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News Release: World Wide Web Consortium Supports the IETF URI Standard and IRI Proposed Standard

  • 27 January, 2005 11:57

<p>W3C announces its support for two new IETF specifications, including a
new full Internet Standard. Both the URI Internet Standard and the IRI
proposed standard serve as the glue that holds the web together, by
providing a clear way to identify resources on the Web. For more
information, please contact Janet Daly <janet> at +1 617 253 5884.</janet></p>
<p>World Wide Web Consortium Supports the IETF URI Standard and IRI
Proposed Standard</p>
<p>URI Specification Updated, IRIs Allow Internationalized Web Addressing</p>
<p>Web Resources:</p>
<p>This press release
In English:
In French:
In Japanese:</p>
<p>RFC 3986, STD 66 Uniform Resource Identifier (URI): Generic Syntax</p>
<p>RFC 3987 Internationalized Resource Identifiers (IRIs)</p>
<p>W3C's Internationalization Activity</p>
<p> -- 26 January 2005 -- The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) announces its support for two newly issued publications that are critical to increasing the international reach of the World Wide Web. These publications, coordinated through both the IETF and W3C, are RFC 3986, STD 66 Uniform Resource Identifier (URI): Generic Syntax and RFC 3987 Internationalized Resource Identifiers (IRIs), respectively an Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) Internet Standard and Proposed Standard.</p>
<p>URIs and IRIs Are the Glue That Holds the Web Together</p>
<p>The World Wide Web is defined as the universal, all-encompassing space containing all Internet - and other - resources referenced by Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs, sometimes commonly called "URLs").</p>
<p>In Tim Berners Lee's original proposal, and in the initial Web
implementation, the Web consisted of relatively few technologies,
including the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and the HyperText
Markup Language (HTML). Yet perhaps more fundamental than either HTTP or HTML are URIs, which are simple text strings that refer to Internet resources -- documents, resources, people, and indirectly to anything. URIs are the glue that binds the Web together. IRIs extend and
strengthen the glue, by allowing people to identify Web resources in
their own language.</p>
<p>The IETF Internet Standards Process has produced thousands of
publications, including approximately 60 Internet Standards. The URI
specification is joining this small group. An Internet Standard (or
"Standard") has a high degree of technical maturity and is believed to
provide significant benefit to the Internet community. The newer of the
two documents, the IRI specification, has been published as a Proposed
<p>Fundamental Component of the Web Updated</p>
<p>Uniform Resource Identifier (URI): Generic Syntax was written by Tim
Berners-Lee (Director, W3C), Roy Fielding (Day Software) and Larry
Masinter (Adobe Systems) with involvement of the W3C Technical
Architecture Group (TAG). The Standard describes the design, syntax, and resolution of URIs as well as security considerations and normalization and comparison (determining if two URIs are equivalent).</p>
<p>This new Standard replaces the URI specification released in 1998. Among several technical changes, the host component of a URI is now enabled for internationalized domain names. Other technical changes include a rule for absolute URIs with optional fragments, a rewritten section 6 "Normalization and Comparison" by Tim Bray and the W3C TAG, simplified grammar, clarifications for ambiguities, and revisions to the reserved set of characters.</p>
<p>IRIs Allow Internationalized Web Addressing</p>
<p>The Internationalized Resource Identifiers (IRIs) Proposed Standard was
developed in part by the W3C Internationalization Working Group, and was written by Martin Dürst (W3C) and Michel Suignard (Microsoft Corporation).</p>
<p>With few exceptions, the natural scripts of the world's languages use
characters other than A-Z. By expanding allowed characters from a subset of US-ASCII to the Universal Character Set (Unicode/ISO 10646), IRIs allow content developers and users to identify resources in their own languages. In addition, many W3C specifications - such as XML, RDF, XHTML and SVG - needed a definitive reference for identifiers that
support international characters. The IRI specification provides that
critical reference.</p>
<p>According to the IRI specification, every URI is already an IRI. As a
result, URI users do not need to do anything differently in order to
find what they need on the Web. The specification also discusses how to convert an IRI to a URI for resolution on existing systems, the special
case of bidirectional IRIs, equivalence between IRIs, IRI use in
different situations, security considerations and informative guidelines.</p>
<p>IETF and W3C Cooperation Produces Strong Results</p>
<p>These IETF documents are good examples of the longstanding cooperation between IETF and W3C.</p>
<p>Along with the HTTP specification, the URI specifications pre-date W3C,
and are among the earliest documented Web work. As these specifications continue to be useful to many IETF efforts, their standardization continued within the IETF. The W3C URI Activity hosts discussion forums and provides editing resources and coordinates with other W3C Activities on Web technologies.</p>
<p>Contact Americas and Australia --
Janet Daly, <janet>, +1.617.253.5884 or +1.617.253.2613
Contact Europe, Africa and Middle-East --
Marie-Claire Forgue, <mcf>, +33.492.38.75.94
Contact Asia --
Yasuyuki Hirakawa, <chibao>, +81.466.49.11.70</chibao></mcf></janet></p>
<p>About the World Wide Web Consortium [W3C]</p>
<p>The W3C was created to lead the Web to its full potential by developing
common protocols that promote its evolution and ensure its
interoperability. It is an international industry consortium jointly run
by the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (MIT
CSAIL) in the USA, the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM) headquartered in France and Keio University in Japan. Services provided by the Consortium include: a repository of
information about the World Wide Web for developers and users, and
various prototype and sample applications to demonstrate use of new
technology. More than 350 organizations are Members of W3C. For more
information see</p>
<p>World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)</p>
<p>Janet Daly, Global Communications Officer
MIT/CSAIL, Building 32-G518
32 Vassar Street
Cambridge, MA 02139</p>
<p>voice: 617.253.5884
fax: 617.258.5999</p>

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