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IETF URI Working Group
Expires August 24, 1995

                             finger URL Specification

Status of This Memo

     This document is an Internet-Draft.  Internet-Drafts are working
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A new URL scheme, "finger", is defined. It allows client software to
request information from finger servers that conform to RFC 1288.


Many Internet hosts publish information through the finger protocol, as
described in RFC 1288. In order to allow that information to be located
in a standard fashion, a "finger" URL is needed.

The "finger" URL has the form:


where <request> is of the form:


All requests must be sent to the standard TCP finger port, 79 (decimal).
A finger URL that does not include a host name, such as:


should be rejected by the client software.

The request send by a finger client should follow the rules in RFC 1288
for stripping host names. For example, the URL:


would cause a finger client to send the request "someuser<CRLF>" to
port 79 at host1.bigstate.edu.


RFC1738 requires that many characters in URLs be encoded. This affects
the finger scheme in that some requests may contain space (" ", ASCII
hex 20) and forward slash ("/", ASCII hex 2F). These characters must be
encoded in the URL following the rules in RFC 1738. Clients should not
decode CR and LF characters in a URL.


Typically, a finger URL will be something like:


However, note that some requests might look like:





RFC 1288 contains a detailed section on both client and host security that
should be read by anyone implementing clients that allow the finger URL.
Specifically, client software should check for any unsafe characters and
character strings received before displaying the results of a query.

Author contact information:

Paul E. Hoffman
Proper Publishing
127 Segre Place
Santa Cruz, CA  95060 USA
Tel: 408-426-6222

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