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Re: Registration of acct: as a URI scheme has been requested

From: Henry S. Thompson <ht@inf.ed.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2012 20:04:55 +0100
To: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>
Cc: www-tag@w3.org
Message-ID: <f5bobod9548.fsf@calexico.inf.ed.ac.uk>
Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com> writes:

> If the architecture of the world wide web can't accommodate new URI
> schemes then its broken. The great news is that it isn't broken.

The Web can indeed accommodate new URI schemes.  As I read it, this
isn't a proposal for a new URI scheme.  It's a proposal to add a
string of letters to a quasi-email-address so that the result _looks_
like a URI.  But as far as I can tell although it _looks_ like a URI,
it doesn't _walk_ like one (If I include it in my HTML nothing will
happen when a user clicks on it) or even _quack_ like one (No
general-purpose semantics is provided for it in the RFC draft that I
can see), so I'm inclined to conclude that it's _not_ a duckXXXXURI.

Seriously, my point is that not every identifier that's used in a
protocol that is used on the Web has to be a URI.  The ones that are
expected to be generic, to have a meaning and utility _outside_ the
protocol, sure.  But in that case I expect to see a
protocol-independent use for them spelled out.

On the other hand non-extensible enumerated types with
protocol-internal semantics are probably not anybody's idea of a good
basis for defining a new URI scheme.

Where does acct: fall on the implied continuum?  How generic/useful
does an identifier scheme have to be before it deserves a URI scheme?
Reasonable people may differ.  But, to quote RFC4395,

  "The use and deployment of new URI schemes in the Internet
   infrastructure is costly . . . For these reasons, the unbounded
   registration of new schemes is harmful.  New URI schemes SHOULD
   have clear utility to the broad Internet community." [1]

So I'm asking for some evidence of clear utility, beyond protocol
convenience, for going the URI scheme route.


[1] http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc4395#section-2.1
       Henry S. Thompson, School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh
      10 Crichton Street, Edinburgh EH8 9AB, SCOTLAND -- (44) 131 650-4440
                Fax: (44) 131 650-4587, e-mail: ht@inf.ed.ac.uk
                       URL: http://www.ltg.ed.ac.uk/~ht/
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Received on Wednesday, 20 June 2012 19:05:30 UTC

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