Outstanding URL issues

This is a a running list of issues about URLs and about which which discussion is still running, or recently closed. These are taken mainly from summaries on the list by various people. The order is random. As they are settled I'll leave them in as history. See also the change history .

As editor I am happy with the current spec except I would like the WG to check whether the large amounts of Gopher+ stuff can't be changed to a reference to some entity in the Gopher+ spec as we have done for all other protocols. (see below)


Transfer mode

How should the transfer mode be encoded into the URL, if at all? The current feeling is that it should be optionally encoded as a suffix by the use of some delimiter.

Editor suggests the use of "!". Requires adding this character to reserved set. This was succeded by:

Dan Connolly suggests using ";mode=binary". (Editor points out need to reserve the ; and = and remebers this must be done for WAIS anyway. ) Also, Editor suggests using FTP terminolgy, ";type=i".

Change order of account and password

Alan suggested changing the order around. The editor rejects this :-), subject to outcry, on the basis that:

Gopher+ and search strings

Search string terminator

Should the normal URI convention of using "?" as a sparator for search strings be changed to HT (horizonatl tab) in the case of Gopher because that is how it is represented in the protocol? This came up from the extention of gopher to gopher+, but is in fact orthogonan question. Should the URN spec just refer to the Gopher+ spec? See:

Slashes as non-hierarchical delimiter

Should it be strictly enforced that "/" never appear unencoded unless of hierarchical significance? Mark argues no. Others argue yes. Editor points out that so long as within Gopherworld noone uses any partial forms, there is no problem in practice either way, the difference will not surface in any code, so its not a big deal.

PrePrefix (resolved)

Should a prefix "URL:" or equivalent be considered part of the URL? Should it be part of a wrapper used when writing a URL within plain text? Consesnus declared by the chairman to be that "URL:" should be a mandatory part of the specification fothe URL for use in all cases. Later comments by the chairman seem to indicate that it may be optional.

Strongly disliked by the editor as much as requiring the string "Telephone:" to be a mandatory part of a telephone number.

Consenus: It is in, considered part of the URL.

Plain text wrapper

In this area, questions are, The chairman suggests the answers are YES, NO, appendix, "<" and ">", no.

Wrappers in other contexts

Larry Masinter suggested that "the wrapper be allowed to be any ONE OF < > or " " or ' ' or { }, to allow the wrapper to be used effectively in multiple contexts. This allows maximum flexibility, some compatibility with SGML (in HTML, the wrapper would be the "" or '' in <A HREF="url:...."> )."

Others (I forget who, sorry) had felt that in other contexts, the delimiters are defined.


Tim BL