HTTP URL to support multiple naming services

Jon P. Knight (
Wed, 1 Feb 1995 13:21:42 +0000 (GMT)

Date: Wed, 1 Feb 1995 13:21:42 +0000 (GMT)
From: "Jon P. Knight" <>
Subject: HTTP URL to support multiple naming services
Cc: kball@kballuw.SJF.Novell.COM
Message-Id: <Pine.3.05.9502011342.B29226-b100000@suna>

In message <9501311929.AA04195@ka.SJF.Novell.COM>,
kball@kballuw.SJF.Novell.COM (Keith Ball) writes: 
> We have been working further on creating a single HTTP URL that
> refers to a document on an HTTP server that is accessible via multiple 
> transports and is named within different naming services, such as DNS,
> NetWare Directory Service (NDS) and X.500.

Why don't you just define a new method such as nhtp: that is designed to
work over IPX?  Surely hacking in multiple transports into the existing
URLs is a bad idea as you'll just have to do it all over again when you
move to IP:ng along with the rest of us (you are moving right? :-) ).  And
not to mention that there's more to the WWW than HTTP; are you planning on
coming up with IPX versions of FTP, gopher, NNTP, etc, etc and change
those URLs as well? 

If you used a new nhtp: method to denote Novell's Hypertext Transfer
Protocol, we Internet types could just set up proxy gateways that took your
nhtp: URLs encoded inside a normal http: URL and handed them over to the
Novell side of things for name resolution, binding and communication.  You
could even do the reverse for IPX clients (ie: configure them to bundle
all the traditional URLs inside an nhtp: URL and shove it at the
Novell/Internet gateway).  You can stick what ever wild and wacky naming
schemes and formats you like inside nhtp: URLs then without the rest of us
worrying too much.

As far as I can see that would work, would let you do caching in the proxy
gateway at the boundary of the two universes, would be invisible to
clients on both sides and wouldn't need to have the existing HTTP URL spec
and WWW browsers fiddled with.  Comments? 


Jon Knight, Research Student in High Performance Networking and Distributed
Systems in the Department of _Computer_Studies_ at Loughborough University.
* It's not how big your share is, its how much you share that's important *