Functional Recommendations for Internet Resource Locators (RFC1736)
Original Publication Date: 1995-Feb-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2000-Sep-12
Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)
access method might be a software tool, an institution, or a network protocol. The parameter package might be service-specific access instructions. In order to protect creative development of new services, there is an extensible class of services for which no parameter package semantics common across services may be assumed.
Network Working Group J. Kunze
Request for Comments: 1736 IS&T, UC Berkeley
Category: Informational February 1995
Functional Recommendations for Internet Resource Locators
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.
This document specifies a minimum set of requirements for Internet
resource locators, which convey location and access information for
resources. Typical examples of resources include network accessible
documents, WAIS databases, FTP servers, and Telnet destinations.
Locators may apply to resources that are not always or not ever
network accessible. Examples of the latter include human beings and
physical objects that have no electronic instantiation (that is,
objects without an existence completely defined by digital objects
such as disk files).
A resource locator is a kind of resource identifier. Other kinds of
resource identifiers allow names and descriptions to be associated
with resources. A resource name is intended to provide a stable
handle to refer to a resource long after the resource itself has
moved or perhaps gone out of existence. A resource description
comprises a body of meta-information to assist resource search and
In this document, an Internet resource locator is a locator defined
by an Internet resource location standard. A resource location
standard in conjunction with resource description and resource naming
standards specifies a comprehensive infrastructure for network based
information dissemination. Mechanisms for mapping between locators,
names, and descriptive identifiers are beyond the scope of this
2. Overview of Problem
Network-based information resource providers require a method of
describing the location of and access to their resources.
Information systems users require a method whereby client software
can interpret resource access and location descriptions on their
behalf in a relatively transparent way. Without such a method,
transparent and widely distributed, open information access on the
Internet would be difficult if not impossible.
2.1 Defining the General Resource Locator
The requirements listed in this document impose restrictions on the
general resource locator. To better understand what the Internet
resource locator is, the following general locator definition
provides some contrast.
Definition: A general resource locator is an object
that describes the location of a resource.
This definition deliberately allows many degrees of freedom in order
to contain the furthest reaches of the wide-ranging debate on
resource location standards. Vast as it is, this problem space is a
useful backdrop for discu...