Registration Procedures for URL Scheme Names
RFC 2717

Document Type RFC - Best Current Practice (November 1999; No errata)
Obsoleted by RFC 4395
Authors Ian King  , Richard Petke 
Last updated 2013-03-02
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Network Working Group                                          R. Petke
Request for Comments: 2717                           UUNET Technologies
BCP: 35                                                         I. King
Category: Best Current Practice                   Microsoft Corporation
                                                          November 1999

              Registration Procedures for URL Scheme Names

Status of this Memo

   This document specifies an Internet Best Current Practices for the
   Internet Community, and requests discussion and suggestions for
   improvements.  Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (1999).  All Rights Reserved.


   This document defines the process by which new URL scheme names are

1.0 Introduction

   A Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is a compact string representation
   of the location for a resource that is available via the Internet.
   RFC 2396 [1] defines the general syntax and semantics of URIs, and,
   by inclusion, URLs.  URLs are designated by including a "<scheme>:"
   and then a "<scheme-specific-part>".  Many URL schemes are already
   defined, however, new schemes may need to be defined in the future in
   order to accommodate new Internet protocols and/or procedures.

   A registration process is needed to ensure that the names of all such
   new schemes are guaranteed not to collide.  Further, the registration
   process ensures that URL schemes intended for wide spread, public use
   are developed in an orderly, well-specified, and public manner.

   This document defines the registration procedures to be followed when
   new URL schemes are created.  A separate document, RFC 2718,
   Guidelines for URL Schemes [2], provides guidelines for the creation
   of new URL schemes.  The primary focus of this document is on the
   <scheme> portion of new URL schemes, referred to as the "scheme name"
   throughout this document.

Petke & King             Best Current Practice                  [Page 1]
RFC 2717      Registration Procedures for URL Scheme Names November 1999

1.1 Notation

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119.

2.0 URL Scheme Name Registration Trees

2.1 General

   In order to increase the efficiency and flexibility of the URL scheme
   name registration process, the need is recognized for multiple
   registration "trees".  The registration requirements and specific
   registration procedures for each tree differ, allowing the overall
   registration procedure to accommodate the different natural
   requirements for URL schemes.  For example, a scheme that will be
   recommended for wide support and implementation by the Internet
   community requires a more complete review than a scheme intended to
   be used for resources associated with proprietary software.

   The first step in registering a new URL scheme name is to determine
   which registration tree the scheme should be registered in.
   Determination of the proper registration tree is based on the
   intended use for the new scheme and the desired syntax for the scheme

   This document will discuss in detail the tree that reflects current
   practice, under IETF ownership and control.  It will also set forth
   an outline to assist authors in creating new trees to address
   differing needs for wide acceptance and interoperability, ease of
   creation and use, and type and "strength" of ownership.

2.2 The IETF Tree

   The IETF tree is intended for URL schemes of general interest to the
   Internet community.  The tree exists for URL schemes that require a
   substantive review and approval process.  It is expected that
   applicability statements for particular applications will be
   published from time to time that recommend implementation of, and
   support for, URL schemes that have proven particularly useful in
   those contexts.

Petke & King             Best Current Practice                  [Page 2]
RFC 2717      Registration Procedures for URL Scheme Names November 1999

2.3 Additional Registration Trees

   From time to time and as required by the community, the IESG may
   create new top-level registration trees.  These trees may require
   significant, little or no registration, and may allow change control
   to rest in the hands of individuals or groups other than IETF.  A new
   tree should only be created if no existing tree can be shown to
   address the set of needs of some sector of the community.

3.0 Requirements for Scheme Name Registration

3.1 General Requirements

   All new URL schemes, regardless of registration tree, MUST conform to
   the generic syntax for URLs as specified in RFC 2396.

3.2 The IETF Tree

   Registration in the IETF tree requires publication of the URL scheme
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