POP URL Scheme (RFC2384)
Original Publication Date: 1998-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2000-Sep-13
Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)
[POP3] is a widely-deployed mail access protocol. Many programs access POP3 message stores, and thus need POP3 configuration information. Since there are multiple configuration elements which are required in order to access a mailbox, a single string representation is convenient.
Network Working Group R. Gellens
Request for Comments: 2384 QUALCOMM, Incorporated
Category: Standards Track August 1998
POP URL Scheme
Status of this Memo
This document specifies an Internet standards track protocol for the
Internet community, and requests discussion and suggestions for
improvements. Please refer to the current edition of the "Internet
Official Protocol Standards" (STD 1) for the standardization state
and status of this protocol. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.
Copyright (C) The Internet Society (1998). All Rights Reserved.
[POP3] is a widely-deployed mail access protocol. Many programs
access POP3 message stores, and thus need POP3 configuration
information. Since there are multiple configuration elements which
are required in order to access a mailbox, a single string
representation is convenient.
A POP3 mailbox (like an [IMAP4] mailbox) is a network resource, and
URLs are a widely-supported generalized representation of network
A means of specifying a POP3 mailbox as a URL will likely be useful
in many programs and protocols. [ACAP] is one case where a string
encapsulation of elements required to access network services is
needed. For example, an [IMAP4] message store is usually specified
in ACAP datasets as an [IMAP-URL].
This memo defines a URL scheme for referencing a POP mailbox.
2. Conventions Used in this Document
The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", and "MAY"
in this document are to be interpreted as defined in "Key words for
use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement Levels" [KEYWORDS].
3. POP Scheme
The POP URL scheme designates a POP server, and optionally a port
number, authentication mechanism, authentication ID, and/or
The POP URL follows the common Internet scheme syntax as defined in
RFC 1738 [BASIC-URL] except that clear text passwords are not
permitted. If :
The POP URL is described using [ABNF] in Section 8.
A POP URL is of the general form:
or all of the elements, except "pop://" and
4. POP User Name and Authentication Mechanism
An authorization (which mailbox to access) and authentication (whose
password to check against) identity (referred to as "user name" for
simplicity) and/or authentication mechanism name may be supplied.
These are used in a "USER", "APOP", "AUTH" [POP-AUTH], or extension
command after making the connection to the POP server. If the URL
doesn't supply an authentication identifier, the program interpreting
the POP URL SHOULD request one from the user.
An authentication mechanism can be expressed by adding ";AUTH=