Re: Internationalization and URLs

> From:          Larry Masinter <>
> Date:          Mon, 1 Jul 1996 21:19:59 PDT
> On the issue of "non-Uniform URLs", you've pointed out that some URLs
> have alternate forms that are equally valid, including both with and
> without the %xx encoding. This may be true, but it still is the case
> that <<what is printed on paper>> can be typed by everyone who sees it
> without them actually knowing anything about character set encodings.

Perfectly right, but this "typability" requirement is not the same as 
a "uniformity" requirement that would mandate a single form for a 

> You're proposing something that would no longer have that constraint.
> That's OK with me, but what you're proposing should not then be called
> a URL.

Why not?  It's just as uniform as current non-i18nised URLs.

> I think you're suggesting that newspapers should print "Franc,ois" and
> those who do not have c-cedilla on their keyboard should know how to
> translate such a thing into the appropriate %xx code.  Is this really
> a reasonable suggestion?

Probably not.  Newspapers and such who want to make sure anyone can 
*type* in an URL should use ASCII-only one, either the %XX form or an 
ASCII-only URL made up for the circumstances.  To me, this is not a 
good enough reason to *forbid* the use of richer URLs in other 
contexts.  They are especially needed for queries.

Francois Yergeau <>
Alis Technologies Inc., Montreal
Tel : +1 (514) 747-2547
Fax : +1 (514) 747-2561

Received on Tuesday, 2 July 1996 10:47:09 UTC