Re: URL schemes containing +, -, or .

Larry Masinter writes:
> > I have an Internet Draft (draft-hamilton-whois-url-00.txt) which
> > specifies a URL format for the WHOIS++ protocol using the scheme
> > "whois."  Now, it's been suggested that there really ought to be
> > separate schemes for the old WHOIS protocol, WHOIS++, and RWhois
> > - defined by (respectively) RFCs 954, 1835 and 1714.
> Personally, I'd prefer one URL scheme to three. I don't think there
> are clear-cut rules for deciding, though. Are the various WHOIS
> schemes interoperable? And is some of this obsoleted by LDAP?

Regarding whois and whois++ I had a prototype of a whois++ protocol module 
in the libwww code some time ago. However, we quickly ran into the problem 
that whois and whois++ use the same port number (43 if I recall). As the 
protocols are made in such a way that it is impossible to distinguish the 
two from each other it is virtually impossible to automate the access.

The rule must be that a URL scheme unambiguously defines an access scheme. 
Having two different URL schemes pointing to the same port is not a good 
idea unless you have a unique way of identifying them at another level. 
Unless this is the case I would strongly recommend using one single URL 

Henrik Frystyk Nielsen, <>
World-Wide Web Consortium, MIT/LCS NE43-356
545 Technology Square, Cambridge MA 02139, USA

Received on Wednesday, 15 May 1996 11:27:30 UTC