W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > uri@w3.org > January 2011

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

From: John Cowan <cowan@mercury.ccil.org>
Date: Fri, 7 Jan 2011 12:25:01 -0500
To: Charles Lindsey <chl@clerew.man.ac.uk>
Cc: URI <uri@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20110107172501.GB25305@mercury.ccil.org>
Charles Lindsey scripsit:

>> Well, Internet Explorer interprets file://foo/bar/baz as the UNC name
>> \\foo\bar\baz, which strikes me as extremely sensible, and I wish every
>> browser on Windows did it.   (Chrome does, Firefox doesn't.)  Technically
>> "foo" is not a hostname but the published name of an externally exposed
>> portion of a file tree.
> 
> That looks like a typical microsoft non-standard invention. It is  
> certainly not in the spirit of the main URI standard, and it was not the  
> intention of RFC 1738. And how do you indicate that 'foo' really IS a 
> host name, as intended by 1738? It seems like an aberration we should not 
> give any official support to.

It seems to me to fit perfectly with the notion of a "reg-name" in RFC
3986 Section 3.2.2.  Relevant snippets:

"In other cases, the data within the host component identifies a
registered name that has nothing to do with an Internet host. We use the
name 'host' for the ABNF rule because that is its most common purpose,
not its only purpose."

"A host identified by a registered name is a sequence of characters
usually intended for lookup within a locally defined host or service
name registry, though the URI's scheme-specific semantics may require
that a specific registry (or fixed name table) be used instead."

Since the whole "file" scheme is OS-specific anyway, I see no problem with
saying that the specific registry for the "file" scheme on Windows hosts
is WINS first and then DNS, since WINS client support is universally
available on Windows and NFS (or AFS or whatever) is quite rare.
In addition, the normal pattern for distributed file systems other than
SMB is to mount remote hosts in the local file system, not to reference
arbitrary hosts by their DNS names.  (There is already a separate
scheme for CIFS, the successor to SMB, where arbitrary references are
more common.)

-- 
John Cowan    http://ccil.org/~cowan  cowan@ccil.org
The Penguin shall hunt and devour all that is crufty, gnarly and
bogacious; all code which wriggles like spaghetti, or is infested with
blighting creatures, or is bound by grave and perilous Licences shall it
capture.  And in capturing shall it replicate, and in replicating shall
it document, and in documentation shall it bring freedom, serenity and
most cool froodiness to the earth and all who code therein.  --Gospel of Tux
Received on Friday, 7 January 2011 17:25:29 UTC

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