New URIs

Today Dave posted a link to Chuck Shotton's post about Userland's new instant message URI:

Dave writes:

But the problem is, according to Brent, who is researching it, there is no standard way to refer to an account on an instant messaging service. It's funny because we didn't know that when we did in Radio and Frontier, we just went ahead with this format: service://screenname/, and no one seemed to object (if they did we didn't hear from them).

In keeping with the nature of URLs, wouldn't something like:

im:aim/YourAIMHandle or im:jabber/YourJabberID


im:/aim/YourAIMHandle or im:/jabber/YourJabberID

be more appropriate? It's likely at some point there will be convergence in the IM space and then specifying individual, proprietary services as the protocol portion of a URL will seem silly. Rather, the point is that you want to send an instant message to a particular host (service) for a specific path (user).

Read the rest of his post to find out why we have :// after the http protocol. Now, I like his idea, since it's more generic but it's also, according to the W3C a no-no. I was reading Kevin's blog just now and noticed his post from Tuesday about the W3C's Architecture Principals of the World Wide Web.

"9. Do not use unregistered URI schemes: Unregistered URI schemes MUST NOT be used on the public Internet."

I don't like this. To me it really leads down towards censorship.

Imagine if they said 'Do not use unregistered XML formats'...

I think this should actually be SHOULD NOT

Interesting... Not that I give a flying crap what the W3C thinks (not a democratic body at all and hardly on the lookout for open standards). A little digging (i.e. following links on the W3C page) I found this page on the URI schemes. Doesn't look like there's anything that fits instant messages... I noticed the last scheme on the list is for a Realnames-like "go:" protocol. This is neat, though it may not work for instant messages... go:russell%20beattie am I talking about my website or my IM?

Maybe go:/chat/russell%20beattie would be neat... you could read it like a sentence. Or actually, since that doesn't follow the go spec, something more like this:

go:russell%20beattie - which would choose the default IM system
go://?russell%20beattie;im=aol - which would choose a service
go://;im=jabber - which would specify a server also...


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