Re: [Uri-review] ws: and wss: schemes

On Tue, 2009-09-08 at 21:13 -0400, Daniel R. Tobias wrote:
> I wonder if the "HTTP Uber Alles" crowd, if they were active 20 years 
> ago, would be insisting that everything, including that newfangled 
> HTTP protocol, be expressed in the form of a Gopher address, or 
> perhaps FTP or Telnet, or maybe an e-mail address with the standard, 
> adopted by the owner of the address, that the subject line contain 
> the actual protocol intended to be used?
> I also wonder if, should their side win all its battles, 1000 years 
> from now all URIs in use will be at least 1000 characters long, of 
> which at least 800 of these characters will be fossilized deadwood of 
> obsolete protocols that are preserved as magic incantations to begin 
> a URI.  So they'll be something like:
> ...[snip]... /actualsite.actualgalaxy/path-in-site
> where "", under "http", is the magic indicator of 
> the InterPlanetaryProtocol that became dominant in 2067, and was 
> followed by the actual address being reached by that protocol, 
> starting with its home planet, but then "" within 
> "earth" became the magic string to indicate that you are actually 
> using the InterGalacticProtocol which became dominant in 2152, and 
> similarly the "" signifies the Tachyon Protocol 
> that caught on around 2272.
> User agent identifiers for the browsers people use with their 31st 
> century protocols are similarly long and convoluted, beginning with 
> "Mozilla/5.0" and containing references to MSIE, Gecko, and various 
> other browser names and codenames that were trendy at some point or 
> other over the millennium.

History is riddled with discarded protocols, the proponents of which
naively thought that *their* protocol was so important that they needed
to invent a whole new naming scheme for it.  

If the Tachyon Protocol does become dominant in 2272 it will be a simple
matter to define a new URI scheme, so that Tachyon URIs can be shortened
henceforth.  (That's the *easy* part.  The hard part was convincing the
186,000 makers of nearly 4.2 trillion devices to *implement* the Tachyon
Protocol.)  But until that point, there is greater value in layering the
Tachyon Protocol on top of the dominant protocol, whether that happens
to be HTTP or the InterPlanetaryProtocol.

There is nothing intrinsically special about HTTP.  What matters is just
that it is so widely implemented.  That's what the network effect is all

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, 9 September 2009 14:18:46 UTC