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3.1. Common Internet Scheme Syntax Connected: An Internet Encyclopedia
3.1. Common Internet Scheme Syntax

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Up: RFC 1738
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Next: 3.2. FTP

3.1. Common Internet Scheme Syntax

3.1. Common Internet Scheme Syntax

While the syntax for the rest of the URL may vary depending on the particular scheme selected, URL schemes that involve the direct use of an IP-based protocol to a specified host on the Internet use a common syntax for the scheme-specific data:


Some or all of the parts "<user>:<password>@", ":<password>", ":<port>", and "/<url-path>" may be excluded. The scheme specific data start with a double slash "//" to indicate that it complies with the common Internet scheme syntax. The different components obey the following rules:

An optional user name. Some schemes (e.g., ftp) allow the specification of a user name.

An optional password. If present, it follows the user name separated from it by a colon.

The user name (and password), if present, are followed by a commercial at-sign "@". Within the user and password field, any ":", "@", or "/" must be encoded.

Note that an empty user name or password is different than no user name or password; there is no way to specify a password without specifying a user name. E.g., <URL:> has an empty user name and no password, <URL:> has no user name, while <URL:> has a user name of "foo" and an empty password.

The fully qualified domain name of a network host, or its IP address as a set of four decimal digit groups separated by ".". Fully qualified domain names take the form as described in Section 3.5 of RFC 1034 [13] and Section 2.1 of RFC 1123 [5]: a sequence of domain labels separated by ".", each domain label starting and ending with an alphanumerical character and possibly also containing "-" characters. The rightmost domain label will never start with a digit, though, which syntactically distinguishes all domain names from the IP addresses.

The port number to connect to. Most schemes designate protocols that have a default port number. Another port number may optionally be supplied, in decimal, separated from the host by a colon. If the port is omitted, the colon is as well.

The rest of the locator consists of data specific to the scheme, and is known as the "url-path". It supplies the details of how the specified resource can be accessed. Note that the "/" between the host (or port) and the url-path is NOT part of the url-path.

The url-path syntax depends on the scheme being used, as does the manner in which it is interpreted.

Next: 3.2. FTP

Connected: An Internet Encyclopedia
3.1. Common Internet Scheme Syntax


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