[wp-hackers] The use of new technical words just because they are there.

Brian Layman Brian at TheCodeCave.com
Wed Apr 12 03:59:29 GMT 2006

I was forwarded here from the support forum. I appologize if this is not the
correct forum, so to speak, for this inquiry.

First, I know this is a topic that comes up periodically, but the last time
I found it specifically addressed on the Wordpress Forum was 2004 and no one
directly addressed it even then. So please bear with me if you think you've
heard it all before, for I'm going to try to be to the point and get to the
bottom of the choice of URI over URL, as I haven't seen any posts do that

Second, Yes, I do know the difference between the a URI and a URL and did
the obligatory URL vs URI blog entry to prove it. The link is here
http://www.TheCodeCave.com/?p=93, but if you know the difference between a
url and URI you don't need to visit. This isn't a "get visitors" stunt, but
I knew people might try to explain the details to me, and I wanted to
outline my thoughts on the subject and definitions before a Q&A session was

Now, to the meat of it all...
I am speaking against the use of URI specifically in the Options form, but
also in the documentation.  WordPress is asking for a URI when it will not
accept all valid URI. Therefore it is asking for the wrong thing. 

The simple fact that WordPress it specifies *address* in the prompts for the
"WordPress address (URI):" and "Blog address (URI):" is a clue that it only
wants an URL. 

Beyond that blogs now can have URNs.  My blog, like many others, has an ASIN
from Alexa. Therefore, a valid formated URI for my blog would be:
ASIN:B000F1J35C. That fits the URN specification and it for now an for ever
more will uniquely identify my site even after my site has long disappeared
from the web. However, can I enter that into the URI field in Wordpress? No,
of course not.  You CANNOT enter a URN into those fields, because Wordpress
does not want any old URI. Wordpress specificially wants an URL.

My main point here, and on my site, is that it is foolish to use a fancy
term that new users don't know just so that your software looks technical
and geeky. This is the sort of slippery slope that you have with open source
projects. Bad habits are promoted when smaller projects use a bad term or
code segment that is picked up in larger projects.  

WordPress should do the right thing and change the term back from URI to

I see four primary reasons to do this:
* URL is the language used in most professional projects.
* The term URI is not known to the general computing public. 
* URL is more accurate in all WordPress use cases. 
* Some valid URIs would produce errors if entered into the URI field. 

Can anyone provide any reasonings for using the less specific URI term other
than "It's the current fad."? 

If not, I'd support a decision that the next major release include
documentation and code changes required to replace URI with URL. 

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