[pmwiki-users] Real Clean URLs

Patrick R. Michaud pmichaud at pobox.com
Mon Sep 19 14:08:47 CDT 2005

This is a side comment regarding the subject of this thread, 
"Real Clean URLs".

Earlier, Steffen Bauch wrote:
> I would like to use real clean URLs like
>    http://www.myserver.com/path/to/wiki/Group/Page.html

Although Steffen uses the term "real clean URLs" here, many people
would argue that adding the ".html" onto the end makes the url
*less* clean, not more clean, and certainly not "real clean".  :-)

In particular, W3C makes this argument.  In "Cool URIs don't 
change" (http://www.w3.org/Provider/Style/URI), W3C says to leave
out the file extension on pages:

  "What to leave out
  File name extension. This is a very common one. 'cgi', even 
  '.html' is something which will change. You may not be using 
  HTML for that page in 20 years time, but you might want today's 
  links to it to still be valid. The canonical way of making links 
  to the W3C site doesn't use the extension." 

As mentioned above,  you'll notice that the url for the above
page doesn't have ".html" on the end, and in fact *all* of the
HTML pages at W3C have urls without a ".html" extension.

So, I'm not sure that we should use the term "real clean" to
describe urls that add the ".html" on the end.  PmWiki's urls
(with $EnablePathInfo set) are already the "real clean" ones;
adding ".html" is just a way to make PmWiki's pages a bit more
compatible with webservers and browsers that aren't configured
to deal with extensionless pages.  :-)


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