Parameter separator in URLs, the case of misused question mark


What I don't really understand is the benefit of using '?' instead of '&' in urls:

question mark vs ampersand

It makes nobody's life easier if we use a different character as the first separator character.
Can you come up with a reasonable explanation?

EDIT: after more research I found that "&" can be a part of file name (terms&conditions.html) so "?" is a good separator. But still I think using "?" for separators makes lives easier (from url generators and parsers point of view):

question mark as separator

Is there any advantage in using "&" which is not clear at the first glance?

Best Solution

From the URI spec's (RFC 3986) point of view, the only separator here is "?". the format of the query is opaque; the ampersands just are something that HTML happens to use for form submissions.