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2.2 Basic Rules Connected: An Internet Encyclopedia
2.2 Basic Rules

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2.2 Basic Rules

2.2 Basic Rules

The following rules are used throughout this specification to describe basic parsing constructs. The US-ASCII coded character set is defined by ANSI X3.4-1986 [21].

          OCTET          = <any 8-bit sequence of data>
          CHAR           = <any US-ASCII character (octets 0 - 127)>
          UPALPHA        = <any US-ASCII uppercase letter "A".."Z">
          LOALPHA        = <any US-ASCII lowercase letter "a".."z">
          ALPHA          = UPALPHA | LOALPHA
          DIGIT          = <any US-ASCII digit "0".."9">
          CTL            = <any US-ASCII control character
                           (octets 0 - 31) and DEL (127)>
          CR             = <US-ASCII CR, carriage return (13)>
          LF             = <US-ASCII LF, linefeed (10)>
          SP             = <US-ASCII SP, space (32)>
          HT             = <US-ASCII HT, horizontal-tab (9)>
          <">            = <US-ASCII double-quote mark (34)>

HTTP/1.1 defines the sequence CR LF as the end-of-line marker for all protocol elements except the entity-body (see appendix 19.3 for tolerant applications). The end-of-line marker within an entity-body is defined by its associated media type, as described in section 3.7.

          CRLF           = CR LF

HTTP/1.1 headers can be folded onto multiple lines if the continuation line begins with a space or horizontal tab. All linear white space, including folding, has the same semantics as SP.

          LWS            = [CRLF] 1*( SP | HT )

The TEXT rule is only used for descriptive field contents and values that are not intended to be interpreted by the message parser. Words of *TEXT may contain characters from character sets other than ISO 8859-1 [22] only when encoded according to the rules of RFC 1522 [14].

          TEXT           = <any OCTET except CTLs,
                           but including LWS>

Hexadecimal numeric characters are used in several protocol elements.

          HEX            = "A" | "B" | "C" | "D" | "E" | "F"
                         | "a" | "b" | "c" | "d" | "e" | "f" | DIGIT

Many HTTP/1.1 header field values consist of words separated by LWS or special characters. These special characters MUST be in a quoted string to be used within a parameter value.

          token          = 1*<any CHAR except CTLs or tspecials>

          tspecials      = "(" | ")" | "<" | ">" | "@"
                         | "," | ";" | ":" | "\" | <">
                         | "/" | "[" | "]" | "?" | "="
                         | "{" | "}" | SP | HT

Comments can be included in some HTTP header fields by surrounding the comment text with parentheses. Comments are only allowed in fields containing "comment" as part of their field value definition. In all other fields, parentheses are considered part of the field value.

          comment        = "(" *( ctext | comment ) ")"
          ctext          = <any TEXT excluding "(" and ")">

A string of text is parsed as a single word if it is quoted using double-quote marks.

          quoted-string  = ( <"> *(qdtext) <"> )

          qdtext         = <any TEXT except <">>

The backslash character ("\") may be used as a single-character quoting mechanism only within quoted-string and comment constructs.

          quoted-pair    = "\" CHAR


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Connected: An Internet Encyclopedia
2.2 Basic Rules

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