URL is (not) Official Undefined? - The RSS Blog
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Copyright 2003-5 Randy Charles Morin
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Thu, 16 Feb 2006 15:40:40 GMT
URL is (not) Official Undefined?
Every once in awhile, somebody brings up the statement "there's no such thing as a URL". This statement by Tim Bray goes back 3 years and has been repeated in too many mailing lists. I've always wanted to know where this statement comes from. This week, Sam Ruby brought up the same argument on the RSS advisory board public mailing list when he said, "URL became a term that had no official meaning". So I asked, "Do you have a reference for URL become a term that had no official meaning". And Sam honoured me with a response, "FUTURE SPECIFICATIONS AND RELATED DOCUMENTATION SHOULD USE THE GENERAL TERM URI RATHER THAN THE MORE RESTRICTIVE TERMS URL AND URN". How does that statement imply that URL is official undefined? It doesn't. Anyhow, I thought I'd document this, so that others can simply point people here when they hear that fallacious argument. Not that I know it to be fallacious, but nobody seems capable of justifying it. In the meanwhile, if anybody finds the written word that says URL is undefined or doesn't exist, then please post in the comments.
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I'm with you on this one. RFC3986 defines a URL as "a URI that, in addition to identifying a resource, provide[s] a means of locating the resource by describing its primary access mechanism". Yes, they do go on to recommend the use of URI rather than URL and URN because of the difficulty in classifying URIs neatly into one or the other group, but I don't see how that makes a URL undefined.
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