I entered a WP ticket the other day…

We’ll see where it goes…


Ticket #2666
WordPress shouldn’t use URI instead of URL just because URI is geeky cool.

Priority: normal Reporter: SilverPaladin
Severity: minor Assigned to: anonymous
Component: General Status: new
Version: 2.1 Resolution:
Milestone: Keywords: URL URI Documentation website bg|needs-patch bg|2nd-opinion


Description by SilverPaladin:
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.

I should say, 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 started.

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 (which are valid URIs). 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, 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 URL.

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.