[whatwg] Web Addresses vs Legacy Extended IRI

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Mon Mar 23 11:06:40 PDT 2009

On Mon, 23 Mar 2009, Julian Reschke wrote:
> You are essentially proposing to change existing specifications (such as 
> Atom). I just do not see the point.

The point is to ensure there is only one way to handle strings that are 
purported to be IRIs but that are invalid. Right now, there are at least 
three different ways to do it: the way that the URI/IRI specs say, the way 
that the LEIRI docs say, and the way that legacy HTML content relies on.

My understanding is that even command line software, feed readers, and 
other non-Web browser tools agree that the specs are wrong here.

For example, curl will not refuse to fetch the URL http://example.com/% 
despite that URL being invalid.

Thus, we need a spec they are willing to follow. The idea of not limiting 
it to HTML is to prevent tools that deal both with HTML and with other 
languages (like Atom, CSS, DOM APIs, etc) from having to have two 
different implementations if they want to be conforming.

> If you think it's worthwhile, propose that change to the relevant 
> standards body (in this case IETF Applications Area).

This was the first thing we tried, but the people on the URI lists were 
not interested in making their specs useful for the real world. We are now 
routing around that negative energy. We're having a meeting later this 
week to see if the IETF will adopt the spec anyway, though.

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

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