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Grinding to a halt on Issue 27.

From: Tim Bray <tbray@textuality.com>
Date: Mon, 28 Apr 2003 15:16:56 -0700
Message-ID: <3EADA858.70603@textuality.com>
To: WWW-Tag <www-tag@w3.org>

We spent essentially our whole meeting today on our issue 27:


I had proposed that we close the issue as follows:


Misha Wolf and Stuart Williams had followed up with useful commentary at 
the detail level.

Today, we were unable to come close to consensus in favor of saying 
"Yes, use IRIs."  The purpose of this note is to try to enumerate the 
problems causing the blockage.

1. Roy Fielding is concerned about the fact that the IRI spec isn't 
finished, saying "it would be ridiculous to say we support IRIs" when it 
isn't clear yet what they are.

2. Dan Connolly and Tim Berners-Lee both are nervous about separating 
issue 27 from our Issue 15, about when URIs compare equal.  Adding fuel 
to the fire is the latest draft of the namespaces 1.1 spec:


Which in section 9 says namespaces can be IRIs, and in section 3 
requires that all comparison of names be done based on exact string 

Dan (apparently) thinks this is correct and appropriate.  TimBL on the 
other hand thinks that this will cause breakage, as future 
URI-comparison software will probably do things like regard %7e and %7E 
as the same, and thus will produce inconsistent results.

I share concerns about the wording in the namespaces draft, BTW.  Roy 
suggested that it should be reworded to say that no canonicalization is 
required before namespace comparison rather than say that ~wilbur, 
%7ewilbur, and %7Ewilbur "are different", because in fact per the RFCs 
they're not different.  But this wouldn't stop me saying that it's OK to 
start writing in support for internationalized identifiers.

In any case, at the moment, we're paralyzed on this issue because of 
these unresolved differences.  This is on the face of it at one level 
ridiculous, because the first W in WWW stands for "World" and it's a 
no-brainer that identifiers ought to include non-ASCII characters.

I think we do generally agree that the IRI work is in a good and useful 
direction, and that one thing that would be totally useful would be to 
get behind the work on the IRI draft:


And get that nailed down and blessed.
Cheers, Tim Bray
         (ongoing fragmented essay: http://www.tbray.org/ongoing/)
Received on Monday, 28 April 2003 18:16:59 UTC

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