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   Re: file: URIs and MS Windows

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  • From: tpassin@home.com
  • To: <xml-dev@xml.org>
  • Date: Mon, 1 May 2000 08:59:47 -0400

Richard Tobin asks
> (This relates to a question that has come up in comp.text.xml.)
> Can anyone tell me if there is any "official" correspondence defined
> between file: URIs and MS Windows file names?  Tools like web browsers
> under Windows appear to accept a variety of forms with mixed slashes
> and backslashes, but is any of them considered canonical?
The RFC (RFC 1738) defines them quite clearly, except for possibly the use
of the colon after a drive letter ("c:"). All hierarchical divisions are
supposed to be given by forward slashes (not backslashes). You either
precede the path by "file://localhost/" or by "file:///" for files on the
local machine (no quotes, of course).  The colon character is specifically
allowed, so it is available for use in the drive specification.

So according to the RFC, the following are legal:


Both Internet Explorer and Netscape (versions 4) accept these forms  (of
course, they accept a lot of other forms too, they are fairly tolerant).
But they always want to change "c:" to "c|" on their own initiative.

Why standard browsers replace the colon by a "|" is unknown to me, I didn't
find anything about it in the RFC.  If anyone on the list knows the reason,
please post the answer!

Tom Passin

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