Network Working Group P. Hoffman
Request for Comments: 4157 VPN Consortium
Category: Historic August 2005
The prospero URI Scheme
Status of This Memo
This memo defines a Historic Document for the Internet community. It
does not specify an Internet standard of any kind. Distribution of
this memo is unlimited.
Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2005).
This document specifies the prospero Uniform Resource Identifier
(URI) scheme that was originally specified in RFC 1738. The purpose
of this document is to allow RFC 1738 to be made obsolete while
keeping the information about the scheme on standards track.
URIs were previously defined in RFC 2396 [RFC2396], which was updated
by RFC 3986 [RFC3986]. Those documents also specify how to define
schemes for URIs.
The first definitions for many URI schemes appeared in RFC 1738
[RFC1738]. Because that document has been made obsolete, this
document copies the prospero URI scheme from it to allow that
material to remain on standards track.
2. Scheme Definition
The prospero URL scheme is used to designate resources that are
accessed through the Prospero Directory Service. The Prospero
protocol is described in the original Prospero specification [PROSP].
Historical note: The Prospero protocol was not widely implemented and
almost no Prospero servers are in use today.
A prospero URL takes the form:
Hoffman Historic [Page 1]RFC 4157 The prospero URI Scheme August 2005
If :<port> is omitted, the port defaults to 1525. No username or
password is allowed.
The <hsoname> is the host-specific object name in the Prospero
protocol, suitably encoded. This name is opaque and interpreted by
the Prospero server. The semicolon ";" is reserved and may not
appear without quoting in the <hsoname>.
Prospero URLs are interpreted by contacting a Prospero directory
server on the specified host and port to determine appropriate access
methods for a resource. The access methods might themselves be
represented as different URLs. External Prospero links are
represented as URLs of the underlying access method and are not
represented as Prospero URLs.
Note that a slash "/" may appear in the <hsoname> without quoting,
and no significance may be assumed by the application. Though
slashes may indicate hierarchical structure on the server, such
structure is not guaranteed. Note that many <hsoname>s begin with a
slash, in which case the host or port will be followed by a double
slash: the slash from the URL syntax, followed by the initial slash
from the <hsoname> (e.g., <URL:prospero://example.com//pros/name>
designates a <hsoname> of "/pros/name").
In addition, after the <hsoname>, optional fields and values
associated with a Prospero link may be specified as part of the URL.
When present, each field/value pair is separated from each other and
from the rest of the URL by a ";" (semicolon). The name of the field
and its value are separated by a "=" (equal sign). If present, these
fields serve to identify the target of the URL. For example, the
OBJECT-VERSION field can be specified to identify a specific version
of an object.
3. Security Considerations
Many security considerations for URI schemes are discussed in
[RFC3986]. [PROSP] uses passwords in the clear for authentication,
and offers no privacy, both of which are considered extremely unsafe
in current practice.
Hoffman Historic [Page 2]RFC 4157 The prospero URI Scheme August 20054. Informative References
[RFC1738] Berners-Lee, T., Masinter, L., and M. McCahill, "Uniform
Resource Locators (URL)", RFC 1738, December 1994.
[RFC2396] Berners-Lee, T., Fielding, R., and L. Masinter, "Uniform
Resource Identifiers (URI): Generic Syntax", RFC 2396,
[RFC3986] Berners-Lee, T., Fielding, R., and L. Masinter, "Uniform
Resource Identifier (URI): Generic Syntax", STD 66, RFC
3986, January 2005.
[PROSP] Neuman, B. and S. Augart, "The Prospero Protocol",