Relative Uniform Resource Locators (RFC1808)
Original Publication Date: 1995-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2019-Feb-12
Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)
In situations where the base URL is well-defined and known to the parser (human or machine), it is useful to be able to embed URL references which inherit that context rather than re-specifying it in every instance. This document defines the syntax and semantics for such Relative Uniform Resource Locators. [STANDARDS-TRACK]
Network Working Group R. Fielding Request for Comments: 1808 UC Irvine Category: Standards Track June 1995
Relative Uniform Resource Locators
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.
A Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is a compact representation of the location and access method for a resource available via the Internet. When embedded within a base document, a URL in its absolute form may contain a great deal of information which is already known from the context of that base document’s retrieval, including the scheme, network location, and parts of the url-path. In situations where the base URL is well-defined and known to the parser (human or machine), it is useful to be able to embed URL references which inherit that context rather than re-specifying it in every instance. This document defines the syntax and semantics for such Relative Uniform Resource Locators.
This document describes the syntax and semantics for "relative" Uniform Resource Locators (relative URLs): a compact representation of the location of a resource relative to an absolute base URL. It is a companion to RFC 1738, "Uniform Resource Locators (URL)" , which specifies the syntax and semantics of absolute URLs.
A common use for Uniform Resource Locators is to embed them within a document (referred to as the "base" document) for the purpose of identifying other Internet-accessible resources. For example, in hypertext documents, URLs can be used as the identifiers for hypertext link destinations.
Absolute URLs contain a great deal of information which may already be known from the context of the base document’s retrieval, including the scheme, network location, and parts of the URL path. In situations where the base URL is well-defined and known, it is useful to be able to embed a URL reference which inherits that context
Fielding Standards Track [Page 1]
RFC 1808 Relative Uniform Resource Locators June 1995
rather than re-specifying it within each instance. Relative URLs can also be used within data-entry dialogs to decrease the number of characters necessary to describe a location.
In addition, it is often the case that a group or "tree" of documents has been constructed to serve a common purpose; the vast majority of URLs in these documents point to locations within the tree rather than outside of it. Similarly, documents located at a particular Internet site are much more likely to refer to other resources at that site than to resources at remote sites.
Relative addressing of URLs allows document trees to be partially independent of their location and access scheme. For instance, it is possible for a single set of hypertext documents to...