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windows example not so weird [was: Re: Fwd: I-D ACTION:draft-hoffman-rfc1738bis-00.txt]

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Date: Tue, 02 Sep 2003 17:29:56 -0400
Message-Id: <5.1.0.14.2.20030902170856.023b5280@pop.iamdigex.net>
To: Paul Hoffman / VPNC <paul.hoffman@vpnc.org>(by way of Martin Duerst <duerst@w3.org>), uri@w3.org


<quote cite=
" ftp://ftp.ietf.org/internet-drafts/draft-hoffman-rfc1738bis-00.txt">

Because different operating systems specify the location of files in
directories differently, the file URL scheme is very system-dependent.
For example, on systems running some versions of Microsoft Windows, a
drive specification is used instead of a host, and the drive is preceded
by an extra "/" character. Thus, for a file called "windows.ini" in the
"windows" directory on the "c:" drive, the URL would be:

    file:///c:/windows/example.ini

</quote>

This paragraph paints this behavior in too peculiar a light.  The "c:" in
this URI is *not* syntactically a replacement for the <host>.  It is the
top of the file-path.  The host in this URI is the sameOldSameOld default
host of 'localhost.'

It is a characteristic of this OS that the file path always starts with a
drive letter.  But in the URI syntax this is just an OS-peculiar convention
on top-level directory names, not requiring any special support in the scheme.

Once we have established the 'localhost' convention and the empty-string
alias for this pseudohost, the DOS usage above is fully conforming already;
needs no additional special casing.

<quote
cite=ibid>

As a special case, <host> can be the string "localhost" or the empty
string; this is interpreted as `the machine from which the URL is
being interpreted'.

</quote>

The transform from

.. in DOS syntax

   c:\windows\example.ini

to
.. in URI syntax

   file:///c:/windows/example.ini

is much closer and more direct than the above quote would make it sound.

The paragraph could go away and the example move to a collection of examples.

[all IIRC...]

Al
Received on Tuesday, 2 September 2003 17:35:02 UTC

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