[whatwg] several messages about URLs

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Fri Jun 27 15:06:59 PDT 2008

On Tue, 13 Mar 2007, L. David Baron wrote:
> The wording of the value of href for base elements [1] is not quite the 
> same as the wording for anchor elements [2], and technically [3] that 
> wording allows only absolute URIs.  They should probably both say they 
> allow URI references (or IRI references), and the former should probably 
> say "be" or "equal" rather than the rather vague "contain".  (I suspect 
> there are similar problems elsewhere.)
> Or, if you don't like using the term "URI reference" everywhere (which 
> may be worth avoiding), you should at least explain your usage in the 
> Terminology section with reference to terms defined in the URI/IRI RFCs.

I've done a huge rewrite of everything URL-related now which should 
resolve all these issues and make everything consistent and (hopefully) 

On Tue, 13 Mar 2007, L. David Baron wrote:
> http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/#terminology says:
>   # For readability, the term URI is used to refer to both ASCII 
>   # URIs and Unicode IRIs, as those terms are defined by [RFC3986]
>   # and [RFC3987]  respectively. On the rare occasions where IRIs 
>   # are not allowed but ASCII URIs are, this is called out
>   # explicitly.
> This is rather misleading, since backwards compatible use of URIs is
> not ASCII-only.  While IRIs are a superset of conformant URIs, IRIs
> are a subset of real-world-URIs, since they have the encoding fixed
> to UTF-8.  Backwards-compatible URI handling tries to send the same
> sequence of bytes that was in the document back to the server,
> percent-encoded byte-by-byte, by encoding the URI based on the
> encoding of the document.

It's mildly more complicated than that, it seems, since path components 
always seem to use UTF-8 and query components use the doc encoding, but in 
any case, the spec now specified this.

On Wed, 14 Mar 2007, Peter Karlsson wrote:
> Indeed. Considering the number of partly contradicting bug reports we 
> have here at Opera on the issue, it would be nice to have it clearly 
> spelled out, so that everyone is doing the same thing, and that we are 
> doing what the user expects.

Please let me know if the spec, as it stands, is acceptable.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'

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