Department of Public Works
I've cooked up a proposal for a generic, "open standard" way for websites to display links that handoff operations to client-side applications -- like file-management tools and P2P content-delivery networks or file-sharing applications.

It involves a new URI scheme called "magnet:".

(URIs, or Uniform/Universal Resource Identifiers, are the more general class of identifier-like things of which Uniform Resource Names (URNs) are just one kind.)

In a way, "magnet:" URIs could be thought of as project- and vendor- neutral versions of the P2P-system-specific URIs that have been proliferating. (Examples include "ed2k", "freenet", "mnet", "sig2dat", and probably others.) However, "magnet" URIs are more general and fuzzy in meaning -- a "magnet:" URI will bring up a list of locally available options, instead of telling a single program, which monopolizes the "magnet:" type, an exact action to take.

These URIs could be very useful for activating Gnutella servents, but would not be Gnutella-only.

For more info, please check out the details and examples at:

Comments welcome in the "magnet-uri" YahooGroup. Ideas for how this could be made more robust, general, & useful would be especially appreciated!

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