[Uri-review] draft-holsten-about-uri-scheme-02

Alfred Hönes <ah@TR-Sys.de> Wed, 23 September 2009 18:19 UTC

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To: joseph@josephholsten.com, lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au
Date: Wed, 23 Sep 2009 20:19:40 +0200 (MESZ)
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Subject: [Uri-review] draft-holsten-about-uri-scheme-02
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Hello again,
eventually I found the time to follow up to the latest revision of
your 'about' URI scheme draft, draft-holsten-about-uri-scheme-02,
and to again compile a couple of comments.

(1)  General

Since "about" is a not-so-rare word in plain English, I really
would prefer to make it stand out somehow in the text when used
as the name of the new URI scheme.  Since during the last years
the argument of distinguishing such denotation from other quoted
elements, in particular literal strings in ABNF, I again suggest
that you consistently use single quotes to enclose that word
(as in the document title) throughout the draft, for the terms:
        'about' URI
        'about' scheme
        'about' resource identifiers

(2)  Sections 3, 4, and 9

As explained in RFC 5234, the names of non-terminal ABNF rules
should not be enclosed in double-quotes (because these are used
for (case-insensitive) literal strind in ABNF) but instead use
angle brackets around the rule names in the prose.
Thus, I recommend to change:

a) in the last line of Section 3:

   where "segment" and "query" are defined in [RFC3986].
   where <segment> and <query> are defined in [RFC3986].

b) in the 2nd line of the first para of Section 4:

   "segment" and "query" elements may contain [...]
   <segment> and <query> elements may contain [...]

c) in Section 9:

   Encoding considerations:  Percent-encoding is allowed in "segment"
      and "query" components.  Internationalization is handled by IRI
      processing.  See Section 4.
   Encoding considerations:  Percent-encoding is allowed in <segment>
      and <query> components.  Internationalization is handled by IRI
      processing.  See Section 4.

(3)  Section 4

The text there is surprising, because you did not mention before
the intent to define an IRI in this document.

Is that complication really needed?

The most important issue with such kind of I18N in identifiers
IMO is the fact that *most* users are neither able to read and
understand nor to type in the vast majority of Unicode characters;
using a small common subset vastly improves international
communication ability.

Further, since 'about' URIs are intended for application-internal
use, they should be considered as some kind of protocol element,
thus not needing Internationalization considerations.

In the 2nd para of Section 4, there's a typo; please correct:

                ^^               ^^^

(4)  Section 5 / 5.1

Apparently, the last paragraph of Section 5 is misplaced;
it belongs into section 5.1!
Please move the headline for section 5.1 to above this sentence.
In other places of the text, you have enclosed that specific
'about' URI instance in double quotes; I suggest to do that
in a consistent manner, and hence here as well.

|5.1.  about:blank
|  The "about:blank" URI is the only 'about' URI reserved by this
|  specification.

   Applications resolving this URI MUST return an empty resource, with
   the media type "text/html" and the character encoding "UTF-8".

Why the hell does an *empty* "text/html" need the encoding tag "UTF-8"?
There's nothing to encode, and hence nothing to decode!
Doing so might unnecessarily trigger an automatic conversion process
with all of its overhead.  I suggest to recommend using the default
encoding of the particular application instead.

BTW: The proper term would be "encoded character set", or "charset",
     for short, not "character encoding", isn't it?

Kind regards,
  Alfred Hönes.


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