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Re: Fwd: draft-hoffman-news-nntp-uri-00.txt

From: Al Gilman <Alfred.S.Gilman@IEEE.org>
Date: Fri, 27 Aug 2004 11:22:25 -0400
Message-Id: <p06110400bd54e3b473d5@[]>
To: uri@w3.org

At 7:20 PM +0100 8/26/04, Charles Lindsey wrote:

>On Wed, 25 Aug 2004 14:11:14 -0400, Al Gilman 
><Alfred.S.Gilman@IEEE.org> wrote:
>>Charles, can you come up with proposed RFC text and/or some test instances
>>of hyperlinks with news: and nntp: URIs as href values?
>I have now proposed some syntax.

Yes, thank you. 

>When we are agreed on that, then some semantics could follow.

[Not sure I would think we can 'agree on' syntax without agreeing on semantics.
My religion says model first, then bind to syntax.  Not sure it matters.]

Is this what we are after?:

   Requirement: describes actual implemented practice

   Optimization factor: within the range of what is possible in that regard,
comes as close to being on a track of cleanup and rationalization of Web
usage as we can.

>>I tried to ask on the WAI-IG list "do we particularly need to keep this up?"
>>and got some firm affirmatives.  Of course it is not clear whether
>>people thought I meant News as a service or 'news' URIs as a link notation.
>I think it is clear that news URLs are in fairly regular use, mainly 
>in the form that quotes a single <message-id>. For an example of one 
>using a <newsgroup-name>, see 
>http://www.usenet.org.uk/uk.local.cheshire.html (and lots of similar 
>pages on that site).

The evidence that I have gathered so far is thin, but it does provide 
a case of sorts for the
following ideas:

- Newsgroups are used for product support and for 
community-of-interest caucuses in intranets.

- Accessing newsgroups with a newsreader is more usable under screen 
reader conditions than through some web gateway, unless the gateway 
has been rather carefully constructed.  DejaNews is not bad but the 
sponsors or builders of interanets don't want to be beholden to that 
outside interest and the news: URI that drops the reference into a 
newsreader that is already in the browser on the desktop is a simpler 
solution not involving as many strings attached.

So there's a case for giving a news: URI as an alternate to an http: 
URI where the caucus or message
is cited in Web content (as an access enhancing technique).

If that's a use case we care to sustain, we should do due diligence 
in maintaining the scheme spec.

My contacts are seeking more information on these points, and I have 
asked for newsgroup nominations
for use in test materials, just so our volunteer testers will find it 
more easy to recognize when the URI has succeeded or failed.  That 
may be a gratuitous optimization.

>I have never actually seen an nntp URL in the wild, but I just tried 
>it in my Opera browser, and it sort of worked (including a <range> 
>with two <article-numbers> in it). But I doubt such URLs would be of 
>much use on Usenet, though they might make sense in small private 

My thought had been to put nntp: URIs on a phase-out path.  Nowadays 
I would be delighted to get an IETF document which provides a 
best-fit description of what actually interoperates.

Remind me: are <article-number>s portable across servers?   Or are 
these independently assigned
as the messages are received at the server?


>Charles H. Lindsey ---------At Home, doing my own thing------------------------
>Tel: +44 161 436 6131 Fax: +44 161 436 6133   Web: http://www.cs.man.ac.uk/~chl
>Email: chl@clerew.man.ac.uk      Snail: 5 Clerewood Ave, CHEADLE, SK8 3JU, U.K.
>PGP: 2C15F1A9      Fingerprint: 73 6D C2 51 93 A0 01 E7 65 E8 64 7E 14 A4 AB A5
Received on Friday, 27 August 2004 16:18:50 UTC

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