Service Location Working Group                              Erik Guttman
INTERNET DRAFT                                           Charles Perkins
                                                             James Kempf
21 June 1998                                            Sun Microsystems

                Service Templates and service:  Schemes

Status of This Memo

   This document is a submission by the Service Location Working Group
   of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).  Comments should be
   submitted to the mailing list.

   Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

   This document is an Internet-Draft.  Internet-Drafts are working
   documents of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), its areas,
   and its working groups.  Note that other groups may also distribute
   working documents as Internet-Drafts.

   Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months
   and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at
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   material or to cite them other than as ``work in progress.''

   To view the entire list of current Internet-Drafts, please check
   the "1id-abstracts.txt" listing contained in the Internet-Drafts
   Shadow Directories on (Africa),
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   (Pacific Rim), (US East Coast), or
   (US West Coast).


   The "service:" URL scheme name is used to define URLs (called
   "service: URLs" in this document) that are primarily intended to
   be used by the Service Location Protocol in order to distribute
   service access information.  These schemes provide an extensible
   framework for client-based network software to obtain configuration
   information required to make use of network services.  When
   registering a service: URL, the URL is accompanied by a set of
   well-defined attributes which define the service.  These attributes
   convey configuration information to client software, or service
   characteristics meaningful to end users.

   This document describes a formal procedure for defining and
   standardizing new service types and attributes for use with the

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   "service:" scheme.  The formal descriptions of service types and
   attributes are templates that are human and machine understandable.
   They SHOULD be used by administrative tools to parse service
   registration information and by client applications to provide
   localized translations of service attribute strings.

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Status of This Memo                                                    i

Abstract                                                               i

 1. Introduction                                                       1
     1.1. Terminology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    2
     1.2. Service Location Protocol . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    3

 2. Service URL Syntax and Semantics                                   3
     2.1. Service URL Syntax  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    3
     2.2. Service URL Semantics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    5
     2.3. Use of service: URLs  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    7
     2.4. Specifying the Service Type-Specific URL Syntax . . . . .    7
     2.5. Accommodating Abstract Service Types  . . . . . . . . . .    8
           2.5.1. Advertising Abstract Service Types  . . . . . . .    8

 3. Syntax and Semantics of Service Type Specifications                9
     3.1. Syntax of Service Type Templates  . . . . . . . . . . . .   10
     3.2. Semantics of Service Type Templates . . . . . . . . . . .   12
           3.2.1. Definition of a Service Template  . . . . . . . .   12
           3.2.2. Service Type  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   13
           3.2.3. Service Type Language . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   13
           3.2.4. Version Number  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   14
           3.2.5. Description . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   14
           3.2.6. Syntax of the Service Type-specific URL Part  . .   14
           3.2.7. Attribute Definition  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   15

 4. A Process For Standardizing New Service Types                     19

 5. IANA Considerations                                               20

 6. Internationalization Considerations                               21
     6.1. Language Identification and Translation . . . . . . . . .   21

 7. Security Considerations                                           22

 A. Service Template Examples                                         22
     A.1. FOO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   23
     A.2. Abstract Service Type:  Net-Transducer  . . . . . . . . .   23
     A.3. Concrete Service Type:  Net-Transducer:Thermometer  . . .   24
     A.4. service: URLs and SLP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   25

 B. Full Copyright Statement                                          27

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 C. Acknowledgments                                                   27

1. Introduction

   This document describes a URL scheme, called service: URL, which
   defines network access information for network services using a
   formal notation.  In addition it describes how to define a set of
   attributes to associate with a service: URL. These attributes will
   allow end users and programs to select between network services of
   the same type that have different capabilities.  The attributes
   are defined in a template document that is readable by people and

   A client uses attributes to select a particular service.  Service
   selection occurs by obtaining the service: URL that offers the right
   configuration for the client.  Service type templates define the
   syntax of service: URLs for a particular service type, as well as the
   attributes which accompany a service: URL in a service registration.

   Templates are used for the following distinct purposes:

    1. Standardization

       The template is reviewed before it is standardized.  Once it is
       standardized, all versions of the template are archived by IANA.

    2. Service Registration

       Servers making use of the Service Location Protocol [14] register
       themselves and their attributes.  They use the templates to
       generate the service registrations.  In registering, the service
       must use the specified values for its attributes.

    3. Client presentation of Service Information

       Client applications may display service information.  The
       template provides type information and explanatory text which may
       be helpful in producing user interfaces.

    4. Internationalization

       Entities with access to the template for a given service type in
       two different languages may translate between the two languages.

       A service may register itself in more than one language using
       templates, though it has been configured by an operator who
       registered service attributes in a single language.

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   All grammar encoding follows the Augmented BNF (ABNF) [9] for syntax

1.1. Terminology

   This section introduces some terminology for describing service:

      service scheme

         A URL scheme whose name starts with the string "service:" and
         is followed by the service type name, constructed according to
         the rules in this document.  An example is "service:lpr:" for
         the lpr print service [13].

      service: URL

         A URL constructed according to the service scheme definition.
         It typically provides at least the following:  The name of an
         access protocol, and an address locating this service.  The
         service: URL may include url path information specific to the
         type of service, as well as attribute information encoded
         according to the URL grammar.  The service: URL is used by
         the Service Location Protocol to register and discover the
         location of services.  It may be used by other protocols and in
         documents as well.

      service type

         A name identifying the semantics by which the remainder of
         the service: URL is to be understood.  It may denote either a
         particular network protocol, or an abstract service associated
         with a variety of protocols.  If the service type denotes a
         particular protocol, then the service type name SHOULD either
         be assigned the name of a particular well known port [3] by
         convention or be the Assigned Numbers name for the service [1].

      abstract service type

         A service type name which is associated with a variety of
         different protocols.  An example is given in Section A.
         Section 2 discusses various ways that abstract types can be

      service registration

         A service: URL and optionally a set of attributes comprise
         a service registration.  This registration is made by or on

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         behalf of a given service.  The URL syntax and attributes must
         conform to the service template for the registered service.

      service template

         A formal description of the service attributes and service
         scheme associated with a particular service type.

1.2. Service Location Protocol

   The Service Location Protocol [14] allows service: URLs to be
   registered and discovered, though service: URLs may be also used in
   other contexts.

   Client applications discover service registrations by issuing queries
   for services of a particular type, specifying the attributes of
   the service: URLs to return.  Clients retrieve the attributes of a
   particular service by supplying its service: URL. Attributes for all
   service registrations of a particular type can also be retrieved.

   Services may register themselves, or registrations may be made on
   their behalf.  These registrations contain a service: URL, and
   possibly attributes and digital signatures.

2. Service URL Syntax and Semantics

   This section describes the syntax and semantics of service: URLs.

2.1. Service URL Syntax

   The syntax of the service: URL MUST conform to [6].  The only
   exception is that the <password> field has been omitted from the
   <site> production, since plain text transmission of passwords is
   now discouraged.  Note that the syntax for the <sap> field depends
   upon the service type definition.  The <sap> field is the service
   access point, and describes how to access the service.  In addition,
   although both upper case and lower case characters are recognized in
   the <service-type> field for convenience, the name is case-folded
   into lower case.  Service types are therefore not distinguished on
   the basis of case, so, for example, "http" and "HTTP" designate the
   same service type.  This is consistent with general URL practice, as
   outlined in [7].

   The ABNF for a service: URL is:

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        service: URL   =   "service:" service-type ":" sap
        service-type   =   abstract-type ":" url-scheme / concrete-type
        abstract-type  =   type-name [ "." naming-auth ]
        concrete-type  =   protocol [ "." naming-auth ]
        type-name      =   resname
        naming-auth    =   resname
        url-scheme     =   resname
                           ; A recognized URL scheme name, standardized
                           ; either through common practice or through
                           ; approval of a standards body.
        resname        =   alpha [ 1*(alpha / digit / "+" / "-") ]
        sap            =   site [url-part]
        site           =   ipsite / atsite / ipxsite
        ipsite         =   "//" [ [ user "@" ] hostport ]
        hostport       =   host [ ":" port ]
        host           =   hostname / hostnumber
        hostname       =   *( domainlabel "." ) toplabel
        alphanum       =   alpha / digit
        domainlabel    =   alphanum / alphanum *[alphanum / "-"] alphanum
        toplabel       =   alpha / alpha *[ alphanum / "-" ] alphanum
        hostnumber     =   ipv4-number / ipv6-number
        ipv4-number    =   1*3digit 3("." 1*3digit)
        ipv6-number    =   32hex
        3digit         =   digit digit digit
        port           =   1*digit
                           ; A port number must be included if the
                           ; protocol field does not have an IANA
                           ; assigned port number.
        user           =   *[ uchar / ";" / "+" / "&" / "=" ]
        ipxsite        =   "/ipx/" ipx-net ":" ipx-node ":" ipx-socket
        ipx-net        =   8 HEXDIGIT
        ipx-node       =   12 HEXDIGIT
        ipx-socket     =   4 HEXDIGIT
        atsite         =   "/at/" at-object ":" at-type "" at-zone
        at-object      =   1*31apple-char
        at-type        =   1*31apple-char
        at-zone        =   1*31apple-char
        apple-char     =   alpha / digit / safe / escaped
                       =   ; AppleAscii [17] values that are not
                       =   ; from the restricted range must be escaped.
                       =   ; NOTE: The escaped values do NOT correspond
                       =   ; to UTF8 values here:  They are AppleAscii
                       =   ; bytes.
        url-part       =   [ url-path ] [ attr-list ]
        url-path       =   1 * ( "/" *xchar )
                           ; Each service type must define its
                           ; own syntax consistent
                           ; with [6].
        attr-list      =   1 * ( ";" attr-asgn )

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        attr-asgn      =   attr-id / attr-id "=" attr-value
        safe           =   "$" / "-" / "_" / "." / "~"
        extra          =   "!" / "*" / "'" / "(" / ")" / "," / "+"
        uchar          =   unreserved / escaped
        xchar          =   unreserved / reserved / escaped
        escaped        =   "%" hex hex
        hex                "a" / "b" / "c" / "d" / "e" / digit
        reserved       =   ";" / "/" / "?" / ":" / "@" / "&" / "=" / "+"
        unreserved     =   alpha / digit / safe / extra

   IPX addresses [19] are composed of a network, node and socket number.
   The IPX network number is a four-byte number, in network order and
   expressed in hexadecimal, that signifies an IPX subnet.  The node
   element represents a network interface card.  It is a six-byte
   number, expressed in hexadecimal, that is usually the same as the
   node ID of the interface card.  The socket element represents a
   specific service access point, given an IPX network and node.  IPX
   sockets are analogous to TCP/IP ports, and are not to be confused
   with Berkely sockets.

   AppleTalk addresses [18] are composed of an object, type and zone.
   The object is a human readable string.  The type is an identifier,
   not intentended for human readability.  The zone refers to the
   AppleTalk Zone name, which is also human readable.  The characters
   composing these names are drawn from the AppleAscii character
   set [17].  Thus, they do not equate to escaped ASCII or UTF8
   characters.  The characters "=" and "*" are reserved and may not be
   included in the names even in binary form.

   In cases besides the AppleTalk grammar, some characters must be
   escaped before use.  To escape any character, precede the two digits
   indicating its ASCII value by '%'.

2.2. Service URL Semantics

   The service scheme-specific information following the "service:"
   URL scheme identifier provides information necessary to access the
   service.  As described in the previous subsection, the form of a
   service: URL is as follows:

      service: URL = "service:" service-type ":" sap

   where <sap> has the following form:


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   The <service-spec> field includes the <service-type> field.  As
   discussed in Section 1, the <service-type> can be either a concrete
   protocol name, or an abstract type name.

   The <service-part> field includes a site specification (the
   <site> field) in the format specified by [6].  The <site> field
   is typically either a domain name (DNS) or an IP network protocol
   address for the service, and possibly a port number.  Note that use
   of DNS hostnames is preferred for ease of renumbering.  The <site>
   field can be null if other information in the service URL or service
   attributes is sufficient to use the service.

   The <sap> field allows more information to be provided (by way of
   <url-path> and <attr-list>) that can uniquely locate the service
   or resource if the <addr-spec> is not sufficient for that purpose.
   For IP addresses, <addr-family> is empty, the <sap> field begins
   with "//".  Other address families supported are IPX [19] and
   AppleTalk [?].

   An <attr-list> field appears at the end of the <url-part> field,
   but is never required to exist in any service location registration.
   The <attr-list> field is composed of a list of semicolon (";")
   separated attribute assignments of the form:

      attr-id "=" attr-value

   or for keyword attributes:


   Attributes are part of service: URLs when the attributes are required
   to access a particular service.  For instance, an ACAP [12] service
   might require that the client authenticate with it through Kerberos.
   Including an attribute in the service registration allows the ACAP
   client to make use of the correct SASL [11] authentication mechanism.
   The ACAP server's registration might look like:


   Note that there can be other attributes of an ACAP server which
   are not appropriate to include in the URL. For instance, the list
   of users who have access to the server is useful for selecting an
   ACAP server, but is not required for a client to use the registered

   Attributes associated with the service: URL are not typically
   included in the service: URL. They are stored and retrieved using
   other mechanisms.  The service: URL is uniquely identified with a
   particular service agent or resource, and is used when registering or

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   requesting the attribute information.  The Service Location Protocol
   specifies how such information is registered by network services and
   obtained by client software.

2.3. Use of service: URLs

   The service: URL is intended to allow arbitrary client/server and
   peer to peer systems to make use of a standardized dynamic service
   access point discovery mechanism.

   It is intended that service: URLs be selected according to the
   suitability of associated attributes.  A client application can
   obtain the URLs of several services of the same type and distinguish
   the most preferable among them by means of their attributes.  The
   client uses the service: URL to communicate directly to a service.

   Attributes are specified with a formal service template syntax
   described in Section 3.  If a service: URL registration includes
   attributes, the registering agent SHOULD also keep track of the
   attributes which characterize the service.

   Registrations can be checked against the formal attribute
   specification defined in the template by the client or agent
   representing the client.  Service registration are typically done
   using the Service Location Protocol [14] (SLP). SLP provides a
   mechanism for service: URLs to be obtained dynamically, according to
   the service's attributes.

   It is also possible to obtain service: URLs from documents and using
   other protocols.  In this case, the URL may not be accompanied by
   the service attributes.  The context in which the URL appears should
   make it clear, if possible, when the service is appropriate to use.
   For example, in a mail message, a service might be recommended for
   use when the user is in a branch office.  Or, an HTML document might
   include a service: URL as a pointer to a service, describing in text
   what the service does and who is authorized to use it.

2.4. Specifying the Service Type-Specific URL Syntax

   When a service type is specified, the specification includes the
   definition of the syntax for all URLs that are registered by services
   of that particular type.  For instance, the "lpr" service type may be
   defined with service: URLs in the following form:

      service:printer:lpr://<address of printer>/<queue name>

   The section of the URL after the address of the printer:

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      "/" <queue name>

   is specific to the lpr service type and corresponds to the
   <url-path> field of the general service: URL syntax.  This part is
   specified when the lpr service type is specified.

2.5. Accommodating Abstract Service Types

   An abstract service type is a service type that can be implemented by
   a variety of different service agents.

   In order to register an service: URL for an abstract service type the
   'abstract-type' grammar rule described in section 3.1 is used.  This
   will result in a URL which includes enough information to use the
   service, namely, the protocol, address and path information.  Unlike
   'concrete' service: URLs, however, the service type is not enough
   to determine the service access.  Rather, an abstract service type
   denotes a class of service types.  The following subsection discusses
   this point in more detail.

2.5.1. Advertising Abstract Service Types

   Some services may make use of several protocols that are in common
   use and are distinct services in their own right.  In these cases an
   abstract service type is appropriate.  What is essential is that all
   the required information for the service is clearly defined.

   For example, suppose a network service is being developed for
   dynamically loading device drivers.  The client requires the
   following three pieces of information before it can successfully load
   and instantiate the driver:

    1. The protocol used to load the driver code, for example, "ftp",
       "http" or "tftp"

    2. A pathname identifying where the driver code is located, for
       example "/systemhost/drivers/diskdrivers.drv",

    3. The name of the driver, for example, "scsi".

   The temptation is to form the first two items into a URL and embed
   that into a service: URL. As an example which should be avoided,


   is a service: URL which seems to indicate where to obtain the driver.

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   Rather, an abstract service-type SHOULD be used.  The service type is
   not "ftp", as the example indicates.  Rather, it is "device-drivers".
   The service: URL that should be used, consistent with the rules in
   section [6], is the following:


   Other URLs for the same service using other protocols are also
   supported, as in:



   Using SLP, a search for the service type "device-drivers" may return
   all of the three URLs listed above.  The client selects the most
   appropriate access protocol for the desired resource.

   The fundamental requirement is that the abstract service type MUST
   be well specified.  This requirement is imposed so that program code
   or human users have enough information to access the service.  In
   every case, a well-specified abstract type will include either an
   access protocol and a network address where the service is available,
   or an embedded URL for a standardized URL scheme that describes
   how to access the service.  In the example above, there are three
   further requirements:  A URL path is included for access protocols
   indicating the document to download, and two attributes are included
   to characterize the driver.

3. Syntax and Semantics of Service Type Specifications

   Service type specifications are documents in a formal syntax defining
   properties important to service registration.  These properties are:

    1. General information on the service type specification itself,

    2. The syntax of the service type-specific part of the service URL,

    3. The definition of attributes associated with a service.

   The service type specification document is the service type template.

   The following subsections describe the syntax and semantics of
   service type templates.

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3.1. Syntax of Service Type Templates

   Service template documents are encoded in a simple form.  They may be
   translated into any language or character set, but the template used
   for standardization MUST be encoded in the UTF8 [15] transformation
   of the Unicode Character set [16] and written in English.

   A template document begins with a block of text assigning values to
   five document identification items.  The five identification items
   can appear in any order within the block, but conventionally the
   "type" item, which assigns the service type name, occurs at the very
   top of the document in order to provide context for the rest of
   the the document.  The attribute definition item occurs after the
   document identification items.

   All items end with a blank line.  The reserved characters are ";",
   "%", "=", ",", "#", LF, and CR. Reserved characters MUST be escaped.
   The escape sequence is the same as described in [6].

   The service template is encoded in a UTF8 character set, but
   submitted as a part of an internet-draft, which is encoded in ASCII
   characters.  All characters which are outside of the ASCII range MUST
   be escaped using the % HEX HEX syntax.  For example, the letter e
   accent aigue would be represented as "%c3%a9".  Unfortunately, this
   will detract from the readability of the service template in the
   internet draft.  Hopefully some public domain tools will emerge for
   translating escaped UTF8 characters into humanly readable ones.

   Values in value lists are separated by commas.  A value list is
   terminated by a newline not preceded by a comma.  If the newline is
   preceded by a comma, the value list is interpreted to continue onto
   the next line.

   Attribute identifiers, attribute type names, and flags are all
   case insensitive.  For ease of presentation, upper and lower case
   characters can be used to represent these in the template document.
   Newlines are significant in the grammar.  They delimit one item from
   another, as well as separating parts of items internally.

   String values are considered to be a sequence of non-whitespace
   tokens potentially with embedded whitespace, separated from each
   other by whitespace.  Commas delimit lists of strings.  String values
   are trimmed so as to reduce any sequence of white space interior to a
   string to a single white space.  Preceding or trailing white space is
   removed.  For example:

         " some value , another example "

      is trimmed to

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         "some value" and "another example".

   Note that there can be no ambiguity in string tokenization because
   values in value lists are separated by a comma.  String tokens are
   not delimited by double quotes (") as is usually the case with
   programming languages.

   Attribute tags and values are useful for directory look-up.  In this
   case, decoding of character escapes and trimming white space MUST
   be performed before string matching.  In addition, string matching
   SHOULD be case insensitive.

   Templates obey the following ABNF [9] grammar:

      template      =  tem-attrs attr-defs
      tem-attrs     =  schemetype schemevers schemelang
                       schemetext schemeurl
      schemetype    =  "type" "=" scheme termdef
      schemevers    =  "version" "=" version-no termdef
      schemelang    =  "language" "=" langtag termdef
      schemetext    =  "description" "=" newline desc-text termdef
      schemeurl     =  "url-syntax" "=" newline url-bnf termdef
      url-bnf       =  *[ com-chars ]
                       ; An ABNF describing the <url-path> production
                       ; in the service: URL grammar of Section 2.1.
      scheme        =  service-type [ "." naming-auth ]
      service-type  =  scheme-name
      naming-auth   =  scheme-name
      scheme-name   =  alpha [1*schemechar] [ "." 1*schemechar ]
      schemechar    =  alpha / digit / "-" / "+" /
      version-no    =  1*digit "." 1*digit
      langtag       =  2*lower-alpha ;see [4]
      desc-text     =  *[ com-chars ]
                       ; A block of free-form text for reading by
                       ; people describing the service in a short,
                       ; informative manner.
      termdef       =  newline newline
      attr-defs     =  *( attr-def / keydef )
      attr-def      =  id "=" attrtail
      keydef        =  id "=" "keyword" newline [help-text] newline
      attrtail      =  type flags newline [value-list] [help-text]
                       [value-list] newline
      id            =  1*attrchar
      type          =  "string" / "integer" / "boolean" / "opaque"
      flags         =  ["m"/"M"] ["l"/"L"] ["o"/"O"] ["x"/"X"]
      value-list    =  value newline / value "," value-list /
                       value "," newline value-list
      help-text     =  1*( "#" help-line )

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                       ; A block of free-form text for reading by
                       ; people describing the attribute and
                       ; its values.
      help-line     =  *[ com-chars ] newline
      attrchar      =  schemechar / ":" / "_" / "$" / "~" / "@" / "." /
                       "|" / "<" / ">" / "*" / "&"
      value         =  string / integer / boolean / opaque
      string        =  safe-char *[safe-char / white-sp] safe-char
      integer       =  [ "+" | "-" ] 1*digit
      boolean       =  "true" / "false"
      opaque        =  "\FF" 1*( "\" hex hex)
                       ; Each byte of the opaque value is expressed
                       ; as a pair of hexidecimal digits.
      com-chars     =  safe-char / white-sp / "," / ";"/ "%"
      safe-char     =  attrchar / escaped / " " / "!" / '"' / "'" /
                       "|" / "(" / ")" / "+" / "-" / "." / ":" /
                       "=" / "?" / "[" / "]" / "{" / "/" / "{" /
                       ; All UTF8 printable characters are
                       ; included except ",", "%", ";", and "#".
      escaped       =  "%" hex hex
      hex           =  digit / "A" / "B" / "C" / "D" / "E" /
                       "a" / "b" / "c" / "d" / "e"
      white-sp      =  space / tab
      newline       =  CR / ( CR LF )

3.2. Semantics of Service Type Templates

   The service type template defines the service attributes and service:
   URL syntax for a particular service type.  The attribute definition
   includes the attribute type, default values, allowed values and other

3.2.1. Definition of a Service Template

   There are six items included in the service template.  The semantics
   of each item is summarized below.

    -  type

       The scheme name of the service scheme.  The scheme name consists
       of the service type name and an optional naming authority name,
       separated from the service type name by a period.  See 3.2.2 for
       the conventions governing service type names.

    -  version

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       The version number of the service type specification.

    -  language

       The language of the service type specification.

    -  description

       A description of the service suitable for inclusion in text read
       by people.

    -  url-syntax

       The syntax of the service type-specific URL part of the service:

    -  attribute definitions

       A collection of zero or more definitions for attributes
       associated with the service in service registrations.

   Each of the following subsections deals with one of these items.

3.2.2. Service Type

   The service scheme consists of the service type name and an optional
   naming authority name separated from the service type name by a
   period.  The service scheme is a string that is appended to the
   'service:'  URL scheme identifier, and is the value of the "type"
   item in the template document.  If the naming authority name is
   absent it is assumed to be IANA.

3.2.3. Service Type Language

   The service type language is a RFC 1766 Language Tag defining the
   language of the template [4] and is the value of the "language" item.

3.2.4. Version Number

   The version number of the service type template is the value of the
   "version" item.  A draft proposal starts at 0.0, and the minor number
   increments once per revision.  A standardized template starts at 1.0.
   Additions of optional attributes add one to the minor number, and
   additions of required attributes, changes of definition, or removal
   of attributes add one to the major number.  The intent is that an
   old service template still accurately, if incompletely, defines the

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   attributes of a service registration if the template only differs
   from the registration in its minor version.  See Section 4 for more
   detail on how to use the version attribute.

3.2.5. Description

   The description is a block of text readable by people in the language
   of the template and is the value of the "description" item.  It
   should be sufficient to identify the service to human readers and
   provide a short, informative description of what the service does.

   If the service type corresponds to a particular protocol, the
   protocol specification must be cited here.  The protocol need not be
   a standardized protocol.  The template might refer to a proprietary
   specification, and refer the reader of the template to a contact
   person for further information.

3.2.6. Syntax of the Service Type-specific URL Part

   The syntax of the service type-specific part of the service:
   URL is provided in the template document as the value of the
   "url-syntax" item.  The <url-path> field of the service: URL is
   designed to provide additional information to locate a service when
   the <addr-spec> field is not sufficient.  The <url-path> field
   distinguishes URLs of a particular service type from those of another
   service type.  For instance, in the case of the lpr service type, the
   <url-path> must include the queue name [13], but other service types
   may not require this information.

   The syntax for the <url-path> field MUST accompany the definition
   of a new service type, unless the URL scheme has already been
   standardized and is not a service: URL. The syntax is included in the
   template document as an ABNF [9] following the rules for URL syntax
   described in [6].  There is no requirement for a service scheme to
   support a <url-path>.  The <url-path> field can be very simple,
   or even omitted.  If the URL scheme has already been standardized,
   the "url-syntax" item SHOULD include a reference to the appropriate
   standardization documents.  Abstract service types may defer this
   field to the template documents describing their concrete instances.

3.2.7. Attribute Definition

   The bulk of the template is typically devoted to defining service
   type-specific attributes.  An attribute definition precisely
   specifies the attribute's type, other restrictions on the attribute
   (whether it is multi-valued, optional, etc), some text readable by

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   people describing the attribute, and lists of default and allowed
   values.  The only required information is the attribute's type, the
   rest are optional.  Registration, deregistration and the use of
   attributes in queries can be accomplished using the Service Location
   Protocol [14] or other means, and discussion of this is beyond the
   scope of the document.

   Attributes are used to convey information about a given service for
   purposes of differentiating different services of the same type.
   They convey information to be used in the selection of a particular
   service to establish communicate with, either through a program
   offering a human interface or programmatically.  Attributes can be
   encoded in different character sets and in different languages.  The
   procedure for doing this is described in Section 6.

   An attribute definition begins with the specification of the
   attribute's identifier and ends with a single empty line.  Attributes
   definitions have five components (in order of appearance in a

    1. An attribute identifier which acts as the name of the attribute,

    2. Attribute descriptors (type and flags),

    3. An optional list of values which are assigned to the attribute by

    4. An optional block of text readable by people providing a short,
       informative description of the attribute,

    5. An optional list of allowed values which restrict the value or
       values the attribute can take on. The Attribute Identifier

   An attribute definition starts with the specification of the
   attribute's identifier.  The attribute's identifier functions as the
   name of the attribute.  Note that the characters used to compose an
   attribute identifier are restricted to those characters considered
   unrestricted for inclusion in a URL according to [6].  The reason
   is that services can display prominent attributes in their service:
   URL registrations.  Each attribute identifier must be unique in the
   template.  Since identifiers are case folded, upper case and lower
   case characters are the same.

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   Attributes can have one of five different types:  string, integer,
   boolean, opaque, or keyword.  The attribute's type specification is
   separated from the attribute's identifier by an equal sign ("=") and
   follows the equal sign on the same line.  The string, signed integer,
   and boolean types have the standard programming language or database
   semantics.  Integers are restricted to those signed values that can
   be represented in 32 bits.  The character set used to represent
   strings is not specified at the time the template is defined, but
   rather is determined by the service registration.  Booleans have
   the standard syntax.  Opaques are escaped bytes that can be used
   to represent any other kind of data.  Keywords are attributes that
   have no characteristics other than their existence (and possibly the
   descriptive text in their definition).

   Keyword and boolean attributes impose restrictions on the following
   parts of the attribute definition.  Keyword attribute definitions
   MUST have no flag information following the type definition, nor any
   default or allowed values list.  Boolean attributes are single value
   only, i.e., multi-valued boolean attributes are not allowed. Attribute Flags

   Flags determine other characteristics of an attribute.  With the
   exception of keyword attributes, which may not have any flags,
   flags follow the attribute type on the same line as the attribute
   identifier, and are separated from each other by whitespace.  Flags
   may appear in any order after the attribute type.  Other information
   must not follow the flags, and only one flag identifier of a
   particular flag type is allowed per attribute definition.

   The semantics of the flags are as follows:

    -  o or O

       Indicates that the attribute is optional.  If this flag is
       missing, the attribute is required in every service registration.

    -  m or M

       Indicates that the attribute can take on multiple values.  If
       this flag is present, every value in a multi-valued attribute
       has the same type as the type specified in the type part of the
       attribute definition.  Boolean attributes must not include this

    -  l or L

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       Indicates that attribute is literal, i.e.  is not meant to be
       translated into other languages.  If this flag is present, the
       attribute is not considered to be readable by people and should
       not be translated when the template is translated.  See Section 6
       for more information about translation.

    -  x or X

       Indicates that clients SHOULD include the indicated attribute
       in requests for services.  Neglecting to include this attribute
       will not sufficiently differentiate the service.  If services are
       obtained without selecting this attribute they will quite likely
       be useless to the client.

   The values for multivalued attributes are an unordered set.
   Deletions of individual values from a multivalued attribute are not
   supported, and deletion of the attribute causes the entire set of
   values to be removed. Default Value or List

   If the attribute definition includes a default value or, in the
   case of multivalued attributes, a default values list, it begins
   on the second line of the attribute definition and continues
   over the following lines until a line ends without a comma.  As a
   consequence, newlines cannot be embedded in values unless escaped.
   See Section 2.1.

   Particular attribute types and definitions restrict the default
   values list.  Keyword attributes must not have a list of defaults.
   If an optional attribute's definition has an allowed values list,
   then a default value or list is not optional but required.  The
   motivation for this is that defining an attribute with an allowed
   values list is meant to restrict the values the attribute can take
   on, and requiring a default value or list assures that the default
   value is a member of the given set of allowed values.

   The default value or list indicates what values the attribute is
   given if no values are assigned to the attribute when a service
   is registered.  If an optional attribute's definition includes no
   default value or list, the following defaults are assigned:

    1. String values are assigned the empty string,

    2. Integer values are assigned zero,

    3. Boolean values are assigned false,

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    4. Opaque values are assigned a byte array containing no values,

    5. Multi-valued attributes are initialized with a single value.

   For purposes of translating nonliteral attributes, the default values
   list is taken to be an ordered set, and translations MUST maintain
   that order. Descriptive Text

   Immediately after the default values list, if any, a block of
   descriptive text SHOULD be included in the attribute definition.
   This text is meant to be readable by people, and should include
   a short, informative description of the attribute.  It may also
   provide additional information, such as a description of the allowed
   values.  This text is primarily designed for display by interactive
   browsing tools.  The descriptive text is set off from the surrounding
   definition by a crosshatch character ("#") at the beginning of
   the line.  The text should not, however, be treated as a comment
   by parsing and other tools, since it is an integral part of the
   attribute definition.  Within the block of descriptive text, the text
   is transferred verbatim, including indentation and line breaks, so
   any formatting is preserved. Allowed Values List

   Finally, the attribute definition concludes with an optional
   allowed values list.  The allowed values list, if any, follows the
   descriptive text, or, if the descriptive text is absent, the initial
   values list.  The syntax of the allowed values list is identical to
   that of the initial values list.  The allowed values list is also
   terminated by a line that does not end in a comma.  If the allowed
   values list is present, assignment to attributes is restricted to
   members of the list.

   As with the default values list, the allowed values list is also
   considered to be an ordered set for purposes of translation. Conclusion of An Attribute Definition

   An attribute definition concludes with a single empty line.

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4. A Process For Standardizing New Service Types

   New service types can be suggested simply by providing a service type
   template and a short description about how to use the service.  The
   template MUST have its "version" template attribute set to 0.0.

   MAJOR revision numbers come before the '.', MINOR revision numbers
   come after the '.'.

   The minor version number increments once with each change until it
   achieves 1.0.  There is no guarantee any version of the service
   template is backward compatible before it reaches 1.0.

   Once a service template has reached 1.0, the definition is "frozen"
   for that version.  New templates must be defined, of course, to
   refine that definition, but the following rules must be followed:

   A MINOR revision number signifies the introduction of a compatible
   change.  A MAJOR revision number signifies the introduction of an
   incompatible change.  This is formalized by the following rules:

    -  Any new optional attribute defined for the template increases
       the minor version number by one.  All other attributes for the
       version must continue to be supported as before.  A client which
       supports 1.x can still use later versions of 1.y (where x<y) as
       it ignores attributes it doesn't know about.

    -  Adding a required attribute, removing support for an attribute
       or changing definition of an attribute requires changing the
       major version number of a service template.  A client application
       may be unable to make use of this information, or it may need
       to obtain the most recent service template to help the user
       interpret the service information.

   The template should be submitted as an 'individual contribution'
   Internet Draft.  The Internet Draft must include a 'template begins
   here' and 'template ends here' marking, in text, so that it is
   trivial to cut and paste the template from the internet draft.

   A notice must be posted to a publicly accessible mailing list
   for review.  The list will be available at
   Ideally, experts in the implementation and deployment of the
   particular protocol are consulted so as to add or delete attributes
   or change their definition to make the template as useful as
   possible.  The mailing list will be maintained even when the SVRLOC
   WG goes dormant for the purpose of discussing service templates.

   All published versions of the template must be available on-line,
   including obsolete ones.

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   Once consensus is achieved, the template should be reissued
   with possible corrections, having its Version number set to 1.0.
   Templates with version numbers below 1.0 are not submitted to
   the IANA. From that point onwards, templates are submitted.  See
   Section 5 for details on how templates are submitted to an IANA
   registry of templates.

5. IANA Considerations

   It is the responsibility of the IESG (e.g., Applications Area
   director) to appoint a reviewer.  Anyone may ask for clarification
   of a service template.  This is to solicit input from the concerned
   community.  It is up to the appointed reviewer to determine
   whether clarification requests are satisfied.  It is the reviewer's
   responsibility to see that all reasonable clarification requests
   are met before the template is submitted for inclusion in the IANA

   When the reviewer has determined that the template submission is
   ready, he or she will submit the template to the IANA for inclusion
   in a registry.  Mailing list participants supply input to the process
   but do not make the decision whether to accept a service template.

   If a dispute arises over the decisions made by the reviewer,
   the matter may be appealed according to normal IETF procedure as
   described for the Standards Track process.

   The IANA will maintain a mail forwarding alias for the work of this
   list, so that ``'' points to a mail server
   supplied by a volunteer organization.

   The service template file has a naming convention:

   <service-type> "." <version-no> "." <langtag>

   Each of these fields are defined in Section 2.  They correspond
   to the values of the template fields "type", "version" and
   "lang".  The files for the example templates in this
   document are called "foo.0.0.en", "Net-Transducer.0.0.en" and
   "Net-Transducer:Thermomoter.0.0.en".  See Section A.

   The reviewer will ensure that the template submission to IANA has the
   correct version number in the "version" and "lang" fields.

   No service type template will be accepted for inclusion in the
   service template registry unless the Internet Draft submitted
   includes a security considerations section and contact information
   for the template document author.

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   The IANA will maintain a registry containing both the service type
   templates, and the template description document containing the
   service type template, including all previous versions.  The IANA
   will receive notice by email from the reviewers, which will contain a
   reference to the Internet Draft that contains the service template.
   This Internet Draft will be edited to remove the Internet Draft
   headers and replace them with a simple header stating "This document
   contains a Service Type Template."

   Neither the reviewer nor the IANA will take any position on claims of
   copyright or trademark issues with regard to templates.'

6. Internationalization Considerations

   The service: URL must be encoded using the rules set forth in [6].
   The character set encoding is limited to specific ranges within the
   US-ASCII character set [5].

   The template is encoded in UTF8 characters.

6.1. Language Identification and Translation

   The language used in attribute strings should be identified using the
   "language" template item as defined by [4].

   A program can translate a service registration from one language to
   another provided it has both the template of the language for the
   registration and the template of the desired target language.  All
   standardized attributes are in the same order in both templates.
   All non-arbitrary strings, including the descriptive help text, is
   directly translatable from one language to another.  Non-literal
   attribute definitions, attribute identifiers, attribute type names,
   attribute flags, and the boolean constants "true" and "false" are
   never translated.  Translation of attribute identifiers is prohibited
   because, as with domain names, they can potentially be part of a
   service: URL and therefore their character set is restricted.  In
   addition, as with variable identifiers in programming languages, they
   could become embedded into program code.

   All strings used in attribute values are assumed translatable unless
   explicitly defined as being literal, so that best effort translation
   (see below) does not modify strings which are meant to be interpreted
   by a program, not a person.

   There are two ways to go about translation:  standardization and best

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   When the service type is standardized, more than one document can
   be submitted for review.  One service type description is approved
   as a master, so that when a service type template is updated in one
   language, all the translations (at least eventually) reflect the same

   If no document exists describing the standard translation of the
   service type, a 'best effort' translation for strings should be done.

7. Security Considerations

   Service type templates provide information that is used to interpret
   information obtained by the Service Location Protocol.  If these
   templates are modified or false templates are distributed, services
   may not correctly register themselves, or clients might not be able
   to interpret service information.

   The service: URLs themselves specify the service access point and
   protocol for a particular service type.  These service: URLs could
   be distributed and indicate the location of a service other than
   that normally want to used.  The Service Location Protocol [14]
   distributes service: URLs and has an authentication mechanism that
   allows service: URLs of registered services to be signed and for the
   signatures to be verified by clients.

   Each Service Template will include a security considerations section
   which will describe security issues with using the service scheme for
   the specific Service Type.

A. Service Template Examples

   The text in the template example sections is to be taken as being a
   single file.  They are completely fictitious (ie.  the examples do
   not represent real services).

   The FOO example shows how to use service templates for an application
   that has very few attributes.  Clients request the FOO server where
   their user data is located by including their user name as the value
   of the user attribute.

   The Net-Transducer example shows how abstract service types are
   defined and how a corresponding concrete instance is defined.  A
   system might support any of several NetTransducer services.  Here we
   give only one concrete instance of the abstract type.

   It is not necessary to register concrete templates for an abstract
   service type if the abstract service type template is completely

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   clear as to what possible values can be used as a concrete type, and
   what their interpretation is.

A.1. FOO

  -------------------------template begins here-----------------------



    The FOO service URL provides the location of an FOO service.

    url-path= ; There is no URL path defined for a FOO URL.

  users= string M L O
  # The list of all users which the FOO server supports.

  groups= string M L O
  # The list of all groups which the FOO server supports.
  --------------------------template ends here------------------------

   The Internet Draft describing the FOO scheme template must indicate
   contact information and security considerations, e.g.,

  contact="Erik Guttman" <>

  security considerations=
    If the USER and GROUPS attributes are included a
    possibility exists that the list of identities for users or groups
    can be discovered. This information would otherwise be difficult
    to discover.

A.2. Abstract Service Type:  Net-Transducer

   The Internet Draft for the service type template contains the
   following text:

  -------------------------template begins here-----------------------



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    This is an abstract service type.  The purpose of the Net-
    Transducer service type is to organize into a single category
    all network enabled Transducers which have certain properties.

    url-path=  ;  Depends on the concrete service type.
               ;  See these templates.

  sample-units= string L
  # The units of sample that the Transducer provides, for instance
  # C (degrees Celsius), V (Volts), kg (Kilograms), etc.

  sample-resolution= string L
  # The resolution of the Transducer.  For instance, 10^-3 means
  # that the Transducer has resolution to 0.001 unit.

  sample-rate= integer L
  # The speed at which samples are obtained per second.  For
  # instance 1000 means that one sample is obtained every millisecond.

  --------------------------template ends here------------------------

In addition, the following format might be used for the needed
contact and security considerations information.

  contact="Erik Guttman" <>

  security considerations=
    See the security considerations of the concrete service types.

A.3. Concrete Service Type:  Net-Transducer:Thermometer

  -------------------------template begins here-----------------------



    The Thermometer is a Net-Transducer capable of reading temperature.
    The data is read by opening a TCP connection to one of the ports
    in the service URL and reading an ASCII string until an NULL
    character is encountered.  The client may continue reading data at

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    no faster than the sample-rate, or close the connection.

    url-path     = ; ports
    port-list    = ";ports=" port-list
    ports        = port / port "," ports
                   ; See the Service URL <port> production rule.
                   ; These are the ports connections can be made on.

  # The location where the Thermometer is located.

  operator=string O
  # The operator to contact to have the Thermometer serviced.

  --------------------------template ends here------------------------


  contact="Erik Guttman" <>

  security considerations=
   There is no authentication of the Transducer output.  Thus,
   the Thermometer output could easily be spoofed.

A.4. service: URLs and SLP

   A user with an FOO enabled calendar application should not be
   bothered with knowing the address of their FOO server.  The
   calendar client program can use SLP to obtain the FOO service:  URL
   automatically, say 'service:foo://', by issuing
   a Service Request.  In the event that this FOO server failed, the
   Calendar client can issue the same service request again to find the
   backup FOO server, say 'service:foo://'.  In both
   cases, the service: URL conforms to the FOO service template as do
   the associated attributes (user and group.)

   A network thermometer could be advertised as:

   URL        = service:net-transducer:thermometer://v33.test/ports=3211
   Attributes = (location-description=Missile bay 32),
                (operator=Joe Agent), (sample-units=C),

   This might be very useful for a technician who wanted to find a
   Thermometers in Missile bay 32, for example.

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B. Full Copyright Statement

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (1997).  All Rights Reserved.

   This document and translations of it may be copied and furnished to
   others, and derivative works that comment on or otherwise explain it
   or assist in its implmentation may be prepared, copied, published
   and distributed, in whole or in part, without restriction of any
   kind, provided that the above copyright notice and this paragraph
   are included on all such copies and derivative works.  However,
   this document itself may not be modified in any way, such as by
   removing the copyright notice or references to the Internet Society
   or other Internet organizations, except as needed for the purpose
   of developing Internet standards in which case the procedures
   for copyrights defined in the Internet Standards process must be
   followed, or as required to translate it into languages other than

   The limited permissions granted above are perpetual and will not be
   revoked by the Internet Society or its successors or assigns.

   This document and the information contained herein is provided on an

C. Acknowledgments

   Ryan Moats suggestions were very useful in producing this document.
   Thanks to Michael Day, Leland Wallace and Ryan Moats for assisting
   with the IPX and AppleTalk address syntax portions of this document.

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    [1] Protocol and service names, October 1994.

    [2] Address family numbers, October 1995.

    [3] Port numbers, July 1997.

    [4] H. Alvestrand.  Tags for the Identification of Languages.  RFC
        1766, March 1995.

    [5] ANSI.  Coded Character Set -- 7-bit American Standard code for
        Information Interchange.  X3.4-1986, 1986.

    [6] T. Berners-Lee, R. Fielding, and L. Masinter.  Uniform Resource
        Locators (URL): Generic Syntax and Semantics.  RFC1738 as
        amended by RFC1808

    [7] T. Berners-Lee, L. Masinter, and M. McCahill.  Uniform Resource
        Locators (URL).  RFC 1738, December 1994.

    [8] N. Freed and N. Borenstein.  Multipurpose Internet Mail
        Extensions (MIME) Part One:  Format of Internet Message Bodies.
        RFC 2045, November 1996.

    [9] D. Crocker and P Overell.  Augmented BNF for Syntax
        Specifications:  ABNF.  RFC 2234, November 1997

   [10] A. Gulbrandsen and P. Vixie.  A DNS RR for specifying the
        location of services (DNS SRV).  RFC 2052, October 1996.

   [11] J. Myers.  Simple Authentication and Security Layer (SASL).  RFC
        2222, October 1997.

   [12] J. G. Myers.  ACAP -- Application Configuration Access Prototol.
        RFC 2244, November 1997.

   [13] Pete St. Pierre.  Definition of lpr:  URLs for use with Service
        Location.  draft-ietf-svrloc-printer-scheme-02.txt, November
        1997. (work in progress).

   [14] J. Veizades, E. Guttman, C. Perkins, and S. Kaplan.  Service
        Location Protocol.  RFC 2165, July 1997.

   [15] F. Yergeau.  UTF-8, a transformation format of unicode and ISO
        10646.  RFC 2044, October 1996.

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   [16] Unicode Technical Report #4.  The unicode standard, version 2.0.
        Technical Report ISBN 0-201-48345-9, The Unicode Consortium,

   [17] Apple Computer.  Inside Macintosh:  Text  Addison Wesley, 1993

   [18] G. Sidhu, R. Andrews, A. Oppenheimer  Inside AppleTalk, Second
        Edition  Addison Wesley, 1991

   [19] Novell, Inc.  IPX RIP and SAP Router Specification  Part Number
        107-000029-001, Version 1.30, May 23, 1996

Authors' Addresses

   Questions about this memo can be directed to:

Erik Guttman           Charles E. Perkins        James Kempf
Sun Microsystems       Sun Microsystems          Sun Microsystems
Bahnstr. 2             901 San Antonio Rd.       901 San Antonio Rd.
74915 Waibstadt        Palo Alto, CA, 94303      Palo Alto, CA, 94303
Germany                USA                       USA

+49 7263 911484        1 650 786 6464            1 650 786 5890
                       1 650 786 6445 (fax)      1 650 786 6445 (fax)

Guttman,Perkins,Kempf        Expires 21 December 1998          [Page 29]