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Structured Field Values for HTTP
draft-ietf-httpbis-sfbis-06

Document Type Active Internet-Draft (httpbis WG)
Authors Mark Nottingham , Poul-Henning Kamp
Last updated 2024-05-22 (Latest revision 2024-04-21)
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draft-ietf-httpbis-sfbis-06
HTTP                                                       M. Nottingham
Internet-Draft                                                Cloudflare
Obsoletes: 8941 (if approved)                                 P.-H. Kamp
Intended status: Standards Track               The Varnish Cache Project
Expires: 23 October 2024                                   21 April 2024

                    Structured Field Values for HTTP
                      draft-ietf-httpbis-sfbis-06

Abstract

   This document describes a set of data types and associated algorithms
   that are intended to make it easier and safer to define and handle
   HTTP header and trailer fields, known as "Structured Fields",
   "Structured Headers", or "Structured Trailers".  It is intended for
   use by specifications of new HTTP fields that wish to use a common
   syntax that is more restrictive than traditional HTTP field values.

   This document obsoletes RFC 8941.

About This Document

   This note is to be removed before publishing as an RFC.

   Status information for this document may be found at
   https://datatracker.ietf.org/doc/draft-ietf-httpbis-sfbis/.

   Discussion of this document takes place on the HTTP Working Group
   mailing list (mailto:ietf-http-wg@w3.org), which is archived at
   https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/ietf-http-wg/.  Working Group
   information can be found at https://httpwg.org/.

   Source for this draft and an issue tracker can be found at
   https://github.com/httpwg/http-extensions/labels/header-structure.

Status of This Memo

   This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the
   provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
   Task Force (IETF).  Note that other groups may also distribute
   working documents as Internet-Drafts.  The list of current Internet-
   Drafts is at https://datatracker.ietf.org/drafts/current/.

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   Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months
   and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any
   time.  It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference
   material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

   This Internet-Draft will expire on 23 October 2024.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2024 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents (https://trustee.ietf.org/
   license-info) in effect on the date of publication of this document.
   Please review these documents carefully, as they describe your rights
   and restrictions with respect to this document.  Code Components
   extracted from this document must include Revised BSD License text as
   described in Section 4.e of the Trust Legal Provisions and are
   provided without warranty as described in the Revised BSD License.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
     1.1.  Intentionally Strict Processing . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
     1.2.  Notational Conventions  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
   2.  Defining New Structured Fields  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
     2.1.  Example . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
     2.2.  Error Handling  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
     2.3.  Preserving Extensibility  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
     2.4.  Using New Structured Types in Extensions  . . . . . . . .   8
   3.  Structured Data Types . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
     3.1.  Lists . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
       3.1.1.  Inner Lists . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
       3.1.2.  Parameters  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
     3.2.  Dictionaries  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
     3.3.  Items . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  13
       3.3.1.  Integers  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  13
       3.3.2.  Decimals  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  13
       3.3.3.  Strings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14
       3.3.4.  Tokens  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14
       3.3.5.  Byte Sequences  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  15
       3.3.6.  Booleans  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  15
       3.3.7.  Dates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  15
       3.3.8.  Display Strings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  16
   4.  Working with Structured Fields in HTTP  . . . . . . . . . . .  16
     4.1.  Serializing Structured Fields . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  16
       4.1.1.  Serializing a List  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  17

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       4.1.2.  Serializing a Dictionary  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  19
       4.1.3.  Serializing an Item . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  20
       4.1.4.  Serializing an Integer  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  21
       4.1.5.  Serializing a Decimal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  21
       4.1.6.  Serializing a String  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  22
       4.1.7.  Serializing a Token . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  22
       4.1.8.  Serializing a Byte Sequence . . . . . . . . . . . . .  23
       4.1.9.  Serializing a Boolean . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  23
       4.1.10. Serializing a Date  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  23
       4.1.11. Serializing a Display String  . . . . . . . . . . . .  24
     4.2.  Parsing Structured Fields . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  25
       4.2.1.  Parsing a List  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  26
       4.2.2.  Parsing a Dictionary  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  28
       4.2.3.  Parsing an Item . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  29
       4.2.4.  Parsing an Integer or Decimal . . . . . . . . . . . .  31
       4.2.5.  Parsing a String  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  33
       4.2.6.  Parsing a Token . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  33
       4.2.7.  Parsing a Byte Sequence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  34
       4.2.8.  Parsing a Boolean . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  35
       4.2.9.  Parsing a Date  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  35
       4.2.10. Parsing a Display String  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  35
   5.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  37
   6.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  38
   7.  References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  38
     7.1.  Normative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  38
     7.2.  Informative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  39
   Appendix A.  Frequently Asked Questions . . . . . . . . . . . . .  39
     A.1.  Why Not JSON? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  40
   Appendix B.  Implementation Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  40
   Appendix C.  ABNF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  41
   Appendix D.  Changes from RFC 8941  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  42
   Acknowledgements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  43
   Authors' Addresses  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  43

1.  Introduction

   Specifying the syntax of new HTTP header (and trailer) fields is an
   onerous task; even with the guidance in Section 16.3.2 of [HTTP],
   there are many decisions -- and pitfalls -- for a prospective HTTP
   field author.

   Once a field is defined, bespoke parsers and serializers often need
   to be written, because each field value has a slightly different
   handling of what looks like common syntax.

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   This document introduces a set of common data structures for use in
   definitions of new HTTP field values to address these problems.  In
   particular, it defines a generic, abstract model for them, along with
   a concrete serialization for expressing that model in HTTP [HTTP]
   header and trailer fields.

   An HTTP field that is defined as a "Structured Header" or "Structured
   Trailer" (if the field can be either, it is a "Structured Field")
   uses the types defined in this specification to define its syntax and
   basic handling rules, thereby simplifying both its definition by
   specification writers and handling by implementations.

   Additionally, future versions of HTTP can define alternative
   serializations of the abstract model of these structures, allowing
   fields that use that model to be transmitted more efficiently without
   being redefined.

   Note that it is not a goal of this document to redefine the syntax of
   existing HTTP fields; the mechanisms described herein are only
   intended to be used with fields that explicitly opt into them.

   Section 2 describes how to specify a Structured Field.

   Section 3 defines a number of abstract data types that can be used in
   Structured Fields.

   Those abstract types can be serialized into and parsed from HTTP
   field values using the algorithms described in Section 4.

1.1.  Intentionally Strict Processing

   This specification intentionally defines strict parsing and
   serialization behaviors using step-by-step algorithms; the only error
   handling defined is to fail the entire operation altogether.

   It is designed to encourage faithful implementation and good
   interoperability.  Therefore, an implementation that tried to be
   helpful by being more tolerant of input would make interoperability
   worse, since that would create pressure on other implementations to
   implement similar (but likely subtly different) workarounds.

   In other words, strict processing is an intentional feature of this
   specification; it allows non-conformant input to be discovered and
   corrected by the producer early and avoids both interoperability and
   security issues that might otherwise result.

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   Note that as a result of this strictness, if a field is appended to
   by multiple parties (e.g., intermediaries or different components in
   the sender), an error in one party's value is likely to cause the
   entire field value to fail parsing.

1.2.  Notational Conventions

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "NOT RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and
   "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in BCP
   14 [RFC2119] [RFC8174] when, and only when, they appear in all
   capitals, as shown here.

   This document uses the VCHAR, SP, DIGIT, ALPHA, and DQUOTE rules from
   [RFC5234] to specify characters and/or their corresponding ASCII
   bytes, depending on context.  It uses the tchar and OWS rules from
   [HTTP] for the same purpose.

   This document uses algorithms to specify parsing and serialization
   behaviors.  When parsing from HTTP fields, implementations MUST have
   behavior that is indistinguishable from following the algorithms.

   For serialization to HTTP fields, the algorithms define the
   recommended way to produce them.  Implementations MAY vary from the
   specified behavior so long as the output is still correctly handled
   by the parsing algorithm described in Section 4.2.

2.  Defining New Structured Fields

   To specify an HTTP field as a Structured Field, its authors need to:

   *  Normatively reference this specification.  Recipients and
      generators of the field need to know that the requirements of this
      document are in effect.

   *  Identify whether the field is a Structured Header (i.e., it can
      only be used in the header section -- the common case), a
      Structured Trailer (only in the trailer section), or a Structured
      Field (both).

   *  Specify the type of the field value; either List (Section 3.1),
      Dictionary (Section 3.2), or Item (Section 3.3).

   *  Define the semantics of the field value.

   *  Specify any additional constraints upon the field value, as well
      as the consequences when those constraints are violated.

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   Typically, this means that a field definition will specify the top-
   level type -- List, Dictionary, or Item -- and then define its
   allowable types and constraints upon them.  For example, a header
   defined as a List might have all Integer members, or a mix of types;
   a header defined as an Item might allow only Strings, and
   additionally only strings beginning with the letter "Q", or strings
   in lowercase.  Likewise, Inner Lists (Section 3.1.1) are only valid
   when a field definition explicitly allows them.

   Fields that use the Display String type are advised to carefully
   specify their allowable unicode code points; for example, specifying
   the use of a profile from [PRECIS].

   Field definitions can only use this specification for the entire
   field value, not a portion thereof.

   Specifications can refer to a field name as a "structured header
   name", "structured trailer name", or "structured field name" as
   appropriate.  Likewise, they can refer its field value as a
   "structured header value", "structured trailer value", or "structured
   field value" as necessary.

   This specification defines minimums for the length or number of
   various structures supported by implementations.  It does not specify
   maximum sizes in most cases, but authors should be aware that HTTP
   implementations do impose various limits on the size of individual
   fields, the total number of fields, and/or the size of the entire
   header or trailer section.

2.1.  Example

   A fictitious Foo-Example header field might be specified as:

   |  42.  Foo-Example Header Field
   |  
   |  The Foo-Example HTTP header field conveys information about how
   |  much Foo the message has.
   |  
   |  Foo-Example is an Item Structured Header Field [RFCnnnn].  Its
   |  value MUST be an Integer (Section 3.3.1 of [RFCnnnn]).
   |  
   |  Its value indicates the amount of Foo in the message, and it MUST
   |  be between 0 and 10, inclusive; other values MUST cause the entire
   |  header field to be ignored.
   |  
   |  The following parameter is defined:
   |  

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   |  *  A parameter whose key is "foourl", and whose value is a String
   |     (Section 3.3.3 of [RFCnnnn]), conveying the Foo URL for the
   |     message.  See below for processing requirements.
   |  
   |  "foourl" contains a URI-reference (Section 4.1 of [RFC3986]).  If
   |  its value is not a valid URI-reference, the entire header field
   |  MUST be ignored.  If its value is a relative reference
   |  (Section 4.2 of [RFC3986]), it MUST be resolved (Section 5 of
   |  [RFC3986]) before being used.
   |  
   |  For example:
   |  
   |       Foo-Example: 2; foourl="https://foo.example.com/"

2.2.  Error Handling

   When parsing fails, the entire field is ignored (see Section 4.2).
   Field definitions cannot override this, because doing so would
   preclude handling by generic software; they can only add additional
   constraints (for example, on the numeric range of Integers and
   Decimals, the format of Strings and Tokens, the types allowed in a
   Dictionary's values, or the number of Items in a List).

   When field-specific constraints are violated, the entire field is
   also ignored, unless the field definition defines other handling
   requirements.  For example, if a header field is defined as an Item
   and required to be an Integer, but a String is received, it should be
   ignored unless that field's definition explicitly specifies
   otherwise.

2.3.  Preserving Extensibility

   Structured Fields are designed to be extensible, because experience
   has shown that even when it is not foreseen, it is often necessary to
   modify and add to the allowable syntax and semantics of a field in a
   controlled fashion.

   Both Items and Inner Lists allow Parameters as an extensibility
   mechanism; this means that their values can later be extended to
   accommodate more information, if need be.  To preserve forward
   compatibility, field specifications are discouraged from defining the
   presence of an unrecognized parameter as an error condition.

   Field specifications are required to be either an Item, List, or
   Dictionary to preserve extensibility.  Fields that erroneously
   defined as another type (e.g., Integer) are assumed to be Items
   (i.e., they allow Parameters).

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   To further assure that this extensibility is available in the future,
   and to encourage consumers to use a complete parser implementation, a
   field definition can specify that "grease" parameters be added by
   senders.  A specification could stipulate that all parameters that
   fit a defined pattern are reserved for this use and then encourage
   them to be sent on some portion of requests.  This helps to
   discourage recipients from writing a parser that does not account for
   Parameters.

   Specifications that use Dictionaries can also allow for forward
   compatibility by requiring that the presence of -- as well as value
   and type associated with -- unknown keys be ignored.  Subsequent
   specifications can then add additional keys, specifying constraints
   on them as appropriate.

   An extension to a Structured Field can then require that an entire
   field value be ignored by a recipient that understands the extension
   if constraints on the value it defines are not met.

2.4.  Using New Structured Types in Extensions

   Because a field definition needs to reference a specific RFC for
   Structured Fields, the types available for use in its value are
   limited to those defined in that RFC.  For example, a field whose
   definition references this document can have a value that uses the
   Date type (Section 3.3.7), whereas a field whose definition
   references RFC 8941 cannot, because it will be treated as invalid
   (and therefore discarded) by implementations of that specification.

   This limitation also applies to future extensions to a field; for
   example, a field that is defined with reference to RFC 8941 cannot
   use the Date type, because some recipients might still be using an
   RFC 8941 parser to process it.

   However, this document is designed to be backwards-compatible with
   RFC 8941; a parser that implements the requirements here can also
   parse valid Structured Fields whose definitions reference RFC 8941.

   Upgrading a Structured Fields implementation to support a newer
   revision of the specification (such as this document) brings the
   possibility that some field values that were invalid according to the
   earlier RFC might become valid when processed.

   For example, field instance might contain a syntactically valid Date
   (Section 3.3.7), even though that field's definition does not
   accommodate Dates.  An RFC8941 implementation would fail parsing such
   a field instance, because they are not defined in that specification.
   If that implementation were upgraded to this specification, parsing

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   would now succeed.  In some cases, the resulting Date value will be
   rejected by field-specific logic, but values in fields that are
   otherwise ignored (such as extension parameters) might not be
   detected and the field might subsequently be accepted and processed.

3.  Structured Data Types

   This section provides an overview of the abstract types that
   Structured Fields use, and gives a brief description and examples of
   how each of those types are serialized into textual HTTP fields.
   Section 4 specifies the details of how they are parsed from and
   serialized into textual HTTP fields.

   In summary:

   *  There are three top-level types that an HTTP field can be defined
      as: Lists, Dictionaries, and Items.

   *  Lists and Dictionaries are containers; their members can be Items
      or Inner Lists (which are themselves arrays of Items).

   *  Both Items and Inner Lists can be Parameterized with key/value
      pairs.

3.1.  Lists

   Lists are arrays of zero or more members, each of which can be an
   Item (Section 3.3) or an Inner List (Section 3.1.1), both of which
   can be Parameterized (Section 3.1.2).

   An empty List is denoted by not serializing the field at all.  This
   implies that fields defined as Lists have a default empty value.

   When serialized as a textual HTTP field, each member is separated by
   a comma and optional whitespace.  For example, a field whose value is
   defined as a List of Tokens could look like:

   Example-List: sugar, tea, rum

   Note that Lists can have their members split across multiple lines of
   the same header or trailer section, as per Section 5.3 of [HTTP]; for
   example, the following are equivalent:

   Example-List: sugar, tea, rum

   and

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   Example-List: sugar, tea
   Example-List: rum

   However, individual members of a List cannot be safely split between
   lines; see Section 4.2 for details.

   Parsers MUST support Lists containing at least 1024 members.  Field
   specifications can constrain the types and cardinality of individual
   List values as they require.

3.1.1.  Inner Lists

   An Inner List is an array of zero or more Items (Section 3.3).  Both
   the individual Items and the Inner List itself can be Parameterized
   (Section 3.1.2).

   When serialized in a textual HTTP field, Inner Lists are denoted by
   surrounding parenthesis, and their values are delimited by one or
   more spaces.  A field whose value is defined as a List of Inner Lists
   of Strings could look like:

   Example-List: ("foo" "bar"), ("baz"), ("bat" "one"), ()

   Note that the last member in this example is an empty Inner List.

   A header field whose value is defined as a List of Inner Lists with
   Parameters at both levels could look like:

   Example-List: ("foo"; a=1;b=2);lvl=5, ("bar" "baz");lvl=1

   Parsers MUST support Inner Lists containing at least 256 members.
   Field specifications can constrain the types and cardinality of
   individual Inner List members as they require.

3.1.2.  Parameters

   Parameters are an ordered map of key-value pairs that are associated
   with an Item (Section 3.3) or Inner List (Section 3.1.1).  The keys
   are unique within the scope of the Parameters they occur within, and
   the values are bare items (i.e., they themselves cannot be
   parameterized; see Section 3.3).

   Implementations MUST provide access to Parameters both by index and
   by key.  Specifications MAY use either means of accessing them.

   Note that parameters are ordered, and parameter keys cannot contain
   uppercase letters.

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   When serialized in a textual HTTP field, a Parameter is separated
   from its Item or Inner List and other Parameters by a semicolon.  For
   example:

   Example-List: abc;a=1;b=2; cde_456, (ghi;jk=4 l);q="9";r=w

   Parameters whose value is Boolean (see Section 3.3.6) true MUST omit
   that value when serialized.  For example, the "a" parameter here is
   true, while the "b" parameter is false:

   Example-Integer: 1; a; b=?0

   Note that this requirement is only on serialization; parsers are
   still required to correctly handle the true value when it appears in
   a parameter.

   Parsers MUST support at least 256 parameters on an Item or Inner
   List, and support parameter keys with at least 64 characters.  Field
   specifications can constrain the order of individual parameters, as
   well as their values' types as required.

3.2.  Dictionaries

   Dictionaries are ordered maps of key-value pairs, where the keys are
   short textual strings and the values are Items (Section 3.3) or
   arrays of Items, both of which can be Parameterized (Section 3.1.2).
   There can be zero or more members, and their keys are unique in the
   scope of the Dictionary they occur within.

   Implementations MUST provide access to Dictionaries both by index and
   by key.  Specifications MAY use either means of accessing the
   members.

   As with Lists, an empty Dictionary is represented by omitting the
   entire field.  This implies that fields defined as Dictionaries have
   a default empty value.

   Typically, a field specification will define the semantics of
   Dictionaries by specifying the allowed type(s) for individual members
   by their keys, as well as whether their presence is required or
   optional.  Recipients MUST ignore members whose keys are undefined or
   unknown, unless the field's specification specifically disallows
   them.

   When serialized as a textual HTTP field, Members are ordered as
   serialized and separated by a comma with optional whitespace.  Member
   keys cannot contain uppercase characters.  Keys and values are
   separated by "=" (without whitespace).  For example:

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   Example-Dict: en="Applepie", da=:w4ZibGV0w6ZydGU=:

   Note that in this example, the final "=" is due to the inclusion of a
   Byte Sequence; see Section 3.3.5.

   Members whose value is Boolean (see Section 3.3.6) true MUST omit
   that value when serialized.  For example, here both "b" and "c" are
   true:

   Example-Dict: a=?0, b, c; foo=bar

   Note that this requirement is only on serialization; parsers are
   still required to correctly handle the true Boolean value when it
   appears in Dictionary values.

   A Dictionary with a member whose value is an Inner List of Tokens:

   Example-Dict: rating=1.5, feelings=(joy sadness)

   A Dictionary with a mix of Items and Inner Lists, some with
   parameters:

   Example-Dict: a=(1 2), b=3, c=4;aa=bb, d=(5 6);valid

   Note that Dictionaries can have their members split across multiple
   lines of the same header or trailer section; for example, the
   following are equivalent:

   Example-Dict: foo=1, bar=2

   and

   Example-Dict: foo=1
   Example-Dict: bar=2

   However, individual members of a Dictionary cannot be safely split
   between lines; see Section 4.2 for details.

   Parsers MUST support Dictionaries containing at least 1024 key/value
   pairs and keys with at least 64 characters.  Field specifications can
   constrain the order of individual Dictionary members, as well as
   their values' types as required.

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3.3.  Items

   An Item can be an Integer (Section 3.3.1), a Decimal (Section 3.3.2),
   a String (Section 3.3.3), a Token (Section 3.3.4), a Byte Sequence
   (Section 3.3.5), a Boolean (Section 3.3.6), or a Date
   (Section 3.3.7).  It can have associated parameters (Section 3.1.2).

   For example, a header field that is defined to be an Item that is an
   Integer might look like:

   Example-Integer: 5

   or with parameters:

   Example-Integer: 5; foo=bar

3.3.1.  Integers

   Integers have a range of -999,999,999,999,999 to 999,999,999,999,999
   inclusive (i.e., up to fifteen digits, signed), for IEEE 754
   compatibility [IEEE754].

   For example:

   Example-Integer: 42

   Integers larger than 15 digits can be supported in a variety of ways;
   for example, by using a String (Section 3.3.3), a Byte Sequence
   (Section 3.3.5), or a parameter on an Integer that acts as a scaling
   factor.

   While it is possible to serialize Integers with leading zeros (e.g.,
   "0002", "-01") and signed zero ("-0"), these distinctions may not be
   preserved by implementations.

   Note that commas in Integers are used in this section's prose only
   for readability; they are not valid in the wire format.

3.3.2.  Decimals

   Decimals are numbers with an integer and a fractional component.  The
   integer component has at most 12 digits; the fractional component has
   at most three digits.

   For example, a header whose value is defined as a Decimal could look
   like:

   Example-Decimal: 4.5

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   While it is possible to serialize Decimals with leading zeros (e.g.,
   "0002.5", "-01.334"), trailing zeros (e.g., "5.230", "-0.40"), and
   signed zero (e.g., "-0.0"), these distinctions may not be preserved
   by implementations.

   Note that the serialization algorithm (Section 4.1.5) rounds input
   with more than three digits of precision in the fractional component.
   If an alternative rounding strategy is desired, this should be
   specified by the field definition to occur before serialization.

3.3.3.  Strings

   Strings are zero or more printable ASCII [RFC0020] characters (i.e.,
   the range %x20 to %x7E).  Note that this excludes tabs, newlines,
   carriage returns, etc.

   Non-ASCII characters are not directly supported in Strings, because
   they cause a number of interoperability issues, and -- with few
   exceptions -- field values do not require them.

   When it is necessary for a field value to convey non-ASCII content, a
   Display String (Section 3.3.8) can be specified.

   When serialized in a textual HTTP field, Strings are delimited with
   double quotes, using a backslash ("\") to escape double quotes and
   backslashes.  For example:

   Example-String: "hello world"

   Note that Strings only use DQUOTE as a delimiter; single quotes do
   not delimit Strings.  Furthermore, only DQUOTE and "\" can be
   escaped; other characters after "\" MUST cause parsing to fail.

   Parsers MUST support Strings (after any decoding) with at least 1024
   characters.

3.3.4.  Tokens

   Tokens are short textual words that begin with an alphabetic
   character or "*", followed by zero to many token characters, which
   are the same as those allowed by the "token" ABNF rule defined in
   [HTTP], plus the ":" and "/" characters.

   For example:

   Example-Token: foo123/456

   Parsers MUST support Tokens with at least 512 characters.

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   Note that Tokens are defined largely for compatibility with the data
   model of existing HTTP fields, and may require additional steps to
   use in some implementations.  As a result, new fields are encouraged
   to use Strings.

3.3.5.  Byte Sequences

   Byte Sequences can be conveyed in Structured Fields.

   When serialized in a textual HTTP field, a Byte Sequence is delimited
   with colons and encoded using base64 ([RFC4648], Section 4).  For
   example:

   Example-ByteSequence: :cHJldGVuZCB0aGlzIGlzIGJpbmFyeSBjb250ZW50Lg==:

   Parsers MUST support Byte Sequences with at least 16384 octets after
   decoding.

3.3.6.  Booleans

   Boolean values can be conveyed in Structured Fields.

   When serialized in a textual HTTP field, a Boolean is indicated with
   a leading "?" character followed by a "1" for a true value or "0" for
   false.  For example:

   Example-Boolean: ?1

   Note that in Dictionary (Section 3.2) and Parameter (Section 3.1.2)
   values, Boolean true is indicated by omitting the value.

3.3.7.  Dates

   Date values can be conveyed in Structured Fields.

   Dates have a data model that is similar to Integers, representing a
   (possibly negative) delta in seconds from 1970-01-01T00:00:00Z,
   excluding leap seconds.  Accordingly, their serialization in textual
   HTTP fields is similar to that of Integers, distinguished from them
   with a leading "@".

   For example:

   Example-Date: @1659578233

   Parsers MUST support Dates whose values include all days in years 1
   to 9999 (i.e., -62,135,596,800 to 253,402,214,400 delta seconds from
   1970-01-01T00:00:00Z).

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3.3.8.  Display Strings

   Display Strings are similar to Strings, in that they consist of zero
   or more characters, but they allow Unicode scalar values (i.e., all
   Unicode code points except for surrogates), unlike Strings.

   Display Strings are intended for use in cases where a value is
   displayed to end users, and therefore may need to carry non-ASCII
   content.  It is NOT RECOMMENDED that they be used in situations where
   a String (Section 3.3.3) or Token (Section 3.3.4) would be adequate,
   because Unicode has processing considerations (e.g., normalization)
   and security considerations (e.g., homograph attacks) that make it
   more difficult to handle correctly.

   Note that Display Strings do not indicate the language used in the
   value; that can be done separately if necessary (e.g., with a
   parameter).

   In textual HTTP fields, Display Strings are represented in a manner
   similar to Strings, except that non-ASCII characters are percent-
   encoded; there is a leading "%" to distinguish them from Strings.

   For example:

   Example-DisplayString: %"This is intended for display to %c3%bcsers."

   See Section 6 for additional security considerations when handling
   Display Strings.

4.  Working with Structured Fields in HTTP

   This section defines how to serialize and parse the abstract types
   defined by Section 3 into textual HTTP field values and other
   encodings compatible with them (e.g., in HTTP/2 [HTTP/2] before
   compression with HPACK [HPACK]).

4.1.  Serializing Structured Fields

   Given a structure defined in this specification, return an ASCII
   string suitable for use in an HTTP field value.

   1.  If the structure is a Dictionary or List and its value is empty
       (i.e., it has no members), do not serialize the field at all
       (i.e., omit both the field-name and field-value).

   2.  If the structure is a List, let output_string be the result of
       running Serializing a List (Section 4.1.1) with the structure.

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   3.  Else, if the structure is a Dictionary, let output_string be the
       result of running Serializing a Dictionary (Section 4.1.2) with
       the structure.

   4.  Else, if the structure is an Item, let output_string be the
       result of running Serializing an Item (Section 4.1.3) with the
       structure.

   5.  Else, fail serialization.

   6.  Return output_string converted into an array of bytes, using
       ASCII encoding [RFC0020].

4.1.1.  Serializing a List

   Given an array of (member_value, parameters) tuples as input_list,
   return an ASCII string suitable for use in an HTTP field value.

   1.  Let output be an empty string.

   2.  For each (member_value, parameters) of input_list:

       1.  If member_value is an array, append the result of running
           Serializing an Inner List (Section 4.1.1.1) with
           (member_value, parameters) to output.

       2.  Otherwise, append the result of running Serializing an Item
           (Section 4.1.3) with (member_value, parameters) to output.

       3.  If more member_values remain in input_list:

           1.  Append "," to output.

           2.  Append a single SP to output.

   3.  Return output.

4.1.1.1.  Serializing an Inner List

   Given an array of (member_value, parameters) tuples as inner_list,
   and parameters as list_parameters, return an ASCII string suitable
   for use in an HTTP field value.

   1.  Let output be the string "(".

   2.  For each (member_value, parameters) of inner_list:

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       1.  Append the result of running Serializing an Item
           (Section 4.1.3) with (member_value, parameters) to output.

       2.  If more values remain in inner_list, append a single SP to
           output.

   3.  Append ")" to output.

   4.  Append the result of running Serializing Parameters
       (Section 4.1.1.2) with list_parameters to output.

   5.  Return output.

4.1.1.2.  Serializing Parameters

   Given an ordered Dictionary as input_parameters (each member having a
   param_key and a param_value), return an ASCII string suitable for use
   in an HTTP field value.

   1.  Let output be an empty string.

   2.  For each param_key with a value of param_value in
       input_parameters:

       1.  Append ";" to output.

       2.  Append the result of running Serializing a Key
           (Section 4.1.1.3) with param_key to output.

       3.  If param_value is not Boolean true:

           1.  Append "=" to output.

           2.  Append the result of running Serializing a bare Item
               (Section 4.1.3.1) with param_value to output.

   3.  Return output.

4.1.1.3.  Serializing a Key

   Given a key as input_key, return an ASCII string suitable for use in
   an HTTP field value.

   1.  Convert input_key into a sequence of ASCII characters; if
       conversion fails, fail serialization.

   2.  If input_key contains characters not in lcalpha, DIGIT, "_", "-",
       ".", or "*", fail serialization.

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   3.  If the first character of input_key is not lcalpha or "*", fail
       serialization.

   4.  Let output be an empty string.

   5.  Append input_key to output.

   6.  Return output.

4.1.2.  Serializing a Dictionary

   Given an ordered Dictionary as input_dictionary (each member having a
   member_key and a tuple value of (member_value, parameters)), return
   an ASCII string suitable for use in an HTTP field value.

   1.  Let output be an empty string.

   2.  For each member_key with a value of (member_value, parameters) in
       input_dictionary:

       1.  Append the result of running Serializing a Key
           (Section 4.1.1.3) with member's member_key to output.

       2.  If member_value is Boolean true:

           1.  Append the result of running Serializing Parameters
               (Section 4.1.1.2) with parameters to output.

       3.  Otherwise:

           1.  Append "=" to output.

           2.  If member_value is an array, append the result of running
               Serializing an Inner List (Section 4.1.1.1) with
               (member_value, parameters) to output.

           3.  Otherwise, append the result of running Serializing an
               Item (Section 4.1.3) with (member_value, parameters) to
               output.

       4.  If more members remain in input_dictionary:

           1.  Append "," to output.

           2.  Append a single SP to output.

   3.  Return output.

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4.1.3.  Serializing an Item

   Given an Item as bare_item and Parameters as item_parameters, return
   an ASCII string suitable for use in an HTTP field value.

   1.  Let output be an empty string.

   2.  Append the result of running Serializing a Bare Item
       (Section 4.1.3.1) with bare_item to output.

   3.  Append the result of running Serializing Parameters
       (Section 4.1.1.2) with item_parameters to output.

   4.  Return output.

4.1.3.1.  Serializing a Bare Item

   Given an Item as input_item, return an ASCII string suitable for use
   in an HTTP field value.

   1.  If input_item is an Integer, return the result of running
       Serializing an Integer (Section 4.1.4) with input_item.

   2.  If input_item is a Decimal, return the result of running
       Serializing a Decimal (Section 4.1.5) with input_item.

   3.  If input_item is a String, return the result of running
       Serializing a String (Section 4.1.6) with input_item.

   4.  If input_item is a Token, return the result of running
       Serializing a Token (Section 4.1.7) with input_item.

   5.  If input_item is a Byte Sequence, return the result of running
       Serializing a Byte Sequence (Section 4.1.8) with input_item.

   6.  If input_item is a Boolean, return the result of running
       Serializing a Boolean (Section 4.1.9) with input_item.

   7.  If input_item is a Date, return the result of running Serializing
       a Date (Section 4.1.10) with input_item.

   8.  If input_item is a Display String, return the result of running
       Serializing a Display String (Section 4.1.11) with input_item.

   9.  Otherwise, fail serialization.

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4.1.4.  Serializing an Integer

   Given an Integer as input_integer, return an ASCII string suitable
   for use in an HTTP field value.

   1.  If input_integer is not an integer in the range of
       -999,999,999,999,999 to 999,999,999,999,999 inclusive, fail
       serialization.

   2.  Let output be an empty string.

   3.  If input_integer is less than (but not equal to) 0, append "-" to
       output.

   4.  Append input_integer's numeric value represented in base 10 using
       only decimal digits to output.

   5.  Return output.

4.1.5.  Serializing a Decimal

   Given a decimal number as input_decimal, return an ASCII string
   suitable for use in an HTTP field value.

   1.   If input_decimal is not a decimal number, fail serialization.

   2.   If input_decimal has more than three significant digits to the
        right of the decimal point, round it to three decimal places,
        rounding the final digit to the nearest value, or to the even
        value if it is equidistant.

   3.   If input_decimal has more than 12 significant digits to the left
        of the decimal point after rounding, fail serialization.

   4.   Let output be an empty string.

   5.   If input_decimal is less than (but not equal to) 0, append "-"
        to output.

   6.   Append input_decimal's integer component represented in base 10
        (using only decimal digits) to output; if it is zero, append
        "0".

   7.   Append "." to output.

   8.   If input_decimal's fractional component is zero, append "0" to
        output.

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   9.   Otherwise, append the significant digits of input_decimal's
        fractional component represented in base 10 (using only decimal
        digits) to output.

   10.  Return output.

4.1.6.  Serializing a String

   Given a String as input_string, return an ASCII string suitable for
   use in an HTTP field value.

   1.  Convert input_string into a sequence of ASCII characters; if
       conversion fails, fail serialization.

   2.  If input_string contains characters in the range %x00-1f or %x7f-
       ff (i.e., not in VCHAR or SP), fail serialization.

   3.  Let output be the string DQUOTE.

   4.  For each character char in input_string:

       1.  If char is "\" or DQUOTE:

           1.  Append "\" to output.

       2.  Append char to output.

   5.  Append DQUOTE to output.

   6.  Return output.

4.1.7.  Serializing a Token

   Given a Token as input_token, return an ASCII string suitable for use
   in an HTTP field value.

   1.  Convert input_token into a sequence of ASCII characters; if
       conversion fails, fail serialization.

   2.  If the first character of input_token is not ALPHA or "*", or the
       remaining portion contains a character not in tchar, ":", or "/",
       fail serialization.

   3.  Let output be an empty string.

   4.  Append input_token to output.

   5.  Return output.

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4.1.8.  Serializing a Byte Sequence

   Given a Byte Sequence as input_bytes, return an ASCII string suitable
   for use in an HTTP field value.

   1.  If input_bytes is not a sequence of bytes, fail serialization.

   2.  Let output be an empty string.

   3.  Append ":" to output.

   4.  Append the result of base64-encoding input_bytes as per
       [RFC4648], Section 4, taking account of the requirements below.

   5.  Append ":" to output.

   6.  Return output.

   The encoded data is required to be padded with "=", as per [RFC4648],
   Section 3.2.

   Likewise, encoded data SHOULD have pad bits set to zero, as per
   [RFC4648], Section 3.5, unless it is not possible to do so due to
   implementation constraints.

4.1.9.  Serializing a Boolean

   Given a Boolean as input_boolean, return an ASCII string suitable for
   use in an HTTP field value.

   1.  If input_boolean is not a boolean, fail serialization.

   2.  Let output be an empty string.

   3.  Append "?" to output.

   4.  If input_boolean is true, append "1" to output.

   5.  If input_boolean is false, append "0" to output.

   6.  Return output.

4.1.10.  Serializing a Date

   Given a Date as input_date, return an ASCII string suitable for use
   in an HTTP field value.

   1.  Let output be "@".

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   2.  Append to output the result of running Serializing an Integer
       with input_date (Section 4.1.4).

   3.  Return output.

4.1.11.  Serializing a Display String

   Given a sequence of Unicode codepoints as input_sequence, return an
   ASCII string suitable for use in an HTTP field value.

   1.  If input_sequence is not a sequence of Unicode codepoints, fail
       serialization.

   2.  Let byte_array be the result of applying UTF-8 encoding
       (Section 3 of [UTF8]) to input_sequence.  If encoding fails, fail
       serialization.

   3.  Let encoded_string be a string containing "%" followed by DQUOTE.

   4.  For each byte in byte_array:

       1.  If byte is %x25 ("%"), %x22 (DQUOTE), or in the ranges
           %x00-1f or %x7f-ff:

           1.  Append "%" to encoded_string.

           2.  Let encoded_byte be the result of applying base16
               encoding (Section 8 of [RFC4648]) to byte, with any
               alphabetic characters converted to lowercase.

           3.  Append encoded_byte to encoded_string.

       2.  Otherwise, decode byte as an ASCII character and append the
           result to encoded_string.

   5.  Append DQUOTE to encoded_string.

   6.  Return encoded_string.

   Note that [UTF8] prohibits the encoding of codepoints between U+D800
   and U+DFFF (surrogates); if they occur in input_sequence,
   serialization will fail.

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4.2.  Parsing Structured Fields

   When a receiving implementation parses HTTP fields that are known to
   be Structured Fields, it is important that care be taken, as there
   are a number of edge cases that can cause interoperability or even
   security problems.  This section specifies the algorithm for doing
   so.

   Given an array of bytes as input_bytes that represent the chosen
   field's field-value (which is empty if that field is not present) and
   field_type (one of "dictionary", "list", or "item"), return the
   parsed field value.

   1.  Convert input_bytes into an ASCII string input_string; if
       conversion fails, fail parsing.

   2.  Discard any leading SP characters from input_string.

   3.  If field_type is "list", let output be the result of running
       Parsing a List (Section 4.2.1) with input_string.

   4.  If field_type is "dictionary", let output be the result of
       running Parsing a Dictionary (Section 4.2.2) with input_string.

   5.  If field_type is "item", let output be the result of running
       Parsing an Item (Section 4.2.3) with input_string.

   6.  Discard any leading SP characters from input_string.

   7.  If input_string is not empty, fail parsing.

   8.  Otherwise, return output.

   When generating input_bytes, parsers MUST combine all field lines in
   the same section (header or trailer) that case-insensitively match
   the field name into one comma-separated field-value, as per
   Section 5.2 of [HTTP]; this assures that the entire field value is
   processed correctly.

   For Lists and Dictionaries, this has the effect of correctly
   concatenating all of the field's lines, as long as individual members
   of the top-level data structure are not split across multiple field
   instances.  The parsing algorithms for both types allow tab
   characters, since these might be used to combine field lines by some
   implementations.

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   Strings split across multiple field lines will have unpredictable
   results, because one or more commas (with optional whitespace) will
   become part of the string output by the parser.  Since concatenation
   might be done by an upstream intermediary, the results are not under
   the control of the serializer or the parser, even when they are both
   under the control of the same party.

   Tokens, Integers, Decimals, and Byte Sequences cannot be split across
   multiple field lines because the inserted commas will cause parsing
   to fail.

   Parsers MAY fail when processing a field value spread across multiple
   field lines, when one of those lines does not parse as that field.
   For example, a parsing handling an Example-String field that's
   defined as an sf-string is allowed to fail when processing this field
   section:

   Example-String: "foo
   Example-String: bar"

   If parsing fails, either the entire field value MUST be ignored
   (i.e., treated as if the field were not present in the section), or
   alternatively the complete HTTP message MUST be treated as malformed.
   This is intentionally strict to improve interoperability and safety,
   and field specifications that use Structured Fields are not allowed
   to loosen this requirement.

   Note that this requirement does not apply to an implementation that
   is not parsing the field; for example, an intermediary is not
   required to strip a failing field from a message before forwarding
   it.

4.2.1.  Parsing a List

   Given an ASCII string as input_string, return an array of
   (item_or_inner_list, parameters) tuples. input_string is modified to
   remove the parsed value.

   1.  Let members be an empty array.

   2.  While input_string is not empty:

       1.  Append the result of running Parsing an Item or Inner List
           (Section 4.2.1.1) with input_string to members.

       2.  Discard any leading OWS characters from input_string.

       3.  If input_string is empty, return members.

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       4.  Consume the first character of input_string; if it is not
           ",", fail parsing.

       5.  Discard any leading OWS characters from input_string.

       6.  If input_string is empty, there is a trailing comma; fail
           parsing.

   3.  No structured data has been found; return members (which is
       empty).

4.2.1.1.  Parsing an Item or Inner List

   Given an ASCII string as input_string, return the tuple
   (item_or_inner_list, parameters), where item_or_inner_list can be
   either a single bare item or an array of (bare_item, parameters)
   tuples. input_string is modified to remove the parsed value.

   1.  If the first character of input_string is "(", return the result
       of running Parsing an Inner List (Section 4.2.1.2) with
       input_string.

   2.  Return the result of running Parsing an Item (Section 4.2.3) with
       input_string.

4.2.1.2.  Parsing an Inner List

   Given an ASCII string as input_string, return the tuple (inner_list,
   parameters), where inner_list is an array of (bare_item, parameters)
   tuples. input_string is modified to remove the parsed value.

   1.  Consume the first character of input_string; if it is not "(",
       fail parsing.

   2.  Let inner_list be an empty array.

   3.  While input_string is not empty:

       1.  Discard any leading SP characters from input_string.

       2.  If the first character of input_string is ")":

           1.  Consume the first character of input_string.

           2.  Let parameters be the result of running Parsing
               Parameters (Section 4.2.3.2) with input_string.

           3.  Return the tuple (inner_list, parameters).

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       3.  Let item be the result of running Parsing an Item
           (Section 4.2.3) with input_string.

       4.  Append item to inner_list.

       5.  If the first character of input_string is not SP or ")", fail
           parsing.

   4.  The end of the Inner List was not found; fail parsing.

4.2.2.  Parsing a Dictionary

   Given an ASCII string as input_string, return an ordered map whose
   values are (item_or_inner_list, parameters) tuples. input_string is
   modified to remove the parsed value.

   1.  Let dictionary be an empty, ordered map.

   2.  While input_string is not empty:

       1.   Let this_key be the result of running Parsing a Key
            (Section 4.2.3.3) with input_string.

       2.   If the first character of input_string is "=":

            1.  Consume the first character of input_string.

            2.  Let member be the result of running Parsing an Item or
                Inner List (Section 4.2.1.1) with input_string.

       3.   Otherwise:

            1.  Let value be Boolean true.

            2.  Let parameters be the result of running Parsing
                Parameters (Section 4.2.3.2) with input_string.

            3.  Let member be the tuple (value, parameters).

       4.   If dictionary already contains a key this_key (comparing
            character for character), overwrite its value with member.

       5.   Otherwise, append key this_key with value member to
            dictionary.

       6.   Discard any leading OWS characters from input_string.

       7.   If input_string is empty, return dictionary.

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       8.   Consume the first character of input_string; if it is not
            ",", fail parsing.

       9.   Discard any leading OWS characters from input_string.

       10.  If input_string is empty, there is a trailing comma; fail
            parsing.

   3.  No structured data has been found; return dictionary (which is
       empty).

   Note that when duplicate Dictionary keys are encountered, all but the
   last instance are ignored.

4.2.3.  Parsing an Item

   Given an ASCII string as input_string, return a (bare_item,
   parameters) tuple. input_string is modified to remove the parsed
   value.

   1.  Let bare_item be the result of running Parsing a Bare Item
       (Section 4.2.3.1) with input_string.

   2.  Let parameters be the result of running Parsing Parameters
       (Section 4.2.3.2) with input_string.

   3.  Return the tuple (bare_item, parameters).

4.2.3.1.  Parsing a Bare Item

   Given an ASCII string as input_string, return a bare Item.
   input_string is modified to remove the parsed value.

   1.  If the first character of input_string is a "-" or a DIGIT,
       return the result of running Parsing an Integer or Decimal
       (Section 4.2.4) with input_string.

   2.  If the first character of input_string is a DQUOTE, return the
       result of running Parsing a String (Section 4.2.5) with
       input_string.

   3.  If the first character of input_string is an ALPHA or "*", return
       the result of running Parsing a Token (Section 4.2.6) with
       input_string.

   4.  If the first character of input_string is ":", return the result
       of running Parsing a Byte Sequence (Section 4.2.7) with
       input_string.

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   5.  If the first character of input_string is "?", return the result
       of running Parsing a Boolean (Section 4.2.8) with input_string.

   6.  If the first character of input_string is "@", return the result
       of running Parsing a Date (Section 4.2.9) with input_string.

   7.  If the first character of input_string is "%", return the result
       of running Parsing a Display String (Section 4.2.10) with
       input_string.

   8.  Otherwise, the item type is unrecognized; fail parsing.

4.2.3.2.  Parsing Parameters

   Given an ASCII string as input_string, return an ordered map whose
   values are bare Items. input_string is modified to remove the parsed
   value.

   1.  Let parameters be an empty, ordered map.

   2.  While input_string is not empty:

       1.  If the first character of input_string is not ";", exit the
           loop.

       2.  Consume the ";" character from the beginning of input_string.

       3.  Discard any leading SP characters from input_string.

       4.  Let param_key be the result of running Parsing a Key
           (Section 4.2.3.3) with input_string.

       5.  Let param_value be Boolean true.

       6.  If the first character of input_string is "=":

           1.  Consume the "=" character at the beginning of
               input_string.

           2.  Let param_value be the result of running Parsing a Bare
               Item (Section 4.2.3.1) with input_string.

       7.  If parameters already contains a key param_key (comparing
           character for character), overwrite its value with
           param_value.

       8.  Otherwise, append key param_key with value param_value to
           parameters.

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   3.  Return parameters.

   Note that when duplicate parameter keys are encountered, all but the
   last instance are ignored.

4.2.3.3.  Parsing a Key

   Given an ASCII string as input_string, return a key. input_string is
   modified to remove the parsed value.

   1.  If the first character of input_string is not lcalpha or "*",
       fail parsing.

   2.  Let output_string be an empty string.

   3.  While input_string is not empty:

       1.  If the first character of input_string is not one of lcalpha,
           DIGIT, "_", "-", ".", or "*", return output_string.

       2.  Let char be the result of consuming the first character of
           input_string.

       3.  Append char to output_string.

   4.  Return output_string.

4.2.4.  Parsing an Integer or Decimal

   Given an ASCII string as input_string, return an Integer or Decimal.
   input_string is modified to remove the parsed value.

   NOTE: This algorithm parses both Integers (Section 3.3.1) and
   Decimals (Section 3.3.2), and returns the corresponding structure.

   1.   Let type be "integer".

   2.   Let sign be 1.

   3.   Let input_number be an empty string.

   4.   If the first character of input_string is "-", consume it and
        set sign to -1.

   5.   If input_string is empty, there is an empty integer; fail
        parsing.

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   6.   If the first character of input_string is not a DIGIT, fail
        parsing.

   7.   While input_string is not empty:

        1.  Let char be the result of consuming the first character of
            input_string.

        2.  If char is a DIGIT, append it to input_number.

        3.  Else, if type is "integer" and char is ".":

            1.  If input_number contains more than 12 characters, fail
                parsing.

            2.  Otherwise, append char to input_number and set type to
                "decimal".

        4.  Otherwise, prepend char to input_string, and exit the loop.

        5.  If type is "integer" and input_number contains more than 15
            characters, fail parsing.

        6.  If type is "decimal" and input_number contains more than 16
            characters, fail parsing.

   8.   If type is "integer":

        1.  Let output_number be an Integer that is the result of
            parsing input_number as an integer.

   9.   Otherwise:

        1.  If the final character of input_number is ".", fail parsing.

        2.  If the number of characters after "." in input_number is
            greater than three, fail parsing.

        3.  Let output_number be a Decimal that is the result of parsing
            input_number as a decimal number.

   10.  Let output_number be the product of output_number and sign.

   11.  Return output_number.

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4.2.5.  Parsing a String

   Given an ASCII string as input_string, return an unquoted String.
   input_string is modified to remove the parsed value.

   1.  Let output_string be an empty string.

   2.  If the first character of input_string is not DQUOTE, fail
       parsing.

   3.  Discard the first character of input_string.

   4.  While input_string is not empty:

       1.  Let char be the result of consuming the first character of
           input_string.

       2.  If char is a backslash ("\"):

           1.  If input_string is now empty, fail parsing.

           2.  Let next_char be the result of consuming the first
               character of input_string.

           3.  If next_char is not DQUOTE or "\", fail parsing.

           4.  Append next_char to output_string.

       3.  Else, if char is DQUOTE, return output_string.

       4.  Else, if char is in the range %x00-1f or %x7f-ff (i.e., it is
           not in VCHAR or SP), fail parsing.

       5.  Else, append char to output_string.

   5.  Reached the end of input_string without finding a closing DQUOTE;
       fail parsing.

4.2.6.  Parsing a Token

   Given an ASCII string as input_string, return a Token. input_string
   is modified to remove the parsed value.

   1.  If the first character of input_string is not ALPHA or "*", fail
       parsing.

   2.  Let output_string be an empty string.

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   3.  While input_string is not empty:

       1.  If the first character of input_string is not in tchar, ":",
           or "/", return output_string.

       2.  Let char be the result of consuming the first character of
           input_string.

       3.  Append char to output_string.

   4.  Return output_string.

4.2.7.  Parsing a Byte Sequence

   Given an ASCII string as input_string, return a Byte Sequence.
   input_string is modified to remove the parsed value.

   1.  If the first character of input_string is not ":", fail parsing.

   2.  Discard the first character of input_string.

   3.  If there is not a ":" character before the end of input_string,
       fail parsing.

   4.  Let b64_content be the result of consuming content of
       input_string up to but not including the first instance of the
       character ":".

   5.  Consume the ":" character at the beginning of input_string.

   6.  If b64_content contains a character not included in ALPHA, DIGIT,
       "+", "/", and "=", fail parsing.

   7.  Let binary_content be the result of base64-decoding [RFC4648]
       b64_content, synthesizing padding if necessary (note the
       requirements about recipient behavior below).  If base64 decoding
       fails, parsing fails.

   8.  Return binary_content.

   Because some implementations of base64 do not allow rejection of
   encoded data that is not properly "=" padded (see [RFC4648],
   Section 3.2), parsers SHOULD NOT fail when "=" padding is not
   present, unless they cannot be configured to do so.

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   Because some implementations of base64 do not allow rejection of
   encoded data that has non-zero pad bits (see [RFC4648], Section 3.5),
   parsers SHOULD NOT fail when non-zero pad bits are present, unless
   they cannot be configured to do so.

   This specification does not relax the requirements in Sections 3.1
   and 3.3 of [RFC4648]; therefore, parsers MUST fail on characters
   outside the base64 alphabet and on line feeds in encoded data.

4.2.8.  Parsing a Boolean

   Given an ASCII string as input_string, return a Boolean. input_string
   is modified to remove the parsed value.

   1.  If the first character of input_string is not "?", fail parsing.

   2.  Discard the first character of input_string.

   3.  If the first character of input_string matches "1", discard the
       first character, and return true.

   4.  If the first character of input_string matches "0", discard the
       first character, and return false.

   5.  No value has matched; fail parsing.

4.2.9.  Parsing a Date

   Given an ASCII string as input_string, return a Date. input_string is
   modified to remove the parsed value.

   1.  If the first character of input_string is not "@", fail parsing.

   2.  Discard the first character of input_string.

   3.  Let output_date be the result of running Parsing an Integer or
       Decimal (Section 4.2.4) with input_string.

   4.  If output_date is a Decimal, fail parsing.

   5.  Return output_date.

4.2.10.  Parsing a Display String

   Given an ASCII string as input_string, return a sequence of Unicode
   codepoints. input_string is modified to remove the parsed value.

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   1.  If the first two characters of input_string are not "%" followed
       by DQUOTE, fail parsing.

   2.  Discard the first two characters of input_string.

   3.  Let byte_array be an empty byte array.

   4.  While input_string is not empty:

       1.  Let char be the result of consuming the first character of
           input_string.

       2.  If char is in the range %x00-1f or %x7f-ff (i.e., it is not
           in VCHAR or SP), fail parsing.

       3.  If char is "%":

           1.  Let octet_hex be the result of consuming two characters
               from input_string.  If there are not two characters, fail
               parsing.

           2.  If octet_hex contains characters outside the range
               %x30-39 or %x61-66 (i.e., it is not in 0-9 or lowercase
               a-f), fail parsing.

           3.  Let octet be the result of hex decoding octet_hex
               (Section 8 of [RFC4648]).

           4.  Append octet to byte_array.

       4.  If char is DQUOTE:

           1.  Let unicode_sequence be the result of decoding byte_array
               as a UTF-8 string (Section 3 of [UTF8]).  Fail parsing if
               decoding fails.

           2.  Return unicode_sequence.

       5.  Otherwise, if char is not "%" or DQUOTE:

           1.  Let byte be the result of applying ASCII encoding to
               char.

           2.  Append byte to byte_array.

   5.  Reached the end of input_string without finding a closing DQUOTE;
       fail parsing.

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5.  IANA Considerations

   Please add the following note to the "Hypertext Transfer Protocol
   (HTTP) Field Name Registry":

      The "Structured Type" column indicates the type of the field (per
      RFC nnnn), if any, and may be "Dictionary", "List" or "Item".

      Note that field names beginning with characters other than ALPHA
      or "*" will not be able to be represented as a Structured Fields
      Token, and therefore may be incompatible with being mapped into
      field values that refer to it.

   Then, add a new column, "Structured Type".

   Then, add the indicated Structured Type for each existing registry
   entry listed in Table 1.

      +==========================================+=================+
      | Field Name                               | Structured Type |
      +==========================================+=================+
      | Accept-CH                                | List            |
      +------------------------------------------+-----------------+
      | Cache-Status                             | List            |
      +------------------------------------------+-----------------+
      | CDN-Cache-Control                        | Dictionary      |
      +------------------------------------------+-----------------+
      | Cross-Origin-Embedder-Policy             | Item            |
      +------------------------------------------+-----------------+
      | Cross-Origin-Embedder-Policy-Report-Only | Item            |
      +------------------------------------------+-----------------+
      | Cross-Origin-Opener-Policy               | Item            |
      +------------------------------------------+-----------------+
      | Cross-Origin-Opener-Policy-Report-Only   | Item            |
      +------------------------------------------+-----------------+
      | Origin-Agent-Cluster                     | Item            |
      +------------------------------------------+-----------------+
      | Priority                                 | Dictionary      |
      +------------------------------------------+-----------------+
      | Proxy-Status                             | List            |
      +------------------------------------------+-----------------+

                         Table 1: Existing Fields

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6.  Security Considerations

   The size of most types defined by Structured Fields is not limited;
   as a result, extremely large fields could be an attack vector (e.g.,
   for resource consumption).  Most HTTP implementations limit the sizes
   of individual fields as well as the overall header or trailer section
   size to mitigate such attacks.

   It is possible for parties with the ability to inject new HTTP fields
   to change the meaning of a Structured Field.  In some circumstances,
   this will cause parsing to fail, but it is not possible to reliably
   fail in all such circumstances.

   The Display String type can convey any possible Unicode code point
   without sanitization; for example, they might contain unassigned code
   points, control points (including NUL), or noncharacters.  Therefore,
   applications consuming Display Strings need to consider strategies
   such as filtering or escaping untrusted content before displaying it.
   See [PRECIS] and [UNICODE-SECURITY].

7.  References

7.1.  Normative References

   [HTTP]     Fielding, R., Ed., Nottingham, M., Ed., and J. Reschke,
              Ed., "HTTP Semantics", STD 97, RFC 9110,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC9110, June 2022,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc9110>.

   [RFC0020]  Cerf, V., "ASCII format for network interchange", STD 80,
              RFC 20, DOI 10.17487/RFC0020, October 1969,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc20>.

   [RFC2119]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
              Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC2119, March 1997,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc2119>.

   [RFC4648]  Josefsson, S., "The Base16, Base32, and Base64 Data
              Encodings", RFC 4648, DOI 10.17487/RFC4648, October 2006,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc4648>.

   [RFC8174]  Leiba, B., "Ambiguity of Uppercase vs Lowercase in RFC
              2119 Key Words", BCP 14, RFC 8174, DOI 10.17487/RFC8174,
              May 2017, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc8174>.

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   [UTF8]     Yergeau, F., "UTF-8, a transformation format of ISO
              10646", STD 63, RFC 3629, November 2003,
              <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/std63>.

7.2.  Informative References

   [HPACK]    Peon, R. and H. Ruellan, "HPACK: Header Compression for
              HTTP/2", RFC 7541, DOI 10.17487/RFC7541, May 2015,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc7541>.

   [HTTP/2]   Thomson, M., Ed. and C. Benfield, Ed., "HTTP/2", RFC 9113,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC9113, June 2022,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc9113>.

   [IEEE754]  IEEE, "IEEE Standard for Floating-Point Arithmetic",
              IEEE 754-2019, DOI 10.1109/IEEESTD.2019.8766229,
              ISBN 978-1-5044-5924-2, July 2019,
              <https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/8766229>.

   [PRECIS]   Saint-Andre, P. and M. Blanchet, "PRECIS Framework:
              Preparation, Enforcement, and Comparison of
              Internationalized Strings in Application Protocols",
              RFC 8264, DOI 10.17487/RFC8264, October 2017,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc8264>.

   [RFC5234]  Crocker, D., Ed. and P. Overell, "Augmented BNF for Syntax
              Specifications: ABNF", STD 68, RFC 5234,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC5234, January 2008,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc5234>.

   [RFC7493]  Bray, T., Ed., "The I-JSON Message Format", RFC 7493,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC7493, March 2015,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc7493>.

   [RFC8259]  Bray, T., Ed., "The JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) Data
              Interchange Format", STD 90, RFC 8259,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC8259, December 2017,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc8259>.

   [UNICODE-SECURITY]
              Davis, M. and M. Suignard, "Unicode Security
              Considerations", Unicode Technical Report #16, 19
              September 2014, <http://www.unicode.org/reports/tr36/>.

Appendix A.  Frequently Asked Questions

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A.1.  Why Not JSON?

   Earlier proposals for Structured Fields were based upon JSON
   [RFC8259].  However, constraining its use to make it suitable for
   HTTP fields required senders and recipients to implement specific
   additional handling.

   For example, JSON has specification issues around large numbers and
   objects with duplicate members.  Although advice for avoiding these
   issues is available (e.g., [RFC7493]), it cannot be relied upon.

   Likewise, JSON strings are by default Unicode strings, which have a
   number of potential interoperability issues (e.g., in comparison).
   Although implementers can be advised to avoid non-ASCII content where
   unnecessary, this is difficult to enforce.

   Another example is JSON's ability to nest content to arbitrary
   depths.  Since the resulting memory commitment might be unsuitable
   (e.g., in embedded and other limited server deployments), it's
   necessary to limit it in some fashion; however, existing JSON
   implementations have no such limits, and even if a limit is
   specified, it's likely that some field definition will find a need to
   violate it.

   Because of JSON's broad adoption and implementation, it is difficult
   to impose such additional constraints across all implementations;
   some deployments would fail to enforce them, thereby harming
   interoperability.  In short, if it looks like JSON, people will be
   tempted to use a JSON parser/serializer on field values.

   Since a major goal for Structured Fields is to improve
   interoperability and simplify implementation, these concerns led to a
   format that requires a dedicated parser and serializer.

   Additionally, there were widely shared feelings that JSON doesn't
   "look right" in HTTP fields.

Appendix B.  Implementation Notes

   A generic implementation of this specification should expose the top-
   level serialize (Section 4.1) and parse (Section 4.2) functions.
   They need not be functions; for example, it could be implemented as
   an object, with methods for each of the different top-level types.

   For interoperability, it's important that generic implementations be
   complete and follow the algorithms closely; see Section 1.1.  To aid
   this, a common test suite is being maintained by the community at
   <https://github.com/httpwg/structured-field-tests>.

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   Implementers should note that Dictionaries and Parameters are order-
   preserving maps.  Some fields may not convey meaning in the ordering
   of these data types, but it should still be exposed so that it will
   be available to applications that need to use it.

   Likewise, implementations should note that it's important to preserve
   the distinction between Tokens and Strings.  While most programming
   languages have native types that map to the other types well, it may
   be necessary to create a wrapper "token" object or use a parameter on
   functions to assure that these types remain separate.

   The serialization algorithm is defined in a way that it is not
   strictly limited to the data types defined in Section 3 in every
   case.  For example, Decimals are designed to take broader input and
   round to allowed values.

   Implementations are allowed to limit the size of different
   structures, subject to the minimums defined for each type.  When a
   structure exceeds an implementation limit, that structure fails
   parsing or serialization.

Appendix C.  ABNF

   This section uses the Augmented Backus-Naur Form (ABNF) notation
   [RFC5234] to illustrate expected syntax of Structured Fields.
   However, it cannot be used to validate their syntax, because it does
   not capture all requirements.

   This section is non-normative.  If there is disagreement between the
   parsing algorithms and ABNF, the specified algorithms take
   precedence.

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   sf-list       = list-member *( OWS "," OWS list-member )
   list-member   = sf-item / inner-list

   inner-list    = "(" *SP [ sf-item *( 1*SP sf-item ) *SP ] ")"
                   parameters

   parameters    = *( ";" *SP parameter )
   parameter     = param-key [ "=" param-value ]
   param-key     = key
   key           = ( lcalpha / "*" )
                   *( lcalpha / DIGIT / "_" / "-" / "." / "*" )
   lcalpha       = %x61-7A ; a-z
   param-value   = bare-item

   sf-dictionary = dict-member *( OWS "," OWS dict-member )
   dict-member   = member-key ( parameters / ( "=" member-value ))
   member-key    = key
   member-value  = sf-item / inner-list

   sf-item   = bare-item parameters
   bare-item = sf-integer / sf-decimal / sf-string / sf-token
               / sf-binary / sf-boolean / sf-date / sf-displaystring

   sf-integer       = ["-"] 1*15DIGIT
   sf-decimal       = ["-"] 1*12DIGIT "." 1*3DIGIT
   sf-string        = DQUOTE *( unescaped / "%" / bs-escaped ) DQUOTE
   sf-token         = ( ALPHA / "*" ) *( tchar / ":" / "/" )
   sf-binary        = ":" base64 ":"
   sf-boolean       = "?" ( "0" / "1" )
   sf-date          = "@" sf-integer
   sf-displaystring = "%" DQUOTE *( unescaped / "\" / pct-encoded )
                      DQUOTE

   base64       = *( ALPHA / DIGIT / "+" / "/" ) *"="

   unescaped    = %x20-21 / %x23-24 / %x26-5B / %x5D-7E
   bs-escaped   = "\" ( DQUOTE / "\" )

   pct-encoded  = "%" lc-hexdig lc-hexdig
   lc-hexdig = DIGIT / %x61-66 ; 0-9, a-f

Appendix D.  Changes from RFC 8941

   This revision of the Structured Field Values for HTTP specification
   has made the following changes:

   *  Added the Date structured type.  (Section 3.3.7)

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   *  Stopped encouraging use of ABNF in definitions of new structured
      fields.  (Section 2)

   *  Moved ABNF to an informative appendix.  (Appendix C)

   *  Added a "Structured Type" column to the HTTP Field Name Registry.
      (Section 5)

   *  Refined parse failure handling.  (Section 4.2)

   *  Added the Display String structured type.  (Section 3.3.8)

Acknowledgements

   Many thanks to Matthew Kerwin for his detailed feedback and careful
   consideration during the development of this specification.

   Thanks also to Ian Clelland, Roy Fielding, Anne van Kesteren, Kazuho
   Oku, Evert Pot, Julian Reschke, Martin Thomson, Mike West, and
   Jeffrey Yasskin for their contributions.

Authors' Addresses

   Mark Nottingham
   Cloudflare
   Prahran VIC
   Australia
   Email: mnot@mnot.net
   URI:   https://www.mnot.net/

   Poul-Henning Kamp
   The Varnish Cache Project
   Email: phk@varnish-cache.org

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