTC

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