Paul has volunteered (was Re: Overloaded URIs must GO!)

Paul Prescod paul at
Mon May 31 21:27:14 BST 1999

Tim Bray wrote:
> At 12:47 PM 5/31/99 -0500, Paul Prescod wrote:
> >> > Using HTTP for URIs sounds intrinsically <em>bad</em> to me.  ...
> >Well, the first problem is that it is wrong: it is in violation of IETF
> >specifications about the semantics of http: URLs. Personally, I think that
> >standards incompliance should be argument enough.
> No.  The IETF docs explain how a URI may be used to reference a resource
> on the Web.  They further say that URIs are in fact designed to facilitate
> this process.  There is nothing in there I've seen stating that they *must*
> be so used, nor that they may not be used for other purposes.  Or am
> I missing something? -Tim

I'm talking specifically about the definition of HTTP URLs. 

"The HTTP URL scheme is used to designate Internet resources accessible
using HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol)."

(I guess from a formal logic perspective it should end with "and no

If you use them to designate non-Internet resources NOT accessible by HTTP
then I consider that an obvious abuse, even if the HTTP spec. isn't
sufficiently anal to disallow the practice from a formal logic

Otherwise I could put http:// URLs on my website and say: "Oh, you were
supposed to interpret those as gopher URLs. The URL spec. doesn't disallow
that you know!" 

If we take advantage of this formal logic loophole then the elephants can
come barging through.

 Paul Prescod  - ISOGEN Consulting Engineer speaking for only himself

Alabama's constitution is 100 years old, 300 pages long and has more than
600 amendments. Highlights include "Amendment 393: Amendment of Amendment
No.  351", "Validation of Laws Regulating Court Costs in Randolph County",
"Miscegenation laws", "Bingo Games in Russell County", "Suppression
of dueling".  -

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