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From Diana Shannon <>
Subject file naming convention
Date Thu, 02 May 2002 17:18:53 GMT
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:<forrest-project>/documents/faqs/020503<forrest-project>/documents/howtos/020603

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. Maybe I'm 
hopelessly corrupt from years of bad habits, but I *like* topics in 
filenames, something like:<forrest-project>/documents/faqs/config_jboss.html<forrest-project>/documents/howto/sendmail.html

Is it a simply a trade-off between usefulness and longevity? If so, then 
I'd rather err on the side of usefulness given the limited lifetime of 
the documents in question.



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