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Re: URL Expansion proposal

From: Dale Dougherty <dale@ora.com>
Date: Sun, 14 Jan 1996 18:53:25 -0800
Message-Id: <9601150000.ZM-79881@emerald>
To: idelrio@abstraction.com (Israel del Rio), www-talk@w3.org
Israel raises a useful problem to solve.  URLs were
never intended to be what they've become: an arcane
way for a user to identify a site on the Web. 
Unfortunately, we've never been able to standardize
URNs, which would give us a more useful naming system. 
Arguing that the current URL system is sufficient
is like praising the DOS command line, and stating
that most people should simply learn to use command
line syntax.  The reason we have windowing systems
is to make computers easier to use, and more widely
used.  The same thinking should lead us to a superior
way of locating specific sites on the Web.  

Metacharacter name expansion isn't the answer.
It is probably closer to what Larry suggested, in
that you want to search a name space.  I would rather
see a client return a list of possible sites that
might match "rice", giving me the choice between
"rice.com" and "rice.edu".   There simply ought
to be some kind of company name/site name registry,
which could be used for such a search.  A registry could
be done without having to address the more sophisticated
problems that URNs ended up trying to solve. 
You could advertise your Web keyword rather than a URL.  

I have trouble locating the ESPN site because I
can't remember that it's URL is espn.Sportzone.com
or some such thing.  I ought to be able to type
in ESPN and get something.

For those of you who say URLs are sufficient, please
remember that people like you lucky enough to be
on the Internet make up only between 4 and 10 per
cent of the population.  Hard to believe, but most
people just watch TV and they have easy ways to
know what's on when and where.


Dale Dougherty    (dale@ora.com)
President, Songline Studios
Publishers of Web Review (http://gnn.com/wr)
101 Morris Street, Sebastopol, CA 95472    707-829-0515  
Songline Studios is an Affiliate of O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
Received on Monday, 15 January 1996 03:14:35 UTC

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