Re: New Internet-Draft: finger URL

Peter Koch (pk@TechFak.Uni-Bielefeld.DE)
Sat, 25 Feb 1995 16:57:01 +0100

Message-Id: <>
Subject: Re: New Internet-Draft: finger URL 
In-Reply-To: Your message of "Sun, 19 Feb 1995 21:57:46 EST."
Date: Sat, 25 Feb 1995 16:57:01 +0100
From: Peter Koch <pk@TechFak.Uni-Bielefeld.DE>

Reed Wade wrote:
> 1. ability to specify alternate port, how important is this?
There are probably no "finger" servers listening on ports other than 79,
if you think of "finger" providing information about remote users.
The example


certainly has different semantics since it acts like
	"send me a CRLF and I'll tell you some number and temperature unit".
That is, just the kind of input and the type and format (line-oriented ASCII)
of output is specified by the URL. I think, this is the right way.
With ability of specifying an alternate port, WHOIS-servers could be refereced
by finger://, for example. Otherwise we
had to come up with Yet Another URL Scheme for whois: .

> 2. adherence to the scheme://host/ method of indicating the host
>    name. I can't think of a better exception to this rule than
>    finger--but are there any hidden costs?

I would prefer finger://host[:port]/<local-part>, because I do not think
there is any reason for resembling the "command line" appearance of the
"finger"-command (as was argued before).
Secondly, I understand RFC 1738 to provide the <user>@ part for services
and/or access on behalf (resp. with identity) of <user>, as are telnet
and ftp. This is not the case for "anonymous" access methods like
gopher etc., and "finger" also falls into this category. The "local part"
being information *about* a user is just coincidental.


Peter Koch                               Internet: pk@TechFak.Uni-Bielefeld.DE
Faculty of Technology
Universitaet Bielefeld                   Tel:      +49 521 106 2924
D-33501 Bielefeld / Germany              Fax:      +49 521 106 2962