W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > xml-uri@w3.org > May 2000

Re: URI versus URI Reference

From: Michael Mealling <michael@bailey.dscga.com>
Date: Fri, 26 May 2000 12:31:57 -0400
To: abrahams@acm.org
Cc: michaelm@netsol.com, Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>, xml-uri@w3.org
Message-ID: <20000526123157.A9881@bailey.dscga.com>
On Fri, May 26, 2000 at 12:27:53PM -0400, Paul W. Abrahams wrote:
>Michael Mealling wrote:
>>On Thu, May 25, 2000 at 10:13:07PM -0400, Paul W. Abrahams wrote:
>>>Yes!!!!   I don't think the cleanup of RFC2396 would be a huge job, and I'd
>>>even be willing to help with it (though I have zero travel money).   I think
>>>it's possible to develop terminology that's almost consistent with the
>>>terminology now in use and to be explicit about all the statements that are
>>>now implicit or preassumed.
>>
>>As long as you are talking about turning this:
>>
>>[From Appendix A: Collected BNF for URI page 27]
>>
>>      URI-reference = [ absoluteURI | relativeURI ] [ "#" fragment ]
>>      absoluteURI   = scheme ":" ( hier_part | opaque_part )
>>      relativeURI   = ( net_path | abs_path | rel_path ) [ "?" query ]
>>
>>to
>>
>>      URI-reference = [ URI | relativeURI ] [ "#" fragment ]
>>      URI   = scheme ":" ( hier_part | opaque_part )
>>      relativeURI   = ( net_path | abs_path | rel_path ) [ "?" query ]
>>
>>Then I'm fine with that. Anymore and we start changing what things
>>mean and that changes technical content which people have come
>>to rely on...
>
>That's the idea, except that I'd go further in the direction I think most people
>want:
>
>    URI-reference = [ absoluteURI | relativeURI ] [ "#" fragment ]
>    absoluteURI = URI
>    URI   = scheme ":" ( hier_part | opaque_part )
>    relativeURI   = ( net_path | abs_path | rel_path ) [ "?" query ]

Hmm... Ok. You just short-circuited mine by just declaring absoluteURI
to be equal to URI. Same difference (I think)...

>I'd also add a couple of sentences of explanation as to what is going on.  In
>particular:
>
>``A relative URI is a syntactic construct that specifies a URI in a manner
>dependent on the context in which it appears.  A relative URI is not a URI, 
>just as mock turtle soup is not turtle soup.''

Ok....

>Frankly, I think saying that a relative URI is not a URI, as most folks here
>insist, is counterintuitive.  But if the usage is too deeply embedded to 
>overturn, then the next best thing is to explain that what one considers 
>counterintutive is nonetheless true.

hehe... ok. I consider treating relativeURI as a URI to be counterintuitive
but intuition is a subjective matter so I'll let that one go. ;-)

>I'd also add the missing definition at the very beginning of Sec 1 of RFC 2396:
>
>``A Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) is a compact string of characters that
>identifies an abstract or physical resource.  A URI is absolute, i.e., its 
>meaning does not depend on the context in which it appears.''

I think that's a little bit to stringent. There are URIs that are
dependent on their context (the 'news' scheme has to know what your
nttpserver is set to in order to be disambiguated). I think this would
be more appropriate:

"A URI is absolute, i.e.; its meaning does not depend on context that
is not defined as being required for the particular URI scheme in question."

In other words, yes URIs are absolute but a particular URI scheme can
say what it may need in order to satisfy that criteria...

-MM

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Michael Mealling	|      Vote Libertarian!       | www.rwhois.net/michael
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Received on Friday, 26 May 2000 12:43:07 UTC

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