Network Working Group P. Hoffman
Request for Comments: 4156 VPN Consortium
Category: Historic August 2005 The wais URI Scheme
Status of This Memo
This memo defines a Historic Document for the Internet community. It
does not specify an Internet standard of any kind. Distribution of
this memo is unlimited.
Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2005).
This document specifies the wais Uniform Resource Identifier (URI)
scheme that was originally specified in RFC 1738. The purpose of
this document is to allow RFC 1738 to be made obsolete while keeping
the information about the scheme on standards track.
URIs were previously defined in RFC 2396 [RFC2396], which was updated
by RFC 3986 [RFC3986]. Those documents also specify how to define
schemes for URIs.
The first definitions for many URI schemes appeared in RFC 1738
[RFC1738]. Because that document has been made obsolete, this
document copies the wais URI scheme from it to allow that material to
remain on standards track.
2. Scheme Definition
The WAIS URL scheme is used to designate WAIS databases, searches, or
individual documents available from a WAIS database. The WAIS
protocol is described in RFC 1625 [RFC1625]. Although the WAIS
protocol is based on Z39.50-1988, the WAIS URL scheme is not intended
for use with arbitrary Z39.50 services.
Historical note: The WAIS protocol was not widely implemented and
almost no WAIS servers are in use today.
A WAIS URL takes one of the following forms:
If :<port> is omitted, the port defaults to 210. The first form
designates a WAIS database that is available for searching. The
second form designates a particular search. <database> is the name of
the WAIS database being queried.
The third form designates a particular document, within a WAIS
database, to be retrieved. In this form <wtype> is the WAIS
designation of the type of the object. Many WAIS implementations
require that a client know the "type" of an object prior to
retrieval; the type is returned along with the internal object
identifier in the search response. The <wtype> is included in the
URL in order to give the client interpreting the URL adequate
information to actually retrieve the document.
The <wpath> of a WAIS URL consists of the WAIS document-id. The WAIS
document-id should be treated opaquely; it may only be decomposed by
the server that issued it.
3. Security Considerations
Many security considerations for URI schemes are discussed in
[RFC3986]. There are no security considerations listed in [RFC1625],
but it should be noted that there is no privacy nor authentication
specified in the WAIS protocol.
4. Informative References
[RFC1738] Berners-Lee, T., Masinter, L., and M. McCahill, "Uniform
Resource Locators (URL)", RFC 1738, December 1994.
[RFC2396] Berners-Lee, T., Fielding, R., and L. Masinter, "Uniform
Resource Identifiers (URI): Generic Syntax", RFC 2396,
[RFC3986] Berners-Lee, T., Fielding, R., and L. Masinter, "Uniform
Resource Identifier (URI): Generic Syntax", STD 66,
RFC 3986, January 2005.
[RFC1625] St. Pierre, M., Fullton, J., Gamiel, K., Goldman, J.,
Kahle, B., Kunze, J., Morris, H., and F. Schiettecatte,
"WAIS over Z39.50-1988", RFC 1625, June 1994.
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