Re: A modest proposal for access authentication

Martin Hamilton (
Fri, 17 Sep 1993 07:29:55 +0100 (BST)

Larry said:

> The modest proposal is: use FTP.
> a) add a new kind of URL: FTPU://host/path
> this URL is like FTP: except that it assumes that the user will
> supply a user name and password, i.e., not anonymous access

how about <> ?

i think this is in the URL draft...

Internet protocol parts

Those schemes which refer to internet protocols have a
common syntax for the rest of the object name. This starts
with a double slash "//" to indicate its presence, and
continues until the following slash "/". Within that section

. An optional user name, if this must be quoted to the
server, followed by a commercial at sign "@". (Use
of this field is discouraged. Provision of encoding
a password after the user name, delimited by a
colon, could be made but obviously is only useful
when the password is public, in which case it
should not be necessary, so that is also



The ftp: prefix indicates a file which is to be picked up
from the file system of the given host. The FTP protocol is
used. The port number if given gives the port of the FTP
server if not the FTP default. (A client may in practice use
local file access to retrieve objects which are available
though more efficient means such as local file open or NFS
mounting, where this is available and equivalent)

The syntax allows for the inclusion of a user name and even
a password for those systems which do not use the anonymous
FTP convention. The default, however, if no user or password
is supplied, will be to use that convention, viz. that the
user name is "anonymous" and the password the user's mail


I have a quibble though - the BNF for "fileaddress" doesn't include
the user name / password component, or an optional port number:

fileaddress f t p : / / host / path
hostport host [ : port ]
host hostname | hostnumber

Could we get something more along the lines of the telnet entry
into it please? ...

fileaddress f t p : / / [ user @ ] hostport / path

Tim, are you listening?? :-))