Re: [webfinger] Webfinger and URI vs IRI

"Paul E. Jones" <> Mon, 22 July 2013 21:27 UTC

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From: "Paul E. Jones" <>
To: "'Barry Leiba'" <>
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Date: Mon, 22 Jul 2013 17:27:43 -0400
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Subject: Re: [webfinger] Webfinger and URI vs IRI
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The reason I raise this is that RFC 5988 refers to the target IRI (the
¡°href¡± in WebFinger link relation) and context IRI (the ¡°subject¡± and
¡°aliases¡± in WebFinger).  Only ASCII is used in some protocols, so the
IRIs must be formatted as URIs.


However, JRD is JSON and, therefore, Unicode.  Thus, we could easily
accommodate links like this:



    "rel" : "test2",

    "href" : "˽¤Î Îĕø.txt"



As opposed this form:



    "rel" : "test2",

    "href" :



I have no strong preference, but the text did have IRI mentioned in one
place in the JRD spec section, but it was not consistent through the
document.  Everywhere else, we specified URI.


So, if IRIs are truly only for presentation, then the latter example above
should be what WF servers return.  The query target is always a
percent-encoded URI, so it¡¯s a non-issue.




[] On Behalf Of Barry Leiba
Sent: Monday, July 22, 2013 4:30 PM
To: Paul E. Jones
Cc: Martin J. D¨¹rst;
Subject: Re: [webfinger] Webfinger and URI vs IRI


I believe WF should only use URIs.  I believe that IRIs are a presentation
layer thing.


On Jul 22, 2013 1:50 AM, "Paul E. Jones" <> wrote:


The term URI is used almost exclusively in the WebFinger spec, with IRI
appearing only twice (outside of the reference).  This is because URI is
used in RFC 6415 almost exclusively.  However, RFC 5988 uses the term IRI in
most of the text.  That said, RFC 5988 also says things like the "target IRI
as a URI-Reference" ...

I feel like we have a terminology problem and it's not quite clear to me how
to fix it.  Should we change every instance of URI to IRI?  Should URI be
used in most places, with IRI discussed specifically somewhere?  Or is there
even a need to mention IRI given that IRIs can be converted to URIs?

I would really like to get this right, but it definitely does not look right
now with only one normative use of IRI in section 4.4.4.  Who can help me
with this?


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