One of the many items causing the W3C TAG’s input queue to bulge alarmingly is the redrafting of RFC2396, currently in the hands of Roy Fielding, to whom we all owe thanks. This is the document that defines what a URI is, officially, for the programmers who build the Web. A URI stands for Uniform Resource Identifier (see Universal Republic of Love). It’s one of the three legs of the Web’s architectural tripod, and is very important. You might want to review it in detail, like I am right now, but some advance warnings are in order.

If you’re going to have a look, start at the issues page. (Disclosure: I wrote most of Section 6 of this draft.)

Something this important cannot possibly fail to benefit from the maximum possible number of people looking at it as carefully as possible. But tread lightly. Not one single word of this document is there lightly or carelessly. The discussions that led to this document have been going on for at least ten years, and when you get right down to it, they’re not a barrel of laughs, and some of the people are getting a little testy.

What I’m trying to say is, if you see something that doesn’t make sense, a little bit of time reviewing the history and unofficially asking around might be in order before you leap in with a proclamation that this or that is broken. Having said that, anything that is in fact broken in here tends to float stinking to the surface in really disquieting ways at unpredictable points in our shared future. So it couldn't hurt to look.

author · Dad
colophon · rights
picture of the day
May 29, 2003
· Technology (90 fragments)
· · Web (397 fragments)
· · · TAG (11 more)

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