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

Re: fb: URIs?

From: Graham Klyne <GK-lists@ninebynine.org>
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 2010 23:24:09 +0000
Message-ID: <4B7B2919.5050804@ninebynine.org>
To: David Recordon <davidrecordon@facebook.com>
CC: Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>, uri@w3.org
 >>> Long story short, we (certainly I, anyway) have no intentions to make "fb" 
a >>> real URL scheme. It just arose out of convenience.

Hmmm... so what happens to Facebook's iPhone app when someone validly registers 
and deploys (widely) a URI scheme called 'fb:'?

I would hazard a suggestion that at least a provisional registration might be in 
order (noting its limited use) to help avoid such a thing from happening without 
anyone noticing.


Dan Brickley wrote:
> On Mon, Feb 15, 2010 at 1:38 PM, Daniel R. Tobias <dan@tobias.name> wrote:
>> I just noticed that the iPhone Facebook app, when you enable its
>> recently-added feature to sync your Facebook friends with your iPhone
>> contacts, inserts URIs for each person of the form:
>> fb://profile/771025267
>> When you click on such a URI from the iPhone contact section, it
>> brings up the person's Facebook info via the Facebook app.
>> I presume this is a nonstandard, unregistered URI scheme; has any
>> attempt been made to register it?
>> It also appears to abuse the double slash, since what follows doesn't
>> seem to be any sort of "authority".
>> When the contacts are further synced to other programs and systems (I
>> have mine automatically syncing in quite a few directions to various
>> things both on my PC and on the net), you end up with nonfunctional
>> links in most of the places, as no programs that I know of outside
>> the iPhone support this scheme; the "use HTTP for everything" crowd
>> sometimes has a point.
> I got in touch with David Recordon at Facebook (cc:'d). His response
> copied below with permission.
> Dan
>> Hey Dan,
>> Asked an engineer on our mobile team and here's what he said.
>> --David
>>> The origin of those URLs was entirely pragmatic. The iPhone app handles showing
>>> different parts of its UI with an internal URL handler that deals with exactly these URLs.
>>> When we developed the sync feature, it was natural to simply allow external callers to
>>> direct "fb" URLs to the app, and use the same internal handling mechanism that had
>>>  been there all along.
>>> These URLs were never designed to be used, or useful, outside of the iPhone.
>>> The app is actually capable of handling www URLs (so for example
>>> "http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=4" causes the same thing to happen as
>>>  "fb://profile/4"), but we couldn't use those for the sync feature because there is no way
>>>  to tell the system to direct just that specific set of http URLs to the app.
>>> Long story short, we (certainly I, anyway) have no intentions to make "fb" a real
>>>  URL scheme. It just arose out of convenience.
Received on Wednesday, 17 February 2010 09:28:58 UTC

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