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From Stefano Mazzocchi <>
Subject Re: file naming convention
Date Sun, 05 May 2002 11:51:28 GMT
Diana Shannon wrote:
> Given Forrest's stated goal of a clean URI space, I assume file naming
> convention is on topic here. If so, what do you think is an ideal http
> URI space (which includes filenames) for community-contributed FAQ,
> How-To, Tutorial, Example documents?
> I started investigating this issue by reading Tim Berner-Lee's article
> on the subject (See Tim
> makes some interesting recommendations for "good" and "bad" HTTP URIs.
> Here's a summary of what I find relevant to Forrest:
> BAD: subject/topic (e.g. install, markup, action)
> REASON: too subject to interpretation, likely to change in meaning over
> time, need to reuse in the future
> BAD: extension (e.g. .html, .xml, .pl)
> REASON: delivery mechanisms will change
> BAD: author's name
> REASON: authorship may change over time
> GOOD: dates (e.g. 020430)
> REASON: The date the URI is issued will not change. Helps to separate
> requests which use a new system from those which use an old system.
> Following these guidelines, we might use some variant of:
> Questions
> 1. Is this overkill for the needs of projects like Forrest, given the
> short life of documents tied to software release cycle? Tim states that
> it is "the duty of a Webmaster to allocate URIs which [he/she]  will be
> able to stand by in 2 years, in 20 years, in 200 years." Do you agree
> with that? Jakob Nielson's article on a similar subject
> ( suggests the useful
> remaining lifetime of any domain is a mere ten years. Do we really need
> to be concerned beyond two years?
> 2. Don't we need to continue the use of extensions, for static site
> versions, etc.?
> 3. Numbers in URIs remain cryptic and uninviting to me. 

I totally agree.

> Maybe I'm
> hopelessly corrupt from years of bad habits, but I *like* topics in
> filenames, something like:

I see nothing wrong in that.
> Is it a simply a trade-off between usefulness and longevity? 

No, I don't think that 


is less longev than


they just serve different purposes: the first identifies the resource
'how to install cocoon', the second refers to the particular version of
that resource, thus they are two different things.

> If so, then
> I'd rather err on the side of usefulness given the limited lifetime of
> the documents in question.

I agree.
Stefano Mazzocchi      One must still have chaos in oneself to be
                          able to give birth to a dancing star.
<>                             Friedrich Nietzsche

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