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   http://www.math.uio.no/faq/compression-faq/part1.html
      -- http scheme for Hypertext Transfer Protocol services

   mailto:mduerst@ifi.unizh.ch
      -- mailto scheme for electronic mail addresses

   news:comp.infosystems.www.servers.unix
      -- news scheme for USENET news groups and articles

   telnet://melvyl.ucop.edu/
      -- telnet scheme for interactive services via the TELNET Protocol

1.4. Hierarchical URI and Relative Forms

   An absolute identifier refers to a resource independent of the
   context in which the identifier is used.  In contrast, a relative
   identifier refers to a resource by describing the difference within a
   hierarchical namespace between the current context and an absolute
   identifier of the resource.







 
RFC 2396                   URI Generic Syntax                August 1998


   Some URI schemes support a hierarchical naming system, where the
   hierarchy of the name is denoted by a "/" delimiter separating the
   components in the scheme. This document defines a scheme-independent
   `relative' form of URI reference that can be used in conjunction with
   a `base' URI (of a hierarchical scheme) to produce another URI. The
   syntax of hierarchical URI is described in Section 3; the relative
   URI calculation is described in Section 5.

1.5. URI Transcribability

   The URI syntax was designed with global transcribability as one of
   its main concerns. A URI is a sequence of characters from a very
   limited set, i.e. the letters of the basic Latin alphabet, digits,
   and a few special characters.  A URI may be represented in a variety
   of ways: e.g., ink on paper, pixels on a screen, or a sequence of
   octets in a coded character set.  The interpretation of a URI depends
   only on the characters used and not how those characters are
   represented in a network protocol.

   The goal of transcribability can be described by a simple scenario.
   Imagine two colleagues, Sam and Kim, sitting in a pub at an
   international conference and exchanging research ideas.  Sam asks Kim
   for a location to get more information, so Kim writes the URI for the
   research site on a napkin.  Upon returning home, Sam takes out the
   napkin and types the URI into a computer, which then retrieves the
   information to which Kim referred.

   There are several design concerns revealed by the scenario:

      o  A URI is a sequence of characters, which is not always
         represented as a sequence of octets.

      o  A URI may be transcribed from a non-network source, and thus
         should consist of characters that are most likely to be able to
         be typed into a computer, within the constraints imposed by
         keyboards (and related input devices) across languages and
         locales.

      o  A URI often needs to be remembered by people, and it is easier
         for people to remember a URI when it consists of meaningful
         components.

   These design concerns are not always in alignment.  For example, it
   is often the case that the most meaningful name for a URI component
   would require characters that cannot be typed into some systems.  The
   ability to transcribe the resource identifier from one medium to
   another was considered more important than having its URI consist of
   the most meaningful of components.  In local and regional contexts




 
RFC 2396                   URI Generic Syntax                August 1998


   and with improving technology, users might benefit from being able to
   use a wider range of characters; such use is not defined in this
   document.

1.6. Syntax Notation and Common Elements

   This document uses two conventions to describe and define the syntax
   for URI.  The first, called the layout form, is a general description
   of the order of components and component separators, as in

      /;?

   The component names are enclosed in angle-brackets and any characters
   outside angle-brackets are literal separators.  Whitespace should be
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