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

Re: backronym proposal: Universal Resource Linker

From: Noah Mendelsohn <nrm@arcanedomain.com>
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 2010 16:20:08 -0400
Message-ID: <4BCCBAF8.4080708@arcanedomain.com>
To: Danny Ayers <danny.ayers@gmail.com>
CC: Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>, uri@w3.org, Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>
I'm more or less with Roy on this, I think.  The sad fact is that, IMO, 
neither the status quo nor any of these proposals will be truly 
evocative for the average non-technical user of the Web.  In my 
experience, many such people are intimidated by any of the three letter 
initialisms we're discussing, including URL (regardless of how 

That being the case, I think we might as well stick with the terminology 
that has, as Roy says, been negotiated with some care among those who 
prepared the current normative specifications.  If someone wants to 
promote a bit more widely some truly suggestive term (Web address 
strikes me as imperfect, but probably the best of the lot), well maybe. 
  Just rotating the preferences among 3 letter techy-codes every decade 
or so seems to me a losing proposition.  YMMV.


Danny Ayers wrote:
> +1
> On 18 April 2010 11:52, Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org> wrote:
>> 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 Monday, 19 April 2010 20:20:40 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 6 January 2015 21:25:14 UTC