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Versions: 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 RFC 6570

Network Working Group                                   J. Gregorio, Ed.
Internet-Draft                                                    Google
Intended status: Standards Track                          M. Hadley, Ed.
Expires: May 29, 2008                                   Sun Microsystems
                                                      M. Nottingham, Ed.

                                                              D. Orchard
                                                       BEA Systems, Inc.
                                                            Nov 26, 2007


                              URI Template
                     draft-gregorio-uritemplate-02

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Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The IETF Trust (2007).

Abstract

   A URI Template is a compact sequence of characters used for the
   construction of URIs.  This specification defines the URI Template
   syntax and the process for expanding a URI Template into a URI, along



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   with guidelines and security considerations for the use of URI
   Templates on the Internet.  The URI Template syntax allows for the
   construction of strings that are a superset of URIs, allowing an
   implementation to process any URI Template without knowing the
   scheme-specific requirements of every possible resulting URI.

Editorial Note

   To provide feedback on this Internet-Draft, join the W3C URI mailing
   list (http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/uri/) [1].


Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
     1.1.  Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
     1.2.  Design Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
     1.3.  Notational Conventions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
   2.  Characters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
   3.  URI Template . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
     3.1.  Variables  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
     3.2.  Template Expansions  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
     3.3.  URI Template Substitution  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
       3.3.1.  The 'opt' operator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
       3.3.2.  The 'neg' operator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
       3.3.3.  The 'prefix' operator  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
       3.3.4.  The 'append' operator  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
       3.3.5.  The 'join' operator  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
       3.3.6.  The 'listjoin' operator  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
     3.4.  Examples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
   4.  Security Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
   5.  IANA Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
   6.  Appendix A - Parsing URI Template Expansions . . . . . . . . . 10
   7.  Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
   Appendix A.  Contributors  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
   Appendix B.  Revision History  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
   Authors' Addresses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
   Intellectual Property and Copyright Statements . . . . . . . . . . 13













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1.  Introduction

   A URI Template provides a simple and extensible format for URI
   construction.  A URI Template is a string that contains embedded
   expansions, text marked off in matching braces ('{', '}'), that
   denotes a part of the string that is to be substituted by a template
   processor to produce a URI.  A URI Template is transformed into a URI
   by substituting the expansions with their calculated value.

   Several specifications have defined URI Templates with varying levels
   of formality, such as WSDL, WADL and OpenSearch.  This specification
   is derived from these concepts, giving a rigorous definition to such
   templates.

   This specification uses the terms "character" and "coded character
   set" in accordance with the definitions provided in [RFC2978], and
   "character encoding" in place of what [RFC2978] refers to as a
   "charset".

1.1.  Overview

   A URI Template allows a structural description of URIs while allowing
   a consumer of the template to construct a final URI by providing the
   values of the expansion variables.  For example, given the following
   URI Template:

       http://www.example.com/users/{userid}

   And the following variable value

       userid := fred

   The expansion of the URI Template is:

       http://www.example.com/users/fred

   URI Templates can be used as a machine-readable forms language.  By
   allowing clients to form their own identifiers based on templates
   given to them by the URI's authority it's possible to construct
   dynamic systems that use more of the URI than traditional HTML forms.
   For example:

       http://www.example.org/products/{upc}/buyers?page={page_num}

   URI Templates can also be used to compose URI-centric protocols
   without impinging on authorities' control of their URI space.  For
   example, there are many emerging conventions for passing around login
   information between sites using URIs.  Forcing people to use a well-



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   known query parameter isn't good practice, but using URI Templates
   allows different sites to specify local ways of conveying the same
   information:

       http://auth.example.com/userauth;{return-uri}

       http://login.example.org/login?back={return-uri}

1.2.  Design Considerations

   The URI Template syntax has been designed to carefully balance the
   need for a powerful substitution mechanism with ease of
   implementation and security.  The syntax is designed to be easy to
   parse while at the same time providing enough flexibility to express
   many common templating scenarios.  On the balance, the template
   processing is not Turing complete, thus avoiding a number of security
   issues, ala the billion-laughs attack of XML DTDs.

   Another consideration was to keep the syntax and processing in-line
   with the pre-existing templating schemes present in OpenSearch, WSDL
   and WADL.

   The final design consideration was control over the placement of
   reserved characters in the URI generated from a URI Template.  The
   reserved characters in a URI Template can only appear in the non-
   expansion text, or in the argument to an operator, both locations are
   dictated by the URI Template author.  Given the percent-encoding
   rules for variable values this means that the source of all
   structure, i.e reserved characters, in a URI generated from a URI
   Template is decided by the URI Template author.

1.3.  Notational Conventions

   This specification uses the Augmented Backus-Naur Form (ABNF)
   notation of [RFC4234], including the following core ABNF syntax rules
   defined by that specification: ALPHA (letters) and DIGIT (decimal
   digits).  See [RFC3986] for the definitions of the URI-reference,
   percent-encoded, reserved, and unreserved rules.

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this
   document are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119].


2.  Characters

   A URI Template is a sequence of characters, and has the same issues
   as URIs with regard to codepoints and character sets.  That is, URI



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   Template characters are frequently encoded as octets for transport or
   presentation.  This specification does not mandate any particular
   character encoding for mapping between URI characters and the octets
   used to store or transmit those characters.  When a URI appears in a
   protocol element, the character encoding is defined by that protocol;
   without such a definition, a URI is assumed to be in the same
   character encoding as the surrounding text.

   The ABNF notation defines its terminal values to be non-negative
   integers (codepoints) based on the US-ASCII coded character set
   [ASCII].  Because a URI is a sequence of characters, we must invert
   that relation in order to understand the URI syntax.  Therefore, the
   integer values used by the ABNF must be mapped back to their
   corresponding characters via US-ASCII in order to complete the syntax
   rules.


3.  URI Template

   A URI Template is a sequence of characters that contains one or more
   embedded template expansions, see Section 3.2.  Each expansion
   references one or more variables whose values are used in when
   determining the substition value for an expansion.  A URI Template
   becomes a URI when the template expansions are substituted with their
   values (see Section 3.3).  The generated URI will be a URI-reference,
   i.e. either an absolute URI or a relative reference.

3.1.  Variables

   The value of every non-list variable, and the individual values in
   list variables, must come from ( unreserved / pct-encoded ).  For
   variable values that are strings that have characters outside that
   range, the entire string must be converted into UTF-8 [RFC3629], and
   then every octet of the UTF-8 string that falls outside of (
   unreserved / pct-encoded ) MUST be percent-encoded, as per [RFC3986],
   section 2.1.

   This does not imply that every variable value can be decoded into a
   Unicode string.  For example, a variable value may be a binary blob
   that has been percent-encoded before being passed into the template
   processor.

   The Unicode Standard [UNIV4] defines various equivalences between
   sequences of characters for various purposes.  Unicode Standard Annex
   #15 [UTR15] defines various Normalization Forms for these
   equivalences, in particular Normalization Form C (NFC, Canonical
   Decomposition, followed by Canonical Composition) and Normalization
   Form KC (NFKC, Compatibility Decomposition, followed by Canonical



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   Composition).  Since different Normalized Forms unicode strings will
   have different UTF-8 represenations it is RECOMMEDED that unicode
   strings use Normalized Form NFC.

   The meaning of 'defined' for a variable is progamming language and
   library specific and beyond the scope of this specification.  Also
   beyond the scope of this specification is the allowable programming
   constructs that can be used for a list variable used in the
   'listjoin' operator.  For example, a Python implementation might
   allow only built-in list types, or it may allow any iterable to be
   used as the source for a list variable.

   A variable may appear in more than one expansion in a URI Template.
   The value used for that variable must remain the same for every
   template expansion when converting a URI Template into a URI.

3.2.  Template Expansions

   Template expansions are the parameterized components of a URI
   Template.  A template expansion MUST match the 'expansion' rule.

    op          = 1*ALPHA
    arg         = *(reserved / unreserved / pct-encoded)
    var         = varname [ '=' vardefault ]
    vars        = var [ *("," var) ]
    varname     = (ALPHA / DIGIT)*(ALPHA / DIGIT / "." / "_" / "-" )
    vardefault  = *(unreserved / pct-encoded)
    operator    = "-" op "|" arg "|" vars
    expansion   = "{" ( var / operator ) "}"


3.3.  URI Template Substitution

   Template substitution is the process of turning a URI Template into a
   URI given definitions for the variables used in the template.
   Substitution replaces each expansion with its calculated value.

   Every expansion consists of either a variable ('var') or an operator
   expression.  In a variable ('var') expansion, if the variable is
   defined and non-empty then substitute the value of the variable,
   otherwise substitute the default value.  If no default value is given
   then substitute with the empty string.

   If the expansion is an operator then the substitution value is
   determined by the given operator.  Each operator works only on the
   variables that are defined within their expansion.





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3.3.1.  The 'opt' operator

   If the one or more of the variables are defined and non-empty then
   substitute the value of 'arg', otherwise substitute the empty string.

3.3.2.  The 'neg' operator

   If all of the variables are un-defined or empty then substitute the
   value of arg, otherwise substitute the empty string.

3.3.3.  The 'prefix' operator

   The prefix operator MUST only have one variable in its expansion.  If
   the variable is defined and non-empty then substitute the value of
   arg followed by the value of the variable, otherwise substitute the
   empty string.

3.3.4.  The 'append' operator

   The append operator MUST only have one variable in its expansion.  If
   the variable is defined and non-empty then substitute the value of
   the variable followed by the value of arg, otherwise substitute the
   empty string.

3.3.5.  The 'join' operator

   For each variable that is defined and non-empty create a keyvalue
   string that is the concatenation of the variable name, "=", and the
   variable value.  Concatenate more than one keyvalue string with
   intervening values of arg to create the substitution value.

3.3.6.  The 'listjoin' operator

   The listjoin operator MUST have only one variable in its expansion
   and that variable must be a list.  If the list is non-empty then
   substitute the concatenation of all the list members with intevening
   values of arg.

   The result of substitution MUST match the URI-reference rule and
   SHOULD also match any known rules for the scheme of the resulting
   URI.










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3.4.  Examples

          Given the following template variable names and values:

                     +----------+--------------------+
                     | Name     | Value              |
                     +----------+--------------------+
                     | a        | foo                |
                     | b        | bar                |
                     | data     | 10,20,30           |
                     | points   | ["10","20", "30"]  |
                     | list0    | []                 |
                     | str0     |                    |
                     | reserved | :/?#[]@!$&'()*+,;= |
                     | u        | \u2654\u2655       |
                     | a_b      | baz                |
                     +----------+--------------------+

                                  Table 1

   The name 'foo' has not been defined, the value of 'str0' is the empty
   string, and both list0 and points are lists.  The variable 'u' is a
   string of two unicode characters, the WHITE CHESS KING (0x2654) and
   the WHITE CHESS QUEEN (0x2655).

   The following URI Templates will be expanded as shown:

   ----























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    http://example.org/?q={a}
    http://example.org/?q=foo

    http://example.org/{foo}
    http://example.org/

    relative/{reserved}/
    relative/%3A%2F%3F%23%5B%5D%40%21%24%26%27%28%29%2A%2B%2C%3B%3D/

    http://example.org/{foo=fred}
    http://example.org/fred

    http://example.org/{foo=%25}/
    http://example.org/%25/

    /{-prefix|#|foo}
    /

    ./{-prefix|#|str0}
    ./

    /{-append|/|a}{-opt|data|points}{-neg|@|a}{-prefix|#|b}
    /foo/data#bar

    http://example.org/q={u}
    http://example.org/q=%E2%99%94%E2%99%95

    http://example.org/?{-join|&|a,data}
    http://example.org/?a=foo&data=10%2C20%2C30

    http://example.org/?d={-listjoin|,|points}&{-join|&|a,b}
    http://example.org/?d=10,20,30&a=foo&b=bar

    http://example.org/?d={-listjoin|,|list0}&{-join|&|foo}
    http://example.org/?d=&

    http://example.org/?d={-listjoin|&d=|points}
    http://example.org/?d=10&d=20&d=30

    http://example.org/{a}{b}/{a_b}
    http://example.org/foobar/baz

    http://example.org/{a}{-prefix|/-/|a}/
    http://example.org/foo/-/foo/


   ----




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4.  Security Considerations

   A URI Template does not contain active or executable content.  Other
   security considerations are the same as those for URIs, see section 7
   of RFC3986.


5.  IANA Considerations

   In common with RFC3986, URI scheme names form a registered namespace
   that is managed by IANA according to the procedures defined in
   [RFC4395].  No IANA actions are required by this document.


6.  Appendix A - Parsing URI Template Expansions

   Parsing a valid URI Template expansion does not require building a
   parser from the given ABNF.  Instead, the set of allowed characters
   in each part of URI Template expansion has been chosen to avoid
   complex parsing, and breaking an expansion into its component parts
   can be achieved by a series of splits of the character string.

   Here is example Python code that parses a URI Template expansion and
   returns the operator, argument, and variables as a tuple.  The
   variables are returned as a dictionary of variable names mapped to
   their default values.  If no default is given then the name maps to
   None.

    def parse_expansion(expansion):
       if "|" in expansion:
           (op, arg, vars_) = expansion.split("|")
           op = op[1:]
       else:
           (op, arg, vars_) = (None, None, expansion)
       vars_ = vars_.split(",")

       variables = {}
       for var in vars_:
           if "=" in var:
               (varname, vardefault) = var.split("=")
           else:
               (varname, vardefault) = (var, None)
           variables[varname] = vardefault

       return (op, arg, variables)

   And here is an example of the parse_expansion() function being used.




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   >>> parse_expansion("-join|&|a,b,c=1")
   ('join', '&', {'a': None, 'c': '1', 'b': None})
   >>> parse_expansion("c=1")
   (None, None, {'c': '1'})


7.  Normative References

   [ASCII]    American National Standards Institute, "Coded Character
              Set - 7-bit American Standard Code for Information
              Interchange", ANSI X3.4, 1986.

   [RFC2119]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
              Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.

   [RFC2978]  Freed, N. and J. Postel, "IANA Charset Registration
              Procedures", BCP 19, RFC 2978, October 2000.

   [RFC3629]  Yergeau, F., "UTF-8, a transformation format of ISO
              10646", STD 63, RFC 3629, November 2003.

   [RFC3986]  Berners-Lee, T., Fielding, R., and L. Masinter, "Uniform
              Resource Identifier (URI): Generic Syntax", STD 66,
              RFC 3986, January 2005.

   [RFC4234]  Crocker, D., Ed. and P. Overell, "Augmented BNF for Syntax
              Specifications: ABNF", RFC 4234, October 2005.

   [RFC4395]  Hansen, T., Hardie, T., and L. Masinter, "Guidelines and
              Registration Procedures for New URI Schemes", BCP 115,
              RFC 4395, February 2006.

   [UNIV4]    The Unicode Consortium, "The Unicode Standard, Version
              4.0.1, defined by: The Unicode Standard, Version 4.0
              (Reading, MA, Addison-Wesley, 2003. ISBN 0-321-18578-1),
              as amended by Unicode 4.0.1
              (http://www.unicode.org/versions/Unicode4.0.1/)",
              March 2004.

   [UTR15]    Davis, M. and M. Duerst, "Unicode Normalization Forms",
              Unicode Standard Annex # 15, April 2003.

   [1]  <http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/uri/>


Appendix A.  Contributors

   The following people made significant contributions to this



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   specification: DeWitt Clinton and James Snell.


Appendix B.  Revision History

   02 - Added operators and came up with coherent percent-encoding and
   reserved character story.  Added large examples section which is
   extracted and tested against the implementation.

   01

   00 - Initial Revision.


Authors' Addresses

   Joe Gregorio (editor)
   Google

   Email: joe@bitworking.org
   URI:   http://bitworking.org/


   Marc Hadley (editor)
   Sun Microsystems

   Email: Marc.Hadley@sun.com
   URI:   http://sun.com/


   Mark Nottingham (editor)

   Email: mnot@pobox.com
   URI:   http://mnot.net/


   David Orchard
   BEA Systems, Inc.

   Email: dorchard@bea.com
   URI:   http://bea.com/










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Full Copyright Statement

   Copyright (C) The IETF Trust (2007).

   This document is subject to the rights, licenses and restrictions
   contained in BCP 78, and except as set forth therein, the authors
   retain all their rights.

   This document and the information contained herein are provided on an
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Acknowledgment

   Funding for the RFC Editor function is provided by the IETF
   Administrative Support Activity (IASA).





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