Resource Transponders (RFC1728)
Original Publication Date: 1994-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2000-Sep-12
Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)
Although a number of systems have been created in the last several years to provide resource location and navigation on the Internet, the information contained in these systems must be maintained and updated by hand. This paper describes an automatic mechanism, the resource transponder, for maintaining resource location information.
Network Working Group C. Weider
Request for Comments: 1728 Bunyip Information Systems
Category: Informational December 1994
Status of this Memo
This memo provides information for the Internet community. This memo
does not specify an Internet standard of any kind. Distribution of
this memo is unlimited.
Although a number of systems have been created in the last several
years to provide resource location and navigation on the Internet,
the information contained in these systems must be maintained and
updated by hand. This paper describes an automatic mechanism, the
resource transponder, for maintaining resource location information.
This document is being circulated as sort of a research paper;
consequently there are no protocol specifications or anything of the
sort. I hope that we can go from here and actually design them if
there's consensus that they are potentially useful. Once we have some
idea of the required functionality, we can then go out and
This paper represents only the opinions of the author; it does not
represent the consensus of the IIIR Working Group, although it is
recognized by them as one legitimate approach to a solution of the
In the past few years, we've seen the invention and growth of a
number of information location systems on the Internet, e.g., archie,
Gopher, and WAIS. However, as these systems have become widely
deployed, a number of maintenance and security problems have arisen
with them. Some of the major ones:
1) Out of necessity, most of these systems contain pointers to the
desired resources rather than the resources themselves. Therefore,
if a resource becomes obsolete, is modified, or is moved, the
location system must be updated by hand. Some systems (archie in
particular) proactively create updated indexes by contacting every
resource on a certain time schedule (every 30 days or so) but this
means that the system can be up to 30 days out of date, and this
process can be highly inefficient depending on the percentage of
information that has changed.
2) Conversely, anyone who maintains a resource that they wish indexed
must keep track of every directory which contains a pointer to
that resource, so that if it is modified, all the directories can
be updated. This obviously is an optimistic scenario.
3) Many organizations which have installed these systems do not have
the the available resources or expertise to maintain the
information in the systems. Thus we have long periods where the
information drifts, then a short period when the information is
4) Even though these systems are almost always out of date today,
this problem will become increasingly h...