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Parameter Value Encoding in iCalendar and vCard
RFC 6868

Document type: RFC - Proposed Standard (February 2013; No errata)
Was draft-daboo-ical-vcard-parameter-encoding (individual in app area)
Document stream: IETF
Last updated: 2013-02-14
Other versions: plain text, pdf, html

IETF State: (None)
Consensus: Unknown
Document shepherd: No shepherd assigned

IESG State: RFC 6868 (Proposed Standard)
Responsible AD: Barry Leiba
Send notices to: cyrus@daboo.name, draft-daboo-ical-vcard-parameter-encoding@ietf.org, douglm@rpi.edu

Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)                          C. Daboo
Request for Comments: 6868                                         Apple
Updates: 5545, 6321, 6350, 6351                            February 2013
Category: Standards Track
ISSN: 2070-1721

            Parameter Value Encoding in iCalendar and vCard

Abstract

   This specification updates the data formats for iCalendar (RFC 5545)
   and vCard (RFC 6350) to allow parameter values to include certain
   characters forbidden by the existing specifications.

Status of This Memo

   This is an Internet Standards Track document.

   This document is a product of the Internet Engineering Task Force
   (IETF).  It represents the consensus of the IETF community.  It has
   received public review and has been approved for publication by the
   Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG).  Further information on
   Internet Standards is available in Section 2 of RFC 5741.

   Information about the current status of this document, any errata,
   and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at
   http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc6868.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2013 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
   (http://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 Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of
   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the Simplified BSD License.

Daboo                        Standards Track                    [Page 1]
RFC 6868                   Parameter Encoding              February 2013

Table of Contents

   1. Introduction ....................................................2
   2. Conventions Used in This Document ...............................2
   3. Parameter Value Encoding Scheme .................................3
      3.1. iCalendar Example ..........................................4
      3.2. vCard Example ..............................................4
   4. Security Considerations .........................................4
   5. Acknowledgments .................................................4
   6. Normative References ............................................5
   Appendix A. Choice of Quoting Mechanism ............................6

1.  Introduction

   The iCalendar [RFC5545] specification defines a standard way to
   describe calendar data.  The vCard [RFC6350] specification defines a
   standard way to describe contact data.  Both of these use a similar
   text-based data format.  Each iCalendar and vCard data object can
   include "properties" that have "parameters" and a "value".  The value
   of a "parameter" is typically a token or URI value, but a "generic"
   text value is also allowed.  However, the syntax rules for both
   iCalendar and vCard prevent the use of a double-quote character or
   control characters in such values, though double-quote characters and
   some subset of control characters are allowed in the actual property
   values.

   As more and more extensions are being developed for these data
   formats, there is a need to allow at least double-quotes and line
   feeds to be included in parameter values.  The \-escaping mechanism
   used for property text values is not defined for use with parameter
   values and cannot be easily used in a backwards-compatible manner.
   This specification defines a new character escaping mechanism,
   compatible with existing parsers and chosen to minimize any impact on
   existing data.

2.  Conventions Used in This Document

   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
   [RFC2119].

Daboo                        Standards Track                    [Page 2]
RFC 6868                   Parameter Encoding              February 2013

3.  Parameter Value Encoding Scheme

   This specification defines the ^ character (U+005E -- Circumflex
   Accent) as an escape character in parameter values whose value type
   is defined using the "param-value" syntax element (Section 3.1 of
   iCalendar [RFC5545] and Section 3.3 of vCard [RFC6350]).  The

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