A workable alternative to "hex-encoded UTF-8 encoded URLs"

Larry Masinter <masinter@parc.xerox.com> Thu, 17 April 1997 03:11 UTC

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Date: Wed, 16 Apr 1997 16:43:36 -0700
From: Larry Masinter <masinter@parc.xerox.com>
Organization: Xerox PARC
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Subject: A workable alternative to "hex-encoded UTF-8 encoded URLs"
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If the problem of "users need to be able to see and write
URLs in their preferred script" is important, there's
a way to solve that problem actually:

  don't actually use URLs for this service.

Instead, use a directory service that can accomodate
 - multiple case
 - multiple spellings for the same name
 - multiple scripts and script interpretation

These multiple script references can be read on the radio,
printed in magazines and on matchbook covers.

The "Open Location" box in browsers would need to be changed
so that it would look up the 'location' in the directory

I call these "FRLs": Friendly Resource Locators. They're not
Uniform, but they can be used to locate resources.

It will require the development of a global infrastructure
for a directory service, but that is actually easier to
imagine than the global deployment of user agents that could
handle hex-encoded UTF-8 encoded URLs.

In the meanwhile, we should let the URL standard progress
from Proposed to Draft without adding the baggage of a

(These are not the droids you are looking for).