[OT] Re: User @ domain.tld as ID (Once again)

Martin Atkins mart at degeneration.co.uk
Thu Nov 3 11:30:55 PST 2005

Dan Libby wrote:
> 5) There is precedent for widely adopted "magic urls" on the web.  
> Both /robots.txt and /favicon.ico are "magic", and in reality most sites have 
> been able to accomodate them if they wanted to.

favicon.ico is only used in the case where a particular LINK element
isn't included in the HTML document, so there is an alternative for
those who can't support favicon.ico. Since many browsers will only
support the explicit favicon link these days, more and more sites are
starting to remove the magic. Software that cannot support the magic URL
instead uses a LINK element.

The most common usage of robots.txt can be replicated in a META element
in an HTML document. While it's true that this is not a true
alternative, robots.txt has been around long enough that software that
can't naturally support "magic" URLs would have a special case for it,
as does a piece of software I maintain. I have no desire to add more
special cases.

> If unsupported, the http server should return a 404, and that is that.

or some other document, if the resulting magic URL happens to conflict
with an existing application or the server is misconfigured and doesn't
use the 404 status code for "not found". (this is often true where
Apache has been configured to redirect on error.)

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