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Re: Status of RFC 1738 -- 'ftp' URI scheme

From: Mike Brown <mike@skew.org>
Date: Sun, 2 Jan 2011 21:32:11 -0700 (MST)
Message-Id: <201101030432.p034WCEc040599@chilled.skew.org>
To: uri@w3.org
CC: evnikita2@gmail.com
Mykyta Yevstifeyev wrote:
> As for 'file' scheme, I just wonder why this document (I mean Paul's 
> draft) has not become the RFC

New RFCs tend to be treated as the latest & greatest guidance (or proposals 
for such) from the IETF, so there was a question of whether it made sense to 
create a new RFC that reproduces a relatively uselss section of an otherwise 
obsolete RFC, just for the purpose of retiring the larger document.

If the section were fit to publish as-is, it would be OK, but it really needs 
a lot of work before it will be of much use to a present-day implementer who 
wants to know how to produce or utilize 'file:' URIs. When I was working on 
such a project, I was stymied by all kinds of issues, some of which I posted 
about: http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/uri/2004Jul/0013 (Discussion picked 
up again in May and August 2005; check the archives.) Even if you take the 
"just document what works, don't fix what's broken" approach, having an RFC 
that's just a survey of soon-to-be-outdated implementations doesn't seem like
the greatest plan.

Paul Hoffman washed his hands of the whole thing after being overwhelmed by 
the comments and disagreement over how prescriptive a new RFC should be. Larry 
Masinter offered to take it over, then he and I and Graham Klyne discussed 
using a wiki to manage the initial stages of a new draft. The idea was to let 
interested parties make edits directly until a reasonable degree of 
consensus/stability was reached, and then an editor (Larry probably) would 
take it over and submit a clean version as an Internet-Draft or RFC. The wiki 
is still up on my server, but no progress was made; Larry and I are the only 
ones who ever did anything with it, and we both lost interest pretty quickly. 

'file' URIs being tied to OSes as they are (not so much a question of 
interopability on the Internet), I'm not convinced there are enough people 
interested in the problem or who are having trouble with implementations to 
really justify a project to update the 'file:' URI spec.

I think it makes more sense to just leave the issue unresolved (pardon the 
pun). That means either leaving RFC 1738 alive, or just retiring the 'file:' 
URI spec altogether. That wouldn't preclude picking it up again in the future.

Received on Monday, 3 January 2011 04:32:53 UTC

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