Question on HTTP URLs

John Franks (
Thu, 1 Sep 1994 05:05:25 +0200

I am writing an HTTP server and I plan to have it recognize URLs
like the following:





These will do various types of searches or in the last case
provide a description of the file generated on the fly.

My question is will the use of the ';' as a delimiter for parameters
cause any conflicts with current or planned usage. According to
the most recent document I can find on the subject the ';' is reserved
(see excerpt below) but there is no indcation of its intended use.
By my reading of this document it is completely legal to have a
';' in my URL if it is URL escaped. But I would like to know
if it can be unescaped as in the examples above.

Here is an excerpt from:
Uniform Resource Locators T. Berners-Lee
draft-ietf-uri-url-06.txt L. Masinter
Expires March 13, 1995 M. McCahill

Begin excerpt
An HTTP URL takes the form:


Within the <path> and <searchpart> components, "/", ";", "?" are
reserved. The "/" character may be used within HTTP to designate a
hierarchical structure.

End excerpt

John Franks Dept of Math. Northwestern University