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

Re: URL Expansion proposal

From: Donald E. Eastlake 3rd <dee@cybercash.com>
Date: Mon, 15 Jan 1996 23:53:59 -0500 (EST)
To: Larry Masinter <masinter@parc.xerox.com>
Cc: www-talk@w3.org
Message-Id: <Pine.SUN.3.91.960115234232.23155B-100000@cybercash.com>
On Mon, 15 Jan 1996, Larry Masinter wrote:

> While URN discussions are ongoing, none of the proposals for URNs
> attempt to deal with the issue of 'short easy names that advertisers
> can put on billboards', and none of those currently working on URNs
> believe they are trying to solve that problem.
> I think there's clearly a need for a simple directory service like
> this, that most of the data's already there in Yahoo and Excite to do
> a reasonable job of it, and that what it would take is a consortium of
> browser developers to agree to a standard (set of) (open) registration
> service(s) for their 'open location' menu.

I think the web indexers, while very useful, tend to have many pages under
a short name already and will have even more as time goes on.

> It has to be standard, though, or else advertisers won't use the short
> handle to advertise. It has to designate web coolness, too. I think
> maybe a new URL scheme, e.g.:
> #       about:<name>
> # 'about:X' looks up X in the browser vendor's chosen directory
> # service. Nice browsers might allow your directory service to be
> # reconfigured, or for you to have a list. Some browsers might have some
> # directory items wired in.

I think that's a pretty good idea but I'd make a few changes.  I don't
think "about:" has enough mystique about it.  I suggest "web:".  I
think that some hierarchy is needed.  So I think web:moterola.pager
or the like should be allowed.  Finally, if this is going to be used
as the result of TV advertisement, it is essential that all people get
the same thing so the master copy of the "directory" must be the same.

> Then people could just put 'about:ibm' on their billboard and expect
> you to find them.

So how would I implement this so as to get it off the ground instantly?
Simple, have "web:" just replace itself with http:, reverse the labels
if there are more than one, prefix www. and suffix .com.  If someone
wants their "true" name to be, say, foo.mn, they could register
foo.com just to put in a "*.foo.com CNAME foo.mn" entry (might require
some relaxation of the .com regsitration rules).  Or a new top level
domain could be used, or even a new class in DNS.

Worried about being able to do searches for a close but not exact
match?  Add that to DNS rather than developing a whole new directory.

Anyway, that's my opinion.

Donald E. Eastlake 3rd     +1 508-287-4877(tel)     dee@cybercash.com
   318 Acton Street        +1 508-371-7148(fax)     dee@world.std.com
Carlisle, MA 01741 USA     +1 703-620-4200(main office, Reston, VA)
Received on Monday, 15 January 1996 23:56:43 UTC

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