W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > uri@w3.org > April 2010

backronym proposal: Universal Resource Linker

From: Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>
Date: Sun, 18 Apr 2010 11:52:01 +0200
Message-ID: <y2ieb19f3361004180252veba84beajcf03050e69d349ee@mail.gmail.com>
To: uri@w3.org
Cc: Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>
I'll keep this short. The official term for Web identifiers, URI,
isn't widely known or understood. The I18N-friendly variant IRI
confuses many (are we all supposed to migrate to use it; or just in
our specs?), while the most widely used, understood and (for many)
easiest to pronounce, 'URL' (for Uniform Resource Locator) has been
relegated to 'archaic form' status. At the slightest provocation this
community dissapears down the rathole of URI-versus-URN, and until
this all settles down we are left with an uncomfortable disconnect
between how those in-the-know talk about Web identifiers, and those
many others who merely use it.

As of yesterday, I've been asked "but what is a URI?" one too many
times. I propose a simple-minded fix: restore 'URL' as the most
general term for Web identifiers, and re-interpret 'URL' as "Universal
Resource Linker". Most people won't care, but if they investigate,
they'll find out about the re-naming. This approach avoids URN vs URI
kinds of distinction, scores 2 out of 3 for use of intelligible words,
and is equally appropriate to classic browser/HTML, SemWeb and other
technical uses. What's not to like? The Web is all about links, and
urls are how we make them...

cheers,

Dan
Received on Sunday, 18 April 2010 09:52:35 UTC

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