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Free the space!

I’m sure I’m heading for a D’oh! moment, but, much as I enjoy the ambiguity of the URL, why aren’t spaces allowed in Web addresses? URLs are already delimited by quotation marks in HTML markup, as in <a href=>. In fact, couldn’t we make a rule that whatever is the first character after the “href=” is the delimiter, a tactic I learned about when I worked at Interleaf? That way, you could even include quotation marks in the address, as in <a href=|http://www.lumberjacks me “Carla”.html|>.

Allowing spaces and flexible delimiters would let us express URL’s in ways humans can more easily understand. After all, should Web pathnames be harder to read than Windows pathnames?

In fact, when we need to make it clear that we’re expressing a path and not a space-delimited series, we could learn from Windows’ conventions: Use quotes as delimiters for paths such as “C:\My Programs\Whirligig Anti Virus Pro\read me.txt.” Having to use explicit delimiters on paths on occasion seems to me a small price for being able to use spaces as delimiters between words.

Now, what is the big point I’m missing that’s so obvious that I’m about to go D’oh! ? [Tags: a href=”” rel=”tag”> html ]

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