Uniform Resource Locators (URL) (RFC1738)
Original Publication Date: 1994-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2019-Feb-12
Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)
T. Berners-Lee: AUTHOR [+2]
This document specifies a Uniform Resource Locator (URL), the syntax and semantics of formalized information for location and access of resources via the Internet. [STANDARDS-TRACK]
Network Working Group T. Berners-Lee Request for Comments: 1738 CERN Category: Standards Track L. Masinter Xerox Corporation M. McCahill University of Minnesota Editors December 1994
Uniform Resource Locators (URL)
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.
This document specifies a Uniform Resource Locator (URL), the syntax and semantics of formalized information for location and access of resources via the Internet.
This document describes the syntax and semantics for a compact string representation for a resource available via the Internet. These strings are called "Uniform Resource Locators" (URLs).
The specification is derived from concepts introduced by the World- Wide Web global information initiative, whose use of such objects dates from 1990 and is described in "Universal Resource Identifiers in WWW", RFC 1630. The specification of URLs is designed to meet the requirements laid out in "Functional Requirements for Internet Resource Locators" .
This document was written by the URI working group of the Internet Engineering Task Force. Comments may be addressed to the editors, or to the URI-WG <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Discussions of the group are archived at <URL:http://www.acl.lanl.gov/URI/archive/uri-archive.index.html>
Berners-Lee, Masinter & McCahill [Page 1]
RFC 1738 Uniform Resource Locators (URL) December 1994
2. General URL Syntax
Just as there are many different methods of access to resources, there are several schemes for describing the location of such resources.
The generic syntax for URLs provides a framework for new schemes to be established using protocols other than those defined in this document.
URLs are used to ‘locate’ resources, by providing an abstract identification of the resource location. Having located a resource, a system may perform a variety of operations on the resource, as might be characterized by such words as ‘access’, ‘update’, ‘replace’, ‘find attributes’. In general, only the ‘access’ method needs to be specified for any URL scheme.
2.1. The main parts of URLs
A full BNF description of the URL syntax is given in Section 5.
In general, URLs are written as follows:
A URL contains the name of the scheme being used (<scheme>) followed by a colon and then a string (the <scheme-specific-part>) whose interpretation depends on the scheme.
Scheme names consist of a sequence of characters. The lower case letters "a"--"z", digits, and the characters plus ("+"), period ("."), and hyphen ("-") are allowed. For resiliency, programs interpreting URLs should treat upper case letters as equivalent to lower case in scheme names (e.g., allow "HTTP" as well as...