URLs and DNS

Peter Lister, Cranfield Computer Centre (ccprl@xdm001.ccc.cranfield.ac.uk)
Thu, 15 Apr 93 11:02:30 BST

> The guide also points to a rudimentary primer on URL's that might be
> of interest to Web beginners (certainly the number of people who have
> sent me Mosaic bug reports saying "URL 'machine.com' doesn't connect
> to the ftp server", etc., would seem to indicate that basic knowledge
> of URL's is not yet a given on the net).

IMHO, URLs should have the same sort of status as numeric IP address -
a low-level format that must be agreed on by all, but essentially
invisible to end-users. I include WWW administrators among "end-users";
they don't need to be Unix/IP wizards to manage a few HTML docs and a
couple of databases. Certainly translating a "normal" FTP reference to
a URL is NOT fun for most users. URLs should be hidden behind DNS, just
like numeric IP addresses. I applaud the notion of a MX style record as
a start at least.

I did ask some time ago if Xmosaic could have a simple FTP window, to
prompt the user for a hostname (optionally dir/file name, username and
password) - maybe you'd get less false bug reports if you built it in,
Marc. I really do think that XMosaic would become very popular as a
value-added replacement FTP client.

Also, I would like to see a DNS and/or Hesiod URL registered, so that I
can get info directly from DNS/Hesiod in the same way as X500 or any
other service. Far more useful than an AFS URL, Tim.

Peter Lister p.lister@cranfield.ac.uk
Computer Centre,
Cranfield Institute of Technology, Voice: +44 234 754200 ext 2828
Cranfield, Bedfordshire MK43 0AL England Fax: +44 234 750875