W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-talk@w3.org > January to February 1996

RE: URL Expansion proposal

From: Jonathon Tidswell <t-jont@microsoft.com>
Date: Sun, 14 Jan 1996 18:50:21 -0800
Message-Id: <c=US%a=_%p=msft%l=syd-02-msg960115133719NE007A00@red-02-imc.itg.microsoft.com>
To: "www-talk@w3.org" <IMCEAX400-c=US+3Ba=+20+3Bp=MSFT+3Bo=SOUTHPACIFIC+3Bdda+3ASMTP=www-talk+40w3+2Eo>, "idelrio@abstraction.com" <IMCEAX400-c=US+3Ba=+20+3Bp=MSFT+3Bo=SOUTHPACIFIC+3Bdda+3ASMTP=idelrio+40abstrac>

You are correct URLs are ugly and not particularly novice friendly(1).
Which leads quite quickly to the conclusion that an improvement is needed.
I dont think anybody would disagree so far.

However your suggestion is applicable to a very narrow part of the web 
(indeed HTTP is only part of the 'Web'), it appears to be the common 
response that your goals are good but that implementing two standards (yours 
and a more widely applicable one at a later date) for dealing with the 
naming problems is worse than dealing with the (admittedly poor) current URL 
scheme until a broadly applicable solution can be found.

I think the best (short term) solution mentioned so far has been to provide 
a UI feature which is basically a link to a search engine/index.
You may wish to experiment with alternative implementations(2) and can then 
enlighten everybody with the results of your work, so that everybody will 
use a *standard* method to avoid confusing novices.

- JonT

(1) It is acutally worse than that, they can be counter intuitive for some 
(2) Obvious possibilities include:
   -   a separate text entry box with a second button
   -   a more clever parser that send the text to the search engine if it is 
clearly not a
       misformed URL and cant be made to look like a URL by simple tricks

Disclaimer: I think my thoughts are my own, and I believe my writings are 
I neither can nor do speak for Microsoft. 

From: 	www-talk@w3.org[SMTP:www-talk@w3.org]
Sent: 	Monday, 15 January 1996 12:46
To: 	Adam M. Donahue
Cc: 	www-talk@w3.org
Subject: 	Re: URL Expansion proposal

>Again, two different methods would only confuse more.  What's nice about 
>a standard like the current URL is that it is a little bit flexible.  
>Yours simply isn't.

Once again, I am not proposing an alternative to URL. As far as
addressing standards go, URL is fine. The problem is that 99% of the
Internet users are not simply interested in the nuisances of FTP, NEWS, 
etc. From their viewpoint having to learn about http: and domains is truly
redundant. UNIX has allowed the use of Aliases for a long time. Would you 
opposed their use? Frankly, I do not see why a proposal intended to make it 
little bit easier for business to advertise their main entry point to the 
and for people to remember it would cause such an emotional response.

>> My gosh -- it's not _that_ confusing!  Morally abhorrent?  That's a 
>> little reactionary.

Is there anything confusing in allowing companies to form phone numbers that
can be advertised as alpha phrases? (1800-CALLHERE). C'mon, URLs are an
*abhorrent* way to tell people they have to adapt to the computer and not
other way around! If that makes me a reactionary, so be it.



* Israel del Rio    Abstraction Software       +303-791-6600 *
*                    Makers of PROPHESY                      *
*   The Windows Based Network & Workflow Simulation System   *
Received on Sunday, 14 January 1996 21:50:39 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.4.0 : Monday, 20 January 2020 16:08:19 UTC