Functional Recommendations for Internet Resource Locators (RFC1736)
Original Publication Date: 1995-Feb-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2019-Feb-12
Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)
This document specifies a minimum set of requirements for Internet resource locators, which convey location and access information for resources. This memo provides information for the Internet community. This memo does not specify an Internet standard of any kind.
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 selection.
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 document.
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
Kunze [Page 1]
RFC 1736 Recommendations for IRLs February 1995
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 discussion of the requirements (later) that generate a smaller, more manageable problem space. A resource location standard shrinks the space again by applying addit...