Guidelines for the Use of Extensible Markup Language (XML) within IETF Protocols
RFC 3470

Document Type RFC - Best Current Practice (January 2003; Errata)
Also known as BCP 70
Was draft-hollenbeck-ietf-xml-guidelines (individual in app area)
Last updated 2015-10-14
Stream IETF
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Stream WG state (None)
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IESG IESG state RFC 3470 (Best Current Practice)
Consensus Boilerplate Unknown
Telechat date
Responsible AD Ned Freed
IESG note published 24-Jan-2003
Send notices to <mrose+mtr.ietf@dbc.mtview.ca.us>
Network Working Group                                      S. Hollenbeck
Request for Comments: 3470                                VeriSign, Inc.
BCP: 70                                                          M. Rose
Category: Best Current Practice             Dover Beach Consulting, Inc.
                                                             L. Masinter
                                              Adobe Systems Incorporated
                                                            January 2003

       Guidelines for the Use of Extensible Markup Language (XML)
                         within IETF Protocols

Status of this Memo

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

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2003).  All Rights Reserved.

Abstract

   The Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a framework for structuring
   data.  While it evolved from Standard Generalized Markup Language
   (SGML) -- a markup language primarily focused on structuring
   documents -- XML has evolved to be a widely-used mechanism for
   representing structured data.

   There are a wide variety of Internet protocols being developed; many
   have need for a representation for structured data relevant to their
   application.  There has been much interest in the use of XML as a
   representation method.  This document describes basic XML concepts,
   analyzes various alternatives in the use of XML, and provides
   guidelines for the use of XML within IETF standards-track protocols.

Table of Contents

   Conventions Used In This Document  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  2
   1.    Introduction and Overview  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  2
         1.1   Intended Audience. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
         1.2   Scope  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
         1.3   XML Evolution  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
         1.4   XML Users, Support Groups, and Additional
               Information. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
   2.    XML Selection Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
   3.    XML Alternatives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5

Hollenbeck, et al.       Best Current Practice                  [Page 1]
RFC 3470               XML within IETF Protocols            January 2003

   4.    XML Use Considerations and Recommendations . . . . . . . . .  7
         4.1   XML Syntax and Well-Formedness . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
         4.2   XML Information Set  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
         4.3   Syntactic Restrictions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
         4.4   XML Declarations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
         4.5   XML Processing Instructions  . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
         4.6   XML Comments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
         4.7   Validity and Extensibility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
         4.8   Semantics as Well as Syntax. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
         4.9   Namespaces . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
               4.9.1 Namespaces and Attributes. . . . . . . . . . . . 13
         4.10  Element and Attribute Design Considerations. . . . . . 14
         4.11  Binary Data and Text with Control Characters . . . . . 16
         4.12  Incremental Processing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
         4.13  Entity Declarations and Entity References  . . . . . . 16
         4.14  External References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
         4.15  URI Processing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
         4.16  White Space  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
         4.17  Interaction with the IANA  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
   5.    Internationalization Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
         5.1   Character Sets and Encodings . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
         5.2   Language Declaration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
         5.3   Other Internationalization Considerations  . . . . . . 20
   6.    IANA Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
   7.    Security Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
   8.    Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
   9.    Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
   10.   Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
   11.   Authors' Addresses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
   12.   Full Copyright Statement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

Conventions Used In This Document

   This document recommends, as policy, what specifications for Internet
   protocols -- and, in particular, IETF standards track protocol
   documents -- should include as normative language within them.  The
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