W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > uri@w3.org > June 2016

Re: File URIs, home and relative paths

From: Matthew Kerwin <matthew@kerwin.net.au>
Date: Sun, 12 Jun 2016 11:26:33 +1000
Message-ID: <CACweHNDddOXh80FbbMBqAUBB35oDiC=C32dgC=Hx3LANLn67GQ@mail.gmail.com>
To: Jason Dusek <jason.dusek@gmail.com>
Cc: uri@w3.org
On 12/06/2016 10:40 AM, "Jason Dusek" <jason.dusek@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sat, 11 Jun 2016 at 16:23 Matthew Kerwin matthew@kerwin.net.au wrote:
>> On 12/06/2016 5:57 AM, "Jason Dusek" <jason.dusek@gmail.com> wrote:
>> >
>> > It is strange to me that the draft neither provides for home and the
present directory semantics, nor clearly speaks to the issue (in a section
titled "Special Paths in UNIX and File URLs" or something similar). Perhaps
it would inspire future work in this area.
>> >
>> > Kind Regards,
>> >   Jason Dusek
>> In URI space current directory references are achieved using relative
references. "./foo/bar" is a valid relative reference, which can be
resolved against a base URI that represents $PWD.
> This works out strangely in practice because you can’t write
file://<something> to get it.

Like I said at the very start, I think you're trying to use URLs for
something URLs aren't meant for. Relative resolution is strictly
hierarchical, always, in all hierarchical URI schemes.

URI templates can be used to achieve your non-hierarchical resolution,
using variable substitution.

>> User home directory and tilde expansion both, AFAIK, come from the
shell, not the file system. I could add a warning that a relative reference
that starts with "~/" (or "~username/") won't resolve against a base URI
the same way bash would resolve an equivalent path; but since no other URI
scheme special handles '~' is anyone going to find this valuable?
> Well, I have not been collecting statistics over the years — but many a
time have I seen confusion and consternation with file URLs. It seems
valuable to mention a feature that might be mistakenly expected but is not
provided for.

I've never seen or heard of anyone confused by this issue. Do you think a
short warning to that effect would resolve your concern? Or, do you have
any text to propose?

> It is worth pointing out that there are variety of “pseudo URL schemes”
that have grown up around Git which implicitly rely on resolution relative
to . or ~ on a remote server.
> Perhaps people will put some thought into an approach as a result.

Sure, but you're talking about pseudo URL schemes, not misunderstandings of
the file: scheme. This is a whole new scope. Why don't you write a new
informational draft that addresses it?

Received on Sunday, 12 June 2016 01:27:03 UTC

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