The Net today is standing on slightly firmer foundations than it was a few weeks back. On December 15th, the W3C issued Architecture of the World Wide Web, Volume One as a “Recommendation”, i.e. as close as they get to calling anything a standard. If you read it, there’s a lot of focus on URIs (Uniform Resource Identifiers, as in what we usually confuse with the Universal Republic of Love). Today saw the final publication of the URI specification as RFC3986, also known (even more impressively) as IETF Internet Standard #66; some of the IETF’s most widely-deployed protocols never make it to “Full Standard” status. I’m hopelessly biased because I helped write both of these documents, but I think that each is individually important and that the combination is really important. Most people can’t possibly imagine how much work it is to grind these things out, and how many revisions it takes to get one right. I originally wrote all of what is now Section 6 of RFC3986, and I think there are very few sentences in there that haven’t been updated a few times, almost all for the better, and almost all the work was done by Roy Fielding, who deserves a deep bow from us all. The Internet and the Web aren’t things and they’re not places, they’re a mesh of agreements that allow us to talk to each other and to be less stupid. These two documents are important links in that mesh.