file:/ vs file://<host>/ vs file:///

Avery Pennarun apenwarr at
Thu Nov 4 19:18:57 EET 2004

On Thu, Nov 04, 2004 at 11:35:54AM -0500, Daniel Veillard wrote:

> Either you have an authority or not. In any case you cannot have
>    file://foo
>   Now what semantic would you provide for
>    file:/foo ?

file:/foo == file://localhost/foo

Everybody already knows this.  We can argue semantics forever, but any
standards organization who defines file:/foo as *anything* else is obviously
completely out to lunch and should be ignored.

The "correct" form of a file url/uri is definitely file://localhost/foo.
However, software should support input of file:/foo to allow for the
standard way *everyone* already uses their software, and (although I'd be
willing to give up this last point) should display file:/foo to avoid
confusing-looking visual noise. 99% of computer users have no idea what a
localhost is, despite having some vague idea of what is. 
Therefore auto-inserting "localhost" on their URL bar will not help anyone
use their software more efficiently, and we shouldn't do it.

Have fun,


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