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Updating RFC2396 (Was:Re: URI versus URI Reference)

From: Paul W. Abrahams <abrahams@valinet.com>
Date: Sat, 27 May 2000 12:10:54 -0400
Message-ID: <392FF38E.8F55E384@valinet.com>
To: Larry Masinter <masinter@attlabs.att.com>
CC: abrahams@acm.org, michaelm@netsol.com, Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>, xml-uri@w3.org, Roy Fielding <fielding@ics.uci.edu>
Larry Masinter wrote:

> I think I have a different idea...
> When we update RFC 2396, I suggest we add an introductory paragraph
> explaining that the term "URI" is used ambiguiously in the community
> to mean "a URI reference" (corresponding to the URI-reference BNF entity)
> or "an absolute URI", and that for this reason, the term "URI" itself
> is not defined in the document.
> I'd probably fix the Abstract correspondingly, e.g.,
> "Informally, a Uniform Resource Identifier is a compact string...."
> so that people don't think that the abstract is normative.

I'm not convinced there really is such an ambiguity.  But I agree with the
spirit of what you're doing here.  If there is an ambiguity, explain it.  If
there isn't, provide a definition of what a URI is.   To leave the term URI
not just undefined but also unexplained is asking for trouble.

I think everyone would agree that the standard should be usable by people
who weren't involved in writing it.

Paul Abrahams
Received on Saturday, 27 May 2000 12:11:04 UTC

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