Re: [Uri-review] Request to review about URI scheme

Bjoern Hoehrmann <derhoermi@gmx.net> Fri, 22 May 2009 04:44 UTC

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From: Bjoern Hoehrmann <derhoermi@gmx.net>
To: Joseph A Holsten <joseph@josephholsten.com>
Date: Fri, 22 May 2009 06:46:15 +0200
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Subject: Re: [Uri-review] Request to review about URI scheme
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* Joseph A Holsten wrote:
>I've published draft-holsten-about-uri-scheme[1], which defines the  
>about URI scheme. It is ready for public review. There is also some  
>background for the scheme under HTML ACTION-103[2].

There are several contradictions in the draft. For example, the Abstract
says resolution is entirely implementation defined, then goes on to say
this is not the case for about:blank; another example are the IANA Con-
siderations, they request both permanent and provisional status for the
scheme.

Section 4.1 fails to define what an empty resource is. It is also
unclear what exactly is an "about:blank URI", for example, does that
include an "about:BLANK URI", or a "about:blank? URI"?

BCP 115 requires a description of character encoding issues and IRI com-
patibility. The draft fails to account for that.

Editorially, the introduction is a bad place to reference the RFC 2119
keywords, a separate section called e.g. "Terminology" would be a better
place. Also, in section 4, the statement "SHOULD NOT need" is difficult
to understand correctly.

The statement in section 3 that "No relative URI syntax is defined."
does not make sense. Processing of relative references happens at a
different layer than about scheme specific processing.

In section 5 the statement "About URIs SHOULD NOT cause the application
to modify any data." is probably misphrased, clearly, a string cannot
cause an application to do anything. Perhaps you mean to say that imple-
mentations of the scheme should not modify data when processing about
resource identifiers.

The encoding considerations in the template appear to be incorrect. For
example, percent-encoding is also allowed in the fragment and query
components. On that I will also note that it is incorrect to define the
fragment part in the scheme registration; the scheme specific part of a
resource identifier ends immediately before the fragment identifier.

Further, proper content for the field would rather be something about
character encodings and IRI processing. On that I would recommend to
simply define an IRI scheme rather than an URI scheme, the mapping to
URIs would then be covered by the IRI specificiation.

>The main outstanding issue is a normative reference to HTML5, which  
>defines some behavior for about:blank. It seems wrong to normatively  
>reference a working draft, and the best way to solve the issue isn't  
>clear.

The draft does not seem to rely on "HTML5" at all, in fact, it seems
rather that the "HTML5" draft has "about:blank" specific processing
requirements for a specific class of applications. If so, then you
can avoid the problem by simply removing any mention of this from the
draft.
-- 
Björn Höhrmann · mailto:bjoern@hoehrmann.de · http://bjoern.hoehrmann.de
Am Badedeich 7 · Telefon: +49(0)160/4415681 · http://www.bjoernsworld.de
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