Not Protocols - monday 2004-06-28 1938 last modified 2004-06-28 1938
Categories: Nerdy
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Apple has continued the egregious practice of abusing the protocol portion of a URN by replacing it instead with some indication of the content of whatever is being accessed. In a networked world where standards are the only reason we can communicate with each other, it is ridiculous of Apple to have even instituted this practice when sufficient methods already exist for accomplishing the same thing without relying on the resource's name.

By 'the protocol portion,' I mean the thing before the colon, like HTTP version 1.1 is the grammar browsers and servers use when speaking to one another to move content from one to the other. It's also the grammar used to ship RSS and iCalendar data through the web. But instead of labelling those resources properly, Apple co-opted the 'protocols' feed:// and cal:// to designate to the operating system when to do something iCal or Safari-ish with the data.

That's stupid, Apple. See the HTTP Content-Type header instead. Not only does this make it harder to make relative links to web resources, it breaks any such links in other non-Apple-foolishness aware applications.

[I'm aware there is no agreed-upon content type for RSS feeds due to the internecine warfare being waged upon its format. Sigh.]

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