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Re: [Uri-review] ssh URI

From: David Booth <david@dbooth.org>
Date: Wed, 14 Oct 2009 00:21:56 -0400
To: Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>
Cc: Ted Hardie <ted.ietf@gmail.com>, uri-review@ietf.org, uri@w3.org
Message-Id: <1255494116.25337.3067.camel@dbooth-laptop>
Some comments:

 - Until there are clear criteria for deciding when a new URI scheme
should be used, these discussions will be unavoidable and necessary.  

 - It is quite clear from these discussions that the possibilities and
benefits available through piggybacking on http URIs are not well
understood by many of those who have been proposing new URI schemes.
The confusion that has been expressed when the idea has been proffered
clearly illustrates this.

 - There is an existing W3C TAG issue related to this, though not
specifically about criteria for registering new URI schemes:
HTTPSubstrate-16: Should HTTP be used as a substrate protocol? Does W3C
agree with RFC 3205?

 - I actually think an ssh: scheme is one of the most justifiable
proposals for a new scheme that I have seen lately, because ssh already
has widespread adoption, and I would not be at all upset to see it go
through.  In the long run it would be convenient.  But the ability to
serve useful information and software as a fallback for clients that do
not recognize SSH URIs is an undeniable benefit of http URIs, and I do
not think any proposal for a new scheme should be considered complete
without serious consideration of these potential benefits. 

 - BTW, http URI prefixes and new schemes do not need to be mutually
exclusive.  It is also possible to define *both* a new URI scheme *and*
an http URI prefix for the same purpose -- as synonyms.  For example,
both the "ssh:" and "http://sshuri.org?" prefixes could be defined.  By
first using URIs that are based on the http URIs, support for the SSH
URIs could be bootstrapped faster, because http URIs can dereference to
information and software to support *both* prefixes.  Later, when nearly
all clients support these prefixes, authors could start using the
briefer "ssh:" versions of the URIs.  This of course would have the
downside of creating pairs of URIs that mean the same thing.  But it
would provide a faster adoption path.

In short, although I think there is some good justification for defining
a new scheme for SSH, I don't think the http-based alternatives been
adequately explored yet and the pros/cons weighed.

David Booth

On Tue, 2009-10-13 at 21:35 +0200, Dan Brickley wrote:
> On Tue, Oct 13, 2009 at 9:19 PM, Ted Hardie <ted.ietf@gmail.com> wrote:
> > While I applaud the basic sentiment of not having this discussion
> > every time a new URI scheme comes up, I think you'd have to persuade
> > the IETF rather than the TAG.
> You're right, of course. I should have put it differently. I meant to
> express gently that if anyone around here is going to be persuaded of
> this approach, it's most likely to be the TAG. Or at least the TAG
> might be the right forum for knocking the ideas into more widely
> appealing shape. If they're persuaded, then the approach would be
> worth requesting serious review from other parties, chief amongst
> those being IETF.
> >                                                    The IETF is responsible for URI
> > registration, and the documents are pretty clear on that point.  The
> > IESG and IAB take the TAG's input very seriously, of course, but the
> > question of URI registration is one where there has been divergence
> > for some time.  As the discussion above notes, having HTTP always in
> > the URI loop may make sense for the web; it doesn't work for other
> > deployments and other protocols.
> Yes. Even in W3C circles there are a fair number of different views
> bouncing around.
> I spent a while re-reading the early years of www-talk today, and it's
> a bit disheartening how much the same old questions are still bouncing
> around 18 years later. And I'm sure not so fun for people just trying
> to register a scheme who get dragged into this decades-long
> permadiscussion.
> > I personally agree with those saying ssh ought to be an independent
> > scheme.  It has a widely installed user base and I have seen
> > individuals use ssh:hostname as a pseudo-URI for some time.  Pushing
> > out a real spec for the URI scheme would avoid interoperability
> > problems there, and that in itself is goodness.
> Completely agree...
> cheers,
> Dan
David Booth, Ph.D.
Cleveland Clinic (contractor)

Opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily
reflect those of Cleveland Clinic.
Received on Wednesday, 14 October 2009 04:22:26 UTC

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