Network Working Group                            S.E. Hardcastle-Kille
Requests for Comments 1278                   University College London
                                                         November 1991

A string encoding of Presentation Address

Status of this Memo
This memo provides information for the Internet community. It does not specify an Internet standard. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

There are a number of environments where a simple string encoding of Presentation Address is desirable. This specification defines such a representation.

1 Introduction

OSI Application Entities use presentation addresses to address other
Application Entities. The model for this is defined in [ISO87b].
Presentation addresses are stored in the OSI Directory using an ASN.1
representation defined by the OSI Directory [CCI88]. Logically, a
presentation address consists of:

The selectors are all octet strings, but often have IA5 character
representations. The format of network addresses is defined in
There is a need to represent presentation addresses as strings in a
number of different contexts. This Internet Draft defines a format
for use on the Internet. It is for display to human users, and its
use is recommended whenever this needs to be done. Typically, this
will be for system managers rather than for end users. It is not
intended for internal storage.

This Internet Draft was originally published as UCL Research Note
RN/89/14 [Kil89]. It was agreed as a unified syntax for the THORN and
ISODE projects. It is used throughout ISODE.
Christian Huitema of Inria and Marshall Rose of PSI Inc. gave much
useful input to this document.

2 Requirements

The main requirements are:

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    --  IA5

    --  Decimal digits encoded as IA5 (this is the most common syntax
        in Europe, as it is required by X.400(84) and should receive a
        straightforward encoding)

    --  Numeric encoded as a 16 bit unsigned integer (US GOSIP). This
        is mapped onto two octets, with the first octet being the high
        order byte of the integer.

    --  General Hexadecimal

    --  X.25(80) Networks

    --  TCP/IP Networks

3 Format


<digit> ::= [0-9]
<other> ::= [0-9a-zA-Z+-.]
<domainchar> ::= [0-9a-zA-Z-.]
<hexdigit> ::= [0-9a-fA-F]
<hexoctet> ::= <hexdigit> <hexdigit>
<decimaloctet> ::= <digit> | <digit> <digit>
                        | <digit> <digit> <digit>

<digitstring> ::= <digit> <digitstring> 10
                        | <digit>
<otherstring> ::= <other> <otherstring>
                        | <other>

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<domainstring> ::= <domainchar> <otherstring>
                        | <domainchar>
<hexstring> ::= <hexoctet> <hexstring> | <hexoctet>

<dotstring> ::= <decimaloctet> "." <dotstring>
                | <decimaloctet> "." <decimaloctet>

<dothexstring> ::= <dotstring> | <hexstring>

<presentation-address> ::=
[[[ <psel> "/" ] <ssel> "/" ] <tsel> "/" ]

<network-address-list> ::= <network-address> "_" <network-address-list>30
                           | <network-address>

<psel> ::= <selector>
<ssel> ::= <selector>
<tsel> ::= <selector>

<selector> ::= '"' <otherstring> '"' -- IA5
                                             -- For chars not in this
                                             -- string use hex
                | "#" <digitstring>          -- US GOSIP            40
                | "'" <hexstring> "'H"       -- Hex
                | ""                         -- Empty but present

<network-address> ::= "NS" "+" <dothexstring>
                                 -- Concrete Binary Representation
                                 -- This is the compact encoding
        | <afi> "+" <idi> [ "+" <dsp> ]
                                -- A user oriented form
        | <idp> "+" <hexstring>
                                -- ISO 8348 Compatability           50

<idp> ::= <digitstring> -

<dsp> ::=
        | "d" <digitstring>          -- Abstract Decimal
        | "x" <dothexstring>            -- Abstract Binary
        | "l" <otherstring>             -- IA5:  local form only

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        | "RFC-1006" "+" <prefix> "+" <ip>
           [ "+" <port> [ "+" <tset> ]]
        | "X.25(80)" "+" <prefix> "+" <dte>                         60
           [ "+" <cudf-or-pid> "+" <hexstring> ]
        | "ECMA-117-Binary" "+" <hexstring> "+" <hexstring>
           "+" <hexstring>
        | "ECMA-117-Decimal" "+" <digitstring> "+"
           <digitstring> "+" <digitstring>

<idi> ::= <digitstring>
<afi> ::= "X121" | "DCC" | "TELEX" | "PSTN" | "ISDN"
                | "ICD" | "LOCAL"
<prefix> ::= <digit> <digit>

<ip> ::= <domainstring>
                        -- dotted decimal form (e.g.,
                        -- or domain (e.g.,
<port> ::= <digitstring>
<tset> ::= <digitstring>

<dte> ::= <digitstring>
<cudf-or-pid> ::= "CUDF" | "PID" 80


Four examples:





Note that the RFC 1006 encoding permits use of either a DNS Domain
Name or an IP address. The former is primarily for ease of entry. If
this DNS Domain Name maps onto multiple IP addresses, then multiple
network addresses should be generated. The DNS Domain Name form is

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for convenient input. When mapping from an encoded address to string
form, the IP address form should always be used.

4 Encoding

Selectors are represented in a manner which can be easily encoded. In
the NS notation, the concrete binary form of network address is given.
Otherwise, this string notation provides a mechanism for representing
the Abstract Syntax of a Network Address. This must be encoded
according to Addendum 2 of ISO 8348 [ISO87a].

5 Macros

There are often common addresses, for which a cleaner representation
is desired. This is achieved by use of Macros. If a
<network-address> can be parsed as:

<otherstring> "=" *( any )

Then the leading string is taken as a Macro, which is substituted.
This may be applied recursively. When presenting Network Address to
humans, the longest available substitution should be used. For


                       |_Macro_|Value__________ |
                       | UK.AC |DCC+826+d110000 |
                       |_Leeds_|UK.AC=120______ |

Then ``Leeds=22'' would be expanded to ``DCC+826+d11000012022''.

6 Standard Macros

No Macros should ever be relied on. However, the following are
suggested as standard.

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           |_Macro_____________|Value______________________ |
           | Int-X25(80)       |TELEX+00728722+X25(80)+01+  |
           | Janet-X25(80)     |TELEX+00728722+X25(80)+02+  |
           | Internet-RFC-1006 |TELEX+00728722+RFC-1006+03+ |

7 References


[CCI88] The Directory --- overview of concepts, models and services,
December 1988. CCITT X.500 Series Recommendations.

[HK91] S.E. Hardcastle-Kille. Encoding network addresses to support
operation over non-osi lower layers. Request for Comments RFC 1277, Department of Computer Science, University College London, November 1991.

[ISO87a] Information processing systems - data communications -
network services definition: Addendum 2 - network layer addressing, March 1987. ISO TC 97/SC 6.

[ISO87b] ISO DIS 7498-3 on naming and addressing, May 1987.

[Kil89] S.E. Kille. A string encoding of presentation address.
Research Note RN/89/14, Department of Computer Science, University College London, February 1989.

8 Security Considerations

Security considerations are not discussed in this memo.

9 Author's Address

Steve Hardcastle-Kille
Department of Computer Science
University College London
Gower Street

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Phone: +44-71-380-7294

EMail: S.Kille@CS.UCL.AC.UK

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