Proposal to drop double slashes from URL syntax

Sean Conner sean at conman.org
Tue Feb 9 22:22:29 GMT 2021


It was thus said that the Great Daniel Nagy once stated:
> Hello,
> 
> I want to propose to drop the double slashes from the gemini URL syntax.
> 
> The reason for this is that they dont serve any semantic value and while
> the project is still young, I think it could still be changed. So instead
> of
> 
>    gemini://example.com
> 
> we would have:
> 
>    gemini:example.com

  All right.  Let's assume we do this.  Let's start with an existing link:

	gemini://gemini.conman.org/test/torture/0001

and work our way through the first few entries with the new style.  The
first is a full link in the Gemini document:

	gemini:gemini.conman.org/test/torture/0002

That works.  Our client can get the second page.  The next is a schemeless
link, wihch *is* valid in text/gemini documents (but not as the request). 
This will now look like:

	gemini.conman.org/test/torture/0003

Here we hit our first potential snag---do we have a hostname or not?  In
fact, here are the links from the next few tests using your proposal:

	/test/torture/0005
	007
	/test/../test/torture/0009

And to further mess with things, I could add a test 0051 with a relative
link to:

	gemini.conman.org

Do I mean the top level page of my sever?  Or the page

	/test/torture/gemini.conman.org

Because remember, you can have relative links in text/gemini documents, and
the hypothetical test 0051 has a path of

	/test/torture/0051

(and don't think I wouldn't do it).

> In fact, Sir Tim Berners-Lee apologized[0] for introducing them in the
> http URL syntax. I see the following advantages and disadvantages:

  Not mentioned is the alternative he would have done.

> Advantages:
>  - Less typing
>  - Less wasted screenspace
>  - Less transfered bytes and less stored bytes on disk and memory

  We're running over TLS.  There's already quite a bit of overhead, as I
documented here:

	https://lists.orbitalfox.eu/archives/gemini/2020/001958.html

> Disadvantages:

  - Breaks relative linking in documents.  

  -spc

[0]: https://www.sitepoint.com/sir-tim-berners-lee-http-slashes/


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