[whatwg] URL: file URL "C|" quirk

Alex Bishop alexbishop at gmail.com
Mon Jul 8 17:33:04 PDT 2013

On 08/07/2013 23:25, Peter Kasting wrote:
> On Thu, Jul 4, 2013 at 5:18 AM, Anne van Kesteren <annevk at annevk.nl> wrote:
>> Both Gecko and Chromium have a quirk with "C|" and similar patterns
>> (drive letter followed by |). They treat it similarly to "C:".
>> However, Internet Explorer does not do this. Should we remove this
>> quirk?
> I searched for "file URL drive letter pipe" on Google and found a variety
> of comments about programs/libraries that output URLs with a pipe instead
> of a colon after a drive letter name.  It sounds like there are likely
> compatibility issues connected to this quirk.

I have a recollection of early Netscape versions displaying local file 
paths in the Location bar as something like file:///c|/windows/canyon.mid.

Performing some code archaeology at 
https://mxr.mozilla.org/classic/source/cmd/winfe/fegui.cpp#2531 (note 
line 2359) suggests that I was not hallucinating (there are other places 
in that file where ':' and '|' are treated more or less equivalently in 
file: URLs).

I imagine that it’s an early Netscape implementation detail that escaped 
into the wild. Given that I can still remember pipes in file URLs 15+ 
years later, I would not be surprised if other people rely on this working.


Alex Bishop
alexbishop at gmail.com

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