[Docs] [txt|pdf] [draft-nottingham-...] [Diff1] [Diff2] [Errata]

PROPOSED STANDARD
Errata Exist
Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)                     M. Nottingham
Request for Comments: 5988                                  October 2010
Updates: 4287
Category: Standards Track
ISSN: 2070-1721


                              Web Linking

Abstract

   This document specifies relation types for Web links, and defines a
   registry for them.  It also defines the use of such links in HTTP
   headers with the Link header field.

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/rfc5988.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2010 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.








Nottingham                   Standards Track                    [Page 1]

RFC 5988                       Web Linking                  October 2010


   This document may contain material from IETF Documents or IETF
   Contributions published or made publicly available before November
   10, 2008.  The person(s) controlling the copyright in some of this
   material may not have granted the IETF Trust the right to allow
   modifications of such material outside the IETF Standards Process.
   Without obtaining an adequate license from the person(s) controlling
   the copyright in such materials, this document may not be modified
   outside the IETF Standards Process, and derivative works of it may
   not be created outside the IETF Standards Process, except to format
   it for publication as an RFC or to translate it into languages other
   than English.

Table of Contents

   1. Introduction ....................................................3
   2. Notational Conventions ..........................................3
   3. Links ...........................................................4
   4. Link Relation Types .............................................5
      4.1. Registered Relation Types ..................................5
      4.2. Extension Relation Types ...................................6
   5. The Link Header Field ...........................................6
      5.1. Target IRI .................................................7
      5.2. Context IRI ................................................7
      5.3. Relation Type ..............................................8
      5.4. Target Attributes ..........................................8
      5.5. Examples ...................................................9
   6. IANA Considerations ............................................10
      6.1. Link HTTP Header Registration .............................10
      6.2. Link Relation Type Registry ...............................10
           6.2.1. Registering New Link Relation Types ................11
           6.2.2. Initial Registry Contents ..........................12
      6.3. Link Relation Application Data Registry ...................16
   7. Security Considerations ........................................17
   8. Internationalisation Considerations ............................18
   9. References .....................................................18
      9.1. Normative References ......................................18
      9.2. Informative References ....................................19
   Appendix A.  Notes on Using the Link Header with the HTML4
                Format ...............................................21
   Appendix B.  Notes on Using the Link Header with the Atom
                Format ...............................................22
   Appendix C.  Acknowledgements .....................................23









Nottingham                   Standards Track                    [Page 2]

RFC 5988                       Web Linking                  October 2010


1.  Introduction

   A means of indicating the relationships between resources on the Web,
   as well as indicating the type of those relationships, has been
   available for some time in HTML [W3C.REC-html401-19991224], and more
   recently in Atom [RFC4287].  These mechanisms, although conceptually
   similar, are separately specified.  However, links between resources
   need not be format specific; it can be useful to have typed links
   that are independent of their serialisation, especially when a
   resource has representations in multiple formats.

   To this end, this document defines a framework for typed links that
   isn't specific to a particular serialisation or application.  It does
   so by redefining the link relation registry established by Atom to
   have a broader domain, and adding to it the relations that are
   defined by HTML.

   Furthermore, an HTTP header field for conveying typed links was
   defined in Section 19.6.2.4 of [RFC2068], but removed from [RFC2616],
   due to a lack of implementation experience.  Since then, it has been
   implemented in some User Agents (e.g., for stylesheets), and several
   additional use cases have surfaced.

   Because it was removed, the status of the Link header is unclear,
   leading some to consider minting new application-specific HTTP
   headers instead of reusing it.  This document addresses this by re-
   specifying the Link header as one such serialisation, with updated
   but backwards-compatible syntax.

2.  Notational Conventions

   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 BCP 14, [RFC2119], as
   scoped to those conformance targets.

   This document uses the Augmented Backus-Naur Form (ABNF) notation of
   [RFC2616], and explicitly includes the following rules from it:
   quoted-string, token, SP (space), LOALPHA, DIGIT.

   Additionally, the following rules are included from [RFC3986]: URI
   and URI-Reference; from [RFC4288]: type-name and subtype-name; from
   [W3C.REC-html401-19991224]: MediaDesc; from [RFC5646]: Language-Tag;
   and from [RFC5987], ext-value and parmname.







Nottingham                   Standards Track                    [Page 3]

RFC 5988                       Web Linking                  October 2010


3.  Links

   In this specification, a link is a typed connection between two
   resources that are identified by Internationalised Resource
   Identifiers (IRIs) [RFC3987], and is comprised of:

   o  A context IRI,

   o  a link relation type (Section 4),

   o  a target IRI, and

   o  optionally, target attributes.

   A link can be viewed as a statement of the form "{context IRI} has a
   {relation type} resource at {target IRI}, which has {target
   attributes}".

   Note that in the common case, the context IRI will also be a URI
   [RFC3986], because many protocols (such as HTTP) do not support
   dereferencing IRIs.  Likewise, the target IRI will be converted to a
   URI (see [RFC3987], Section 3.1) in serialisations that do not
   support IRIs (e.g., the Link header).

   This specification does not place restrictions on the cardinality of
   links; there can be multiple links to and from a particular IRI, and
   multiple links of different types between two given IRIs.  Likewise,
   the relative ordering of links in any particular serialisation, or
   between serialisations (e.g., the Link header and in-content links)
   is not specified or significant in this specification; applications
   that wish to consider ordering significant can do so.

   Target attributes are a set of key/value pairs that describe the link
   or its target; for example, a media type hint.  This specification
   does not attempt to coordinate their names or use, but does provide
   common target attributes for use in the Link HTTP header.

   Finally, this specification does not define a general syntax for
   expressing links, nor does it mandate a specific context for any
   given link; it is expected that serialisations of links will specify
   both aspects.  One such serialisation is communication of links
   through HTTP headers, specified in Section 5.









Nottingham                   Standards Track                    [Page 4]

RFC 5988                       Web Linking                  October 2010


4.  Link Relation Types

   In the simplest case, a link relation type identifies the semantics
   of a link.  For example, a link with the relation type "copyright"
   indicates that the resource identified by the target IRI is a
   statement of the copyright terms applying to the current context IRI.

   Link relation types can also be used to indicate that the target
   resource has particular attributes, or exhibits particular
   behaviours; for example, a "service" link implies that the identified
   resource is part of a defined protocol (in this case, a service
   description).

   Relation types are not to be confused with media types [RFC4288];
   they do not identify the format of the representation that results
   when the link is dereferenced.  Rather, they only describe how the
   current context is related to another resource.

   Relation types SHOULD NOT infer any additional semantics based upon
   the presence or absence of another link relation type, or its own
   cardinality of occurrence.  An exception to this is the combination
   of the "alternate" and "stylesheet" registered relation types, which
   has special meaning in HTML4 for historical reasons.

   There are two kinds of relation types: registered and extension.

4.1.  Registered Relation Types

   Well-defined relation types can be registered as tokens for
   convenience and/or to promote reuse by other applications.  This
   specification establishes an IANA registry of such relation types;
   see Section 6.2.

   Registered relation type names MUST conform to the reg-rel-type rule,
   and MUST be compared character-by-character in a case-insensitive
   fashion.  They SHOULD be appropriate to the specificity of the
   relation type; i.e., if the semantics are highly specific to a
   particular application, the name should reflect that, so that more
   general names are available for less specific use.

   Registered relation types MUST NOT constrain the media type of the
   context IRI, and MUST NOT constrain the available representation
   media types of the target IRI.  However, they can specify the
   behaviours and properties of the target resource (e.g., allowable
   HTTP methods, request and response media types that must be
   supported).





Nottingham                   Standards Track                    [Page 5]

RFC 5988                       Web Linking                  October 2010


   Additionally, specific applications of linking may require additional
   data to be included in the registry.  For example, Web browsers might
   want to know what kinds of links should be downloaded when they
   archive a Web page; if this application-specific information is in
   the registry, new link relation types can control this behaviour
   without unnecessary coordination.

   To accommodate this, per-entry application data can be added to the
   Link Relation Type registry, by registering it in the Link Relation
   Application Data registry (Section 6.3).

4.2.  Extension Relation Types

   Applications that don't wish to register a relation type can use an
   extension relation type, which is a URI [RFC3986] that uniquely
   identifies the relation type.  Although the URI can point to a
   resource that contains a definition of the semantics of the relation
   type, clients SHOULD NOT automatically access that resource to avoid
   overburdening its server.

   When extension relation types are compared, they MUST be compared as
   strings (after converting to URIs if serialised in a different
   format, such as a Curie [W3C.CR-curie-20090116]) in a case-
   insensitive fashion, character-by-character.  Because of this, all-
   lowercase URIs SHOULD be used for extension relations.

   Note that while extension relation types are required to be URIs, a
   serialisation of links can specify that they are expressed in another
   form, as long as they can be converted to URIs.

5.  The Link Header Field

   The Link entity-header field provides a means for serialising one or
   more links in HTTP headers.  It is semantically equivalent to the
   <LINK> element in HTML, as well as the atom:link feed-level element
   in Atom [RFC4287].















Nottingham                   Standards Track                    [Page 6]

RFC 5988                       Web Linking                  October 2010


  Link           = "Link" ":" #link-value
  link-value     = "<" URI-Reference ">" *( ";" link-param )
  link-param     = ( ( "rel" "=" relation-types )
                 | ( "anchor" "=" <"> URI-Reference <"> )
                 | ( "rev" "=" relation-types )
                 | ( "hreflang" "=" Language-Tag )
                 | ( "media" "=" ( MediaDesc | ( <"> MediaDesc <"> ) ) )
                 | ( "title" "=" quoted-string )
                 | ( "title*" "=" ext-value )
                 | ( "type" "=" ( media-type | quoted-mt ) )
                 | ( link-extension ) )
  link-extension = ( parmname [ "=" ( ptoken | quoted-string ) ] )
                 | ( ext-name-star "=" ext-value )
  ext-name-star  = parmname "*" ; reserved for RFC2231-profiled
                                ; extensions.  Whitespace NOT
                                ; allowed in between.
  ptoken         = 1*ptokenchar
  ptokenchar     = "!" | "#" | "$" | "%" | "&" | "'" | "("
                 | ")" | "*" | "+" | "-" | "." | "/" | DIGIT
                 | ":" | "<" | "=" | ">" | "?" | "@" | ALPHA
                 | "[" | "]" | "^" | "_" | "`" | "{" | "|"
                 | "}" | "~"
  media-type     = type-name "/" subtype-name
  quoted-mt      = <"> media-type <">
  relation-types = relation-type
                 | <"> relation-type *( 1*SP relation-type ) <">
  relation-type  = reg-rel-type | ext-rel-type
  reg-rel-type   = LOALPHA *( LOALPHA | DIGIT | "." | "-" )
  ext-rel-type   = URI

5.1.  Target IRI

   Each link-value conveys one target IRI as a URI-Reference (after
   conversion to one, if necessary; see [RFC3987], Section 3.1) inside
   angle brackets ("<>").  If the URI-Reference is relative, parsers
   MUST resolve it as per [RFC3986], Section 5.  Note that any base IRI
   from the message's content is not applied.

5.2.  Context IRI

   By default, the context of a link conveyed in the Link header field
   is the IRI of the requested resource.

   When present, the anchor parameter overrides this with another URI,
   such as a fragment of this resource, or a third resource (i.e., when
   the anchor value is an absolute URI).  If the anchor parameter's





Nottingham                   Standards Track                    [Page 7]

RFC 5988                       Web Linking                  October 2010


   value is a relative URI, parsers MUST resolve it as per [RFC3986],
   Section 5.  Note that any base URI from the body's content is not
   applied.

   Consuming implementations can choose to ignore links with an anchor
   parameter.  For example, the application in use may not allow the
   context IRI to be assigned to a different resource.  In such cases,
   the entire link is to be ignored; consuming implementations MUST NOT
   process the link without applying the anchor.

   Note that depending on HTTP status code and response headers, the
   context IRI might be "anonymous" (i.e., no context IRI is available).
   For instance, this is the case on a 404 response to a GET request.

5.3.  Relation Type

   The relation type of a link is conveyed in the "rel" parameter's
   value.  The "rel" parameter MUST NOT appear more than once in a given
   link-value; occurrences after the first MUST be ignored by parsers.

   The "rev" parameter has been used in the past to indicate that the
   semantics of the relationship are in the reverse direction.  That is,
   a link from A to B with REL="X" expresses the same relationship as a
   link from B to A with REV="X". "rev" is deprecated by this
   specification because it often confuses authors and readers; in most
   cases, using a separate relation type is preferable.

   Note that extension relation types are REQUIRED to be absolute URIs
   in Link headers, and MUST be quoted if they contain a semicolon (";")
   or comma (",") (as these characters are used as delimiters in the
   header itself).

5.4.  Target Attributes

   The "hreflang", "media", "title", "title*", "type", and any link-
   extension link-params are considered to be target attributes for the
   link.

   The "hreflang" parameter, when present, is a hint indicating what the
   language of the result of dereferencing the link should be.  Note
   that this is only a hint; for example, it does not override the
   Content-Language header of a HTTP response obtained by actually
   following the link.  Multiple "hreflang" parameters on a single link-
   value indicate that multiple languages are available from the
   indicated resource.






Nottingham                   Standards Track                    [Page 8]

RFC 5988                       Web Linking                  October 2010


   The "media" parameter, when present, is used to indicate intended
   destination medium or media for style information (see
   [W3C.REC-html401-19991224], Section 6.13).  Note that this may be
   updated by [W3C.CR-css3-mediaqueries-20090915]).  Its value MUST be
   quoted if it contains a semicolon (";") or comma (","), and there
   MUST NOT be more than one "media" parameter in a link-value.

   The "title" parameter, when present, is used to label the destination
   of a link such that it can be used as a human-readable identifier
   (e.g., a menu entry) in the language indicated by the Content-
   Language header (if present).  The "title" parameter MUST NOT appear
   more than once in a given link-value; occurrences after the first
   MUST be ignored by parsers.

   The "title*" parameter can be used to encode this label in a
   different character set, and/or contain language information as per
   [RFC5987].  The "title*" parameter MUST NOT appear more than once in
   a given link-value; occurrences after the first MUST be ignored by
   parsers.  If the parameter does not contain language information, its
   language is indicated by the Content-Language header (when present).

   If both the "title" and "title*" parameters appear in a link-value,
   processors SHOULD use the "title*" parameter's value.

   The "type" parameter, when present, is a hint indicating what the
   media type of the result of dereferencing the link should be.  Note
   that this is only a hint; for example, it does not override the
   Content-Type header of a HTTP response obtained by actually following
   the link.  There MUST NOT be more than one type parameter in a link-
   value.

5.5.  Examples

   For example:

   Link: <http://example.com/TheBook/chapter2>; rel="previous";
         title="previous chapter"

   indicates that "chapter2" is previous to this resource in a logical
   navigation path.

   Similarly,

   Link: </>; rel="http://example.net/foo"

   indicates that the root resource ("/") is related to this resource
   with the extension relation type "http://example.net/foo".




Nottingham                   Standards Track                    [Page 9]

RFC 5988                       Web Linking                  October 2010


   The example below shows an instance of the Link header encoding
   multiple links, and also the use of RFC 2231 encoding to encode both
   non-ASCII characters and language information.

   Link: </TheBook/chapter2>;
         rel="previous"; title*=UTF-8'de'letztes%20Kapitel,
         </TheBook/chapter4>;
         rel="next"; title*=UTF-8'de'n%c3%a4chstes%20Kapitel

   Here, both links have titles encoded in UTF-8, use the German
   language ("de"), and the second link contains the Unicode code point
   U+00E4 ("LATIN SMALL LETTER A WITH DIAERESIS").

   Note that link-values can convey multiple links between the same
   target and context IRIs; for example:

       Link: <http://example.org/>;
             rel="start http://example.net/relation/other"

   Here, the link to "http://example.org/" has the registered relation
   type "start" and the extension relation type
   "http://example.net/relation/other".

6.  IANA Considerations

6.1.  Link HTTP Header Registration

   This specification updates the Message Header registry entry for
   "Link" in HTTP [RFC3864] to refer to this document.

   Header field: Link
   Applicable protocol: http
   Status: standard
   Author/change controller:
       IETF  (iesg@ietf.org)
       Internet Engineering Task Force
   Specification document(s):
       [RFC5988]

6.2.  Link Relation Type Registry

   This specification establishes the Link Relation Type registry, and
   updates Atom [RFC4287] to refer to it in place of the "Registry of
   Link Relations".

   The underlying registry data (e.g., the XML file) must include
   Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of the Trust
   Legal Provisions (<http://trustee.ietf.org/license-info>).



Nottingham                   Standards Track                   [Page 10]

RFC 5988                       Web Linking                  October 2010


6.2.1.  Registering New Link Relation Types

   Relation types are registered on the advice of a Designated Expert
   (appointed by the IESG or their delegate), with a Specification
   Required (using terminology from [RFC5226]).

   The requirements for registered relation types are described in
   Section 4.1.

   Registration requests consist of the completed registration template
   below, typically published in an RFC or Open Standard (in the sense
   described by [RFC2026], Section 7).  However, to allow for the
   allocation of values prior to publication, the Designated Expert may
   approve registration once they are satisfied that a specification
   will be published.

   Note that relation types can be registered by third parties, if the
   Designated Expert determines that an unregistered relation type is
   widely deployed and not likely to be registered in a timely manner.

   The registration template is:

   o  Relation Name:

   o  Description:

   o  Reference:

   o  Notes: [optional]

   o  Application Data: [optional]

   Registration requests should be sent to the link-relations@ietf.org
   mailing list, marked clearly in the subject line (e.g., "NEW RELATION
   - example" to register an "example" relation type).

   Within at most 14 days of the request, the Designated Expert(s) will
   either approve or deny the registration request, communicating this
   decision to the review list and IANA.  Denials should include an
   explanation and, if applicable, suggestions as to how to make the
   request successful.

   Decisions (or lack thereof) made by the Designated Expert can be
   first appealed to Application Area Directors (contactable using
   app-ads@tools.ietf.org email address or directly by looking up their
   email addresses on http://www.iesg.org/ website) and, if the
   appellant is not satisfied with the response, to the full IESG (using
   the iesg@iesg.org mailing list).



Nottingham                   Standards Track                   [Page 11]

RFC 5988                       Web Linking                  October 2010


   IANA should only accept registry updates from the Designated
   Expert(s), and should direct all requests for registration to the
   review mailing list.

6.2.2.  Initial Registry Contents

   The Link Relation Type registry's initial contents are:

   o  Relation Name: alternate
   o  Description: Designates a substitute for the link's context.
   o  Reference: [W3C.REC-html401-19991224]

   o  Relation Name: appendix
   o  Description: Refers to an appendix.
   o  Reference: [W3C.REC-html401-19991224]

   o  Relation Name: bookmark
   o  Description: Refers to a bookmark or entry point.
   o  Reference: [W3C.REC-html401-19991224]

   o  Relation Name: chapter
   o  Description: Refers to a chapter in a collection of resources.
   o  Reference: [W3C.REC-html401-19991224]

   o  Relation Name: contents
   o  Description: Refers to a table of contents.
   o  Reference: [W3C.REC-html401-19991224]

   o  Relation Name: copyright
   o  Description: Refers to a copyright statement that applies to the
      link's context.
   o  Reference: [W3C.REC-html401-19991224]

   o  Relation Name: current
   o  Description: Refers to a resource containing the most recent
      item(s) in a collection of resources.
   o  Reference: [RFC5005]

   o  Relation Name: describedby
   o  Description: Refers to a resource providing information about the
      link's context.
   o  Documentation: <http://www.w3.org/TR/powder-dr/#assoc-linking>

   o  Relation Name: edit
   o  Description: Refers to a resource that can be used to edit the
      link's context.
   o  Reference: [RFC5023]




Nottingham                   Standards Track                   [Page 12]

RFC 5988                       Web Linking                  October 2010


   o  Relation Name: edit-media
   o  Description: Refers to a resource that can be used to edit media
      associated with the link's context.
   o  Reference: [RFC5023]

   o  Relation Name: enclosure
   o  Description: Identifies a related resource that is potentially
      large and might require special handling.
   o  Reference: [RFC4287]

   o  Relation Name: first
   o  Description: An IRI that refers to the furthest preceding resource
      in a series of resources.
   o  Reference: [RFC5988]
   o  Notes: this relation type registration did not indicate a
      reference.  Originally requested by Mark Nottingham in December
      2004.

   o  Relation Name: glossary
   o  Description: Refers to a glossary of terms.
   o  Reference: [W3C.REC-html401-19991224]

   o  Relation Name: help
   o  Description: Refers to a resource offering help (more information,
      links to other sources information, etc.)
   o  Reference: [W3C.REC-html401-19991224]

   o  Relation Name: hub
   o  Description: Refers to a hub that enables registration for
      notification of updates to the context.
   o  Reference: <http://pubsubhubbub.googlecode.com/> <http://
      pubsubhubbub.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/pubsubhubbub-core-0.3.html>
   o  Notes: this relation type was requested by Brett Slatkin.

   o  Relation Name: index
   o  Description: Refers to an index.
   o  Reference: [W3C.REC-html401-19991224]

   o  Relation Name: last
   o  Description: An IRI that refers to the furthest following resource
      in a series of resources.
   o  Reference: [RFC5988]
   o  Notes: this relation type registration did not indicate a
      reference.  Originally requested by Mark Nottingham in December
      2004.






Nottingham                   Standards Track                   [Page 13]

RFC 5988                       Web Linking                  October 2010


   o  Relation Name: latest-version
   o  Description: Points to a resource containing the latest (e.g.,
      current) version of the context.
   o  Reference: [RFC5829]

   o  Relation Name: license
   o  Description: Refers to a license associated with the link's
      context.
   o  Reference: [RFC4946]

   o  Relation Name: next
   o  Description: Refers to the next resource in a ordered series of
      resources.
   o  Reference: [W3C.REC-html401-19991224]

   o  Relation Name: next-archive
   o  Description: Refers to the immediately following archive resource.
   o  Reference: [RFC5005]

   o  Relation Name: payment
   o  Description: indicates a resource where payment is accepted.
   o  Reference: [RFC5988]
   o  Notes: this relation type registration did not indicate a
      reference.  Requested by Joshua Kinberg and Robert Sayre.  It is
      meant as a general way to facilitate acts of payment, and thus
      this specification makes no assumptions on the type of payment or
      transaction protocol.  Examples may include a Web page where
      donations are accepted or where goods and services are available
      for purchase. rel="payment" is not intended to initiate an
      automated transaction.  In Atom documents, a link element with a
      rel="payment" attribute may exist at the feed/channel level and/or
      the entry/item level.  For example, a rel="payment" link at the
      feed/channel level may point to a "tip jar" URI, whereas an entry/
      item containing a book review may include a rel="payment" link
      that points to the location where the book may be purchased
      through an online retailer.

   o  Relation Name: prev
   o  Description: Refers to the previous resource in an ordered series
      of resources.  Synonym for "previous".
   o  Reference: [W3C.REC-html401-19991224]

   o  Relation Name: predecessor-version
   o  Description: Points to a resource containing the predecessor
      version in the version history.
   o  Reference: [RFC5829]





Nottingham                   Standards Track                   [Page 14]

RFC 5988                       Web Linking                  October 2010


   o  Relation Name: previous
   o  Description: Refers to the previous resource in an ordered series
      of resources.  Synonym for "prev".
   o  Reference: [W3C.REC-html401-19991224]

   o  Relation Name: prev-archive
   o  Description: Refers to the immediately preceding archive resource.
   o  Reference: [RFC5005]

   o  Relation Name: related
   o  Description: Identifies a related resource.
   o  Reference: [RFC4287]

   o  Relation Name: replies
   o  Description: Identifies a resource that is a reply to the context
      of the link.
   o  Reference: [RFC4685]

   o  Relation Name: section
   o  Description: Refers to a section in a collection of resources.
   o  Reference: [W3C.REC-html401-19991224]

   o  Relation Name: self
   o  Description: Conveys an identifier for the link's context.
   o  Reference: [RFC4287]

   o  Relation Name: service
   o  Description: Indicates a URI that can be used to retrieve a
      service document.
   o  Reference: [RFC5023]
   o  Notes: When used in an Atom document, this relation type specifies
      Atom Publishing Protocol service documents by default.  Requested
      by James Snell.

   o  Relation Name: start
   o  Description: Refers to the first resource in a collection of
      resources.
   o  Reference: [W3C.REC-html401-19991224]

   o  Relation Name: stylesheet
   o  Description: Refers to an external style sheet.
   o  Reference: [W3C.REC-html401-19991224]

   o  Relation Name: subsection
   o  Description: Refers to a resource serving as a subsection in a
      collection of resources.
   o  Reference: [W3C.REC-html401-19991224]




Nottingham                   Standards Track                   [Page 15]

RFC 5988                       Web Linking                  October 2010


   o  Relation Name: successor-version
   o  Description: Points to a resource containing the successor version
      in the version history.
   o  Reference: [RFC5829]

   o  Relation Name: up
   o  Description: Refers to a parent document in a hierarchy of
      documents.
   o  Reference: [RFC5988]
   o  Notes: this relation type registration did not indicate a
      reference.  Requested by Noah Slater.

   o  Relation Name: version-history
   o  Description: points to a resource containing the version history
      for the context.
   o  Reference: [RFC5829]

   o  Relation Name: via
   o  Description: Identifies a resource that is the source of the
      information in the link's context.
   o  Reference: [RFC4287]

   o  Relation Name: working-copy
   o  Description: Points to a working copy for this resource.
   o  Reference: [RFC5829]

   o  Relation Name: working-copy-of
   o  Description: Points to the versioned resource from which this
      working copy was obtained.
   o  Reference: [RFC5829]

6.3.  Link Relation Application Data Registry

   This specification also establishes the Link Relation Application
   Field registry, to allow entries in the Link Relation Type registry
   to be extended with application-specific data (hereafter, "app data")
   specific to all instances of a given link relation type.

   Application data is registered on the advice of a Designated Expert
   (appointed by the IESG or their delegate), with a Specification
   Required (using terminology from [RFC5226]).










Nottingham                   Standards Track                   [Page 16]

RFC 5988                       Web Linking                  October 2010


   Registration requests consist of the completed registration template
   below:

   o  Application Name:

   o  Description:

   o  Default Value:

   o  Notes: [optional]

   The Description SHOULD identify the value space of the app data.  The
   Default Value MUST be appropriate to entries to which the app data
   does not apply.

   Entries that pre-date the addition of app data will automatically be
   considered to have the default value for that app data; if there are
   exceptions, the modification of such entries should be coordinated by
   the Designated Expert(s), in consultation with the author of the
   proposed app data as well as the registrant of the existing entry (if
   possible).

   Registration requests should be sent to the link-relations@ietf.org
   mailing list, marked clearly in the subject line (e.g., "NEW APP DATA
   - example" to register "example" app data).

   Within at most 14 days of the request, the Designated Expert will
   either approve or deny the registration request, communicating this
   decision to the review list.  Denials should include an explanation
   and, if applicable, suggestions as to how to make the request
   successful.  Registration requests that are undetermined for a period
   longer than 21 days can be brought to the IESG's attention (using the
   iesg@iesg.org mailing list) for resolution.

   When a registration request is successful, the Designated Expert will
   forward it to IANA for publication.  IANA should only accept registry
   updates from the Designated Expert(s), and should direct all requests
   for registration to the review mailing list.

7.  Security Considerations

   The content of the Link header field is not secure, private or
   integrity-guaranteed, and due caution should be exercised when using
   it.  Use of Transport Layer Security (TLS) with HTTP ([RFC2818] and
   [RFC2817]) is currently the only end-to-end way to provide such
   protection.





Nottingham                   Standards Track                   [Page 17]

RFC 5988                       Web Linking                  October 2010


   Applications that take advantage of typed links should consider the
   attack vectors opened by automatically following, trusting, or
   otherwise using links gathered from HTTP headers.  In particular,
   Link headers that use the "anchor" parameter to associate a link's
   context with another resource should be treated with due caution.

   The Link entity-header field makes extensive use of IRIs and URIs.
   See [RFC3987] for security considerations relating to IRIs.  See
   [RFC3986] for security considerations relating to URIs.  See
   [RFC2616] for security considerations relating to HTTP headers.

8.  Internationalisation Considerations

   Target IRIs may need to be converted to URIs in order to express them
   in serialisations that do not support IRIs.  This includes the Link
   HTTP header.

   Similarly, the anchor parameter of the Link header does not support
   IRIs, and therefore IRIs must be converted to URIs before inclusion
   there.

   Relation types are defined as URIs, not IRIs, to aid in their
   comparison.  It is not expected that they will be displayed to end
   users.

9.  References

9.1.  Normative References

   [RFC2026]  Bradner, S., "The Internet Standards Process -- Revision
              3", BCP 9, RFC 2026, October 1996.

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

   [RFC2616]  Fielding, R., Gettys, J., Mogul, J., Frystyk, H.,
              Masinter, L., Leach, P., and T. Berners-Lee, "Hypertext
              Transfer Protocol -- HTTP/1.1", RFC 2616, June 1999.

   [RFC3864]  Klyne, G., Nottingham, M., and J. Mogul, "Registration
              Procedures for Message Header Fields", BCP 90, RFC 3864,
              September 2004.

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





Nottingham                   Standards Track                   [Page 18]

RFC 5988                       Web Linking                  October 2010


   [RFC3987]  Duerst, M. and M. Suignard, "Internationalized Resource
              Identifiers (IRIs)", RFC 3987, January 2005.

   [RFC4288]  Freed, N. and J. Klensin, "Media Type Specifications and
              Registration Procedures", BCP 13, RFC 4288, December 2005.

   [RFC5226]  Narten, T. and H. Alvestrand, "Guidelines for Writing an
              IANA Considerations Section in RFCs", BCP 26, RFC 5226,
              May 2008.

   [RFC5646]  Phillips, A. and M. Davis, "Tags for Identifying
              Languages", BCP 47, RFC 5646, September 2009.

   [RFC5987]  Reschke, J., "Character Set and Language Encoding for
              Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) Header Field
              Parameters", RFC 5987, August 2010.

9.2.  Informative References

   [RFC2068]  Fielding, R., Gettys, J., Mogul, J., Nielsen, H., and T.
              Berners-Lee, "Hypertext Transfer Protocol -- HTTP/1.1",
              RFC 2068, January 1997.

   [RFC2817]  Khare, R. and S. Lawrence, "Upgrading to TLS Within
              HTTP/1.1", RFC 2817, May 2000.

   [RFC2818]  Rescorla, E., "HTTP Over TLS", RFC 2818, May 2000.

   [RFC4287]  Nottingham, M., Ed. and R. Sayre, Ed., "The Atom
              Syndication Format", RFC 4287, December 2005.

   [RFC4685]  Snell, J., "Atom Threading Extensions", RFC 4685,
              September 2006.

   [RFC4946]  Snell, J., "Atom License Extension", RFC 4946, July 2007.

   [RFC5005]  Nottingham, M., "Feed Paging and Archiving", RFC 5005,
              September 2007.

   [RFC5023]  Gregorio, J. and B. de hOra, "The Atom Publishing
              Protocol", RFC 5023, October 2007.

   [RFC5829]  Brown, A., Clemm, G., and J. Reschke, "Link Relation Types
              for Simple Version Navigation between Web Resources",
              RFC 5829, April 2010.






Nottingham                   Standards Track                   [Page 19]

RFC 5988                       Web Linking                  October 2010


   [W3C.CR-css3-mediaqueries-20090915]
              van Kesteren, A., Glazman, D., Lie, H., and T. Celik,
              "Media Queries", W3C Candidate Recommendation CR-css3-
              mediaqueries-20090915, September 2009,
              <http://www.w3.org/TR/2009/
              CR-css3-mediaqueries-20090915/>.

              Latest version available at
              <http://www.w3.org/TR/css3-mediaqueries/>.

   [W3C.CR-curie-20090116]
              Birbeck, M. and S. McCarron, "CURIE Syntax 1.0", W3C
              Candidate Recommendation CR-curie-20090116, January 2009,
              <http://www.w3.org/TR/2009/CR-curie-20090116>.

              Latest version available at <http://www.w3.org/TR/curie>.

   [W3C.REC-html401-19991224]
              Le Hors, A., Raggett, D., and I. Jacobs, "HTML 4.01
              Specification", W3C Recommendation REC-html401-19991224,
              December 1999,
              <http://www.w3.org/TR/1999/REC-html401-19991224>.

              Latest version available at
              <http://www.w3.org/TR/html401>.

   [W3C.REC-rdfa-syntax-20081014]
              Adida, B., Birbeck, M., McCarron, S., and S. Pemberton,
              "RDFa in XHTML: Syntax and Processing", W3C
              Recommendation REC-rdfa-syntax-20081014, October 2008,
              <http://www.w3.org/TR/2008/REC-rdfa-syntax-20081014>.

              Latest version available at
              <http://www.w3.org/TR/rdfa-syntax>.

   [W3C.REC-xhtml-basic-20080729]
              Baker, M., Ishikawa, M., Stark, P., Matsui, S., Wugofski,
              T., and T. Yamakami, "XHTML[TM] Basic 1.1", W3C
              Recommendation REC-xhtml-basic-20080729, July 2008,
              <http://www.w3.org/TR/2008/REC-xhtml-basic-20080729>.

              Latest version available at
              <http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml-basic>.








Nottingham                   Standards Track                   [Page 20]

RFC 5988                       Web Linking                  October 2010


Appendix A.  Notes on Using the Link Header with the HTML4 Format

   HTML motivated the original syntax of the Link header, and many of
   the design decisions in this document are driven by a desire to stay
   compatible with these uses.

   In HTML4, the link element can be mapped to links as specified here
   by using the "href" attribute for the target URI, and "rel" to convey
   the relation type, as in the Link header.  The context of the link is
   the URI associated with the entire HTML document.

   All of the link relation types defined by HTML4 have been included in
   the Link Relation Type registry, so they can be used without
   modification.  However, there are several potential ways to serialise
   extension relation types into HTML4, including

   o  As absolute URIs,

   o  using the document-wide "profile" attribute's URI as a prefix for
      relation types, or

   o  using the RDFa [W3C.REC-rdfa-syntax-20081014] convention of
      mapping token prefixes to URIs (in a manner similar to XML name
      spaces) (note that RDFa is only defined to work in XHTML
      [W3C.REC-xhtml-basic-20080729], but is sometimes used in HTML4).

   Individual applications of linking will therefore need to define how
   their extension links should be serialised into HTML4.

   Surveys of existing HTML content have shown that unregistered link
   relation types that are not URIs are (perhaps inevitably) common.
   Consuming HTML implementations should not consider such unregistered
   short links to be errors, but rather relation types with a local
   scope (i.e., their meaning is specific and perhaps private to that
   document).

   HTML4 also defines several attributes on links that are not
   explicitly defined by the Link header.  These attributes can be
   serialised as link-extensions to maintain fidelity.

   Finally, the HTML4 specification gives a special meaning when the
   "alternate" and "stylesheet" relation types coincide in the same
   link.  Such links should be serialised in the Link header using a
   single list of relation-types (e.g., rel="alternate stylesheet") to
   preserve this relationship.






Nottingham                   Standards Track                   [Page 21]

RFC 5988                       Web Linking                  October 2010


Appendix B.  Notes on Using the Link Header with the Atom Format

   Atom conveys links in the atom:link element, with the "href"
   attribute indicating the target IRI and the "rel" attribute
   containing the relation type.  The context of the link is either a
   feed IRI or an entry ID, depending on where it appears; generally,
   feed-level links are obvious candidates for transmission as a Link
   header.

   When serialising an atom:link into a Link header, it is necessary to
   convert target IRIs (if used) to URIs.

   Atom defines extension relation types in terms of IRIs.  This
   specification re-defines them as URIs, to simplify and reduce errors
   in their comparison.

   Atom allows registered link relation types to be serialised as
   absolute URIs.  Such relation types SHOULD be converted to the
   appropriate registered form (e.g.,
   "http://www.iana.org/assignments/relation/self" to "self") so that
   they are not mistaken for extension relation types.

   Furthermore, Atom link relation types are always compared in a case-
   sensitive fashion; therefore, registered link relation types SHOULD
   be converted to their registered form (usually, lowercase) when
   serialised in an Atom document.

   Note also that while the Link header allows multiple relations to be
   serialised in a single link, atom:link does not.  In this case, a
   single link-value may map to several atom:link elements.

   As with HTML, atom:link defines some attributes that are not
   explicitly mirrored in the Link header syntax, but they can also be
   used as link-extensions to maintain fidelity.

















Nottingham                   Standards Track                   [Page 22]

RFC 5988                       Web Linking                  October 2010


Appendix C.  Acknowledgements

   This specification lifts the idea and definition for the Link header
   from RFC 2068; credit for it belongs entirely to the authors of and
   contributors to that document.  The link relation type registrations
   themselves are sourced from several documents; see the applicable
   references.

   The author would like to thank the many people who commented upon,
   encouraged and gave feedback to this specification, especially
   including Frank Ellermann, Roy Fielding, Eran Hammer-Lahav, and
   Julian Reschke.

Author's Address

   Mark Nottingham

   EMail: mnot@mnot.net
   URI:   http://www.mnot.net/
































Nottingham                   Standards Track                   [Page 23]


Html markup produced by rfcmarkup 1.107, available from http://tools.ietf.org/tools/rfcmarkup/