Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) M. Nottingham
Request for Comments: 8288 October 2017
Category: Standards Track
This specification defines a model for the relationships between
resources on the Web ("links") and the type of those relationships
("link relation types").
It also defines the serialisation of such links in HTTP headers with
the Link header field.
Status of This Memo
This is an Internet Standards Track document.
This document is a product of the Internet Engineering Task Force
(IETF). It represents the consensus of the IETF community. It has
received public review and has been approved for publication by the
Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG). Further information on
Internet Standards is available in Section 2 of RFC 7841.
Information about the current status of this document, any errata,
and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at
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This specification defines a model for the relationships between
resources on the Web ("links") and the type of those relationships
("link relation types").
HTML [W3C.REC-html5-20141028] and Atom [RFC4287] both have well-
defined concepts of linking; Section 2 generalises this into a
framework that encompasses linking in these formats and (potentially)
Furthermore, Section 3 defines an HTTP header field for conveying
1.1. Notational Conventions
The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
"SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "NOT RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and
"OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in BCP
14 [RFC2119] [RFC8174] when, and only when, they appear in all
capitals, as shown here.
This document uses the Augmented Backus-Naur Form (ABNF) [RFC5234]
notation of [RFC7230], including the #rule, and explicitly includes
the following rules from it: quoted-string, token, SP (space), BWS
(bad whitespace), OWS (optional whitespace), RWS (required
whitespace), LOALPHA, DIGIT.
Additionally, the following rules are included:
o URI and URI-Reference from [RFC3986],
o type-name and subtype-name from [RFC6838],
o media-query-list from [W3C.REC-css3-mediaqueries-20120619], and
o Language-Tag from [RFC5646].
1.2. Conformance and Error Handling
The requirements regarding conformance and error handling highlighted
in [RFC7230], Section 2.5 apply to this document.
In this specification, a link is a typed connection between two
resources and is comprised of:
o a link context,
o a link relation type (Section 2.1),
o a link target, and
o optionally, target attributes (Section 2.2).
A link can be viewed as a statement of the form "link context has a
link relation type resource at link target, which has target
For example, "https://www.example.com/" has a "canonical" resource at
"https://example.com", which has a "type" of "text/html".
Link contexts and link targets are both Internationalized Resource
Identifiers (IRIs) [RFC3987]. However, in the common case, the link
context will also be a URI [RFC3986], because many protocols (such as
HTTP) do not support dereferencing IRIs. Likewise, the link target
will sometimes be converted to a URI (see [RFC3987], Section 3.1) in
serialisations that do not support IRIs (such as the Link header
field defined in Section 3).
This specification does not place restrictions on the cardinality of
links; there can be multiple links to and from a particular target
and multiple links of the same or different types between a given
context and target. Likewise, the relative ordering of links in any
particular serialisation, or between serialisations (e.g., the Link
header field and in-content links), is not specified or significant
in this specification; applications that wish to consider ordering
significant can do so.
Links are conveyed in link serialisations; they are the "bytes on the
wire", and can occur in various forms. For example, Atom [RFC4287]
and HTML [W3C.REC-html5-20141028] both defined serialisations of
links into their respective formats, and Section 3 defines how to
serialise links in HTTP header fields.
This specification does not define a general syntax for links across
different serialisations, nor does it mandate a specific context for
any given link; it is expected that serialisations of links will
specify both aspects.
Finally, links are used by link applications. Generally, an
application will define the link relation type(s) it uses, along with
the serialisation(s) that they might occur within. For example, the
application "Web browsing" looks for the "stylesheet" link relation
type in the HTML link serialisation (and optionally in the Link
header field), whereas the application "AtomPub" uses the "edit" and
"edit-media" link relations in the Atom serialisation.
2.1. Link Relation Types
In the simplest case, a link relation type identifies the semantics
of a link. For example, a link with the relation type "copyright"
indicates that the current link context has a copyright resource at
the link target.
Link relation types can also be used to indicate that the target
resource has particular attributes, or exhibits particular
behaviours; for example, a "service" link implies that the link
target can be used as part of a defined protocol (in this case, a
Relation types are not to be confused with media types [RFC2046];
they do not identify the format of the representation that results
when the link is dereferenced. Rather, they only describe how the
current context is related to another resource.
Relation types SHOULD NOT infer any additional semantics based upon
the presence or absence of another link relation type, or its own
cardinality of occurrence. An exception to this is the combination
of the "alternate" and "stylesheet" registered relation types, which
has special meaning in HTML for historical reasons.
There are two kinds of relation types: registered and extension.
2.1.1. Registered Relation Types
Well-defined relation types can be registered as tokens for
convenience and/or to promote reuse by other applications, using the
procedure in Section 22.214.171.124.
Registered relation type names MUST conform to the reg-rel-type rule
(see Section 3.3) and MUST be compared character by character in a
case-insensitive fashion. They SHOULD be appropriate to the
specificity of the relation type; that is, if the semantics are
highly specific to a particular application, the name should reflect
that, so that more general names are available for less-specific use.
Registered relation types MUST NOT constrain the media type of the
link context and MUST NOT constrain the available representation
media types of the link target. However, they can specify the
behaviours and properties of the target resource (e.g., allowable
HTTP methods, and request and response media types that are required
Historically, registered relation types have been identified with a
URI [RFC3986] by prefixing their names with an application-defined
base URI (e.g., see Appendix A.2). This practice is NOT RECOMMENDED,
because the resulting strings will not be considered equivalent to
the registered relation types by other applications. Applications
that do use such URIs internally MUST NOT use them in link
serialisations that do not explicitly accommodate them.
126.96.36.199. Registering Link Relation Types
The "Link Relations" registry is located at
requests can be made by following the instructions located there or
by sending an email to the <firstname.lastname@example.org> mailing list.
Registration requests consist of at least the following information:
o *Relation Name*: The name of the relation type
o *Description*: A short English description of the type's
semantics. It SHOULD be stated in terms of the relationship
between the link context and link target.
o *Reference*: Reference to the document that specifies the link
relation type, preferably including a URI that can be used to
retrieve a copy of the document. An indication of the relevant
section(s) can also be included but is not required.
The expert(s) can define additional fields to be collected in the
General requirements for registered relation types are described in
Registrations MUST reference a freely available, stable
Note that relation types can be registered by third parties
(including the expert(s)), if the expert(s) determines that an
unregistered relation type is widely deployed and not likely to be
registered in a timely manner otherwise. Such registrations still
are subject to the requirements defined, including the need to
reference a specification.
188.8.131.52. Registration Request Processing
Relation types are registered using the Specification Required policy
(see Section 4.6 of [RFC8126]), which implies review and approval by
a designated expert.
The goal of the registry is to reflect common use of links on the
Internet. Therefore, the expert(s) should be strongly biased towards
approving registrations, unless they are abusive, frivolous, not
likely to be used on the Internet, or actively harmful to the
Internet and/or the Web (not merely aesthetically displeasing or
architecturally dubious). As stated in Section 2.1.1, the expert(s)
can withhold registration of names that are too general for the
The expert(s) will clearly identify any issues that cause a
registration to be refused. Advice about the semantics of a proposed
link relation type can be given, but if it does not block
registration, this should be explicitly stated.
When a request is approved, the expert(s) will inform IANA, and the
registration will be processed. The IESG is the final arbiter of any
2.1.2. Extension Relation Types
Applications that don't wish to register a relation type can use an
extension relation type, which is a URI [RFC3986] that uniquely
identifies the relation type. Although the URI can point to a
resource that contains a definition of the semantics of the relation
type, clients SHOULD NOT automatically access that resource to avoid
overburdening its server.
The URI used for an extension relation type SHOULD be under the
control of the person or party defining it or be delegated to them.
When extension relation types are compared, they MUST be compared as
strings (after converting to URIs if serialised in a different
format) in a case-insensitive fashion, character by character.
Because of this, all-lowercase URIs SHOULD be used for extension
Note that while extension relation types are required to be URIs, a
serialisation of links can specify that they are expressed in another
form, as long as they can be converted to URIs.
2.2. Target Attributes
Target attributes are a list of key/value pairs that describe the
link or its target; for example, a media type hint.
They can be defined both by individual link relation types and by
This specification does not attempt to coordinate the name of target
attributes, their cardinality, or use. Those creating and
maintaining serialisations SHOULD coordinate their target attributes
to avoid conflicts in semantics or syntax and MAY define their own
registries of target attributes.
The names of target attributes SHOULD conform to the token rule, but
SHOULD NOT include any of the characters "%", "'", or "*", for
portability across serialisations and MUST be compared in a case-
Target attribute definitions SHOULD specify:
o The serialisation of their values into Unicode or a subset
thereof, to maximise their chances of portability across link
o The semantics and error handling of multiple occurrences of the
target attribute on a given link.
This specification does define target attributes for use in the Link
HTTP header field in Section 3.4.
3. Link Serialisation in HTTP Headers
The Link header field provides a means for serialising one or more
links into HTTP headers.
The ABNF for the field value is:
Link = #link-value
link-value = "<" URI-Reference ">" *( OWS ";" OWS link-param )
link-param = token BWS [ "=" BWS ( token / quoted-string ) ]
Note that any link-param can be generated with values using either
the token or the quoted-string syntax; therefore, recipients MUST be
able to parse both forms. In other words, the following parameters
Previous definitions of the Link header did not equate the token and
quoted-string forms explicitly; the title parameter was always
quoted, and the hreflang parameter was always a token. Senders
wishing to maximize interoperability will send them in those forms.
Individual link-params specify their syntax in terms of the value
after any necessary unquoting (as per [RFC7230], Section 3.2.6).
This specification establishes the link-params "rel", "anchor", and
"rev" (which are part of the general link model), as well as
"hreflang", "media", "title", "title*", and "type" (which are target
attributes defined by the serialisation).
3.1. Link Target
Each link-value conveys one target IRI as a URI-Reference (after
conversion to one, if necessary; see [RFC3987], Section 3.1) inside
angle brackets ("<>"). If the URI-Reference is relative, parsers
MUST resolve it as per [RFC3986], Section 5. Note that any base IRI
appearing in the message's content is not applied.
3.2. Link Context
By default, the context of a link conveyed in the Link header field
is the URL of the representation it is associated with, as defined in
[RFC7231], Section 184.108.40.206, and is serialised as a URI.
When present, the anchor parameter overrides this with another URI,
such as a fragment of this resource, or a third resource (i.e., when
the anchor value is an absolute URI). If the anchor parameter's
value is a relative URI, parsers MUST resolve it as per [RFC3986],
Section 5. Note that any base URI from the body's content is not
The ABNF for the "anchor" parameter's value is:
URI-Reference ; Section 4.1 of [RFC3986]
Link application can choose to ignore links with an anchor parameter.
For example, the application in use might not allow the link context
to be assigned to a different resource. In such cases, the entire
link is to be ignored; link applications MUST NOT process the link
without applying the anchor.
Note that depending on HTTP status code and response headers, the
link context might be "anonymous" (i.e., no link context is
available). For example, this is the case on a 404 response to a GET
3.3. Relation Type
The relation type of a link conveyed in the Link header field is
conveyed in the "rel" parameter's value. The rel parameter MUST be
present but MUST NOT appear more than once in a given link-value;
occurrences after the first MUST be ignored by parsers.
The rel parameter can, however, contain multiple link relation types.
When this occurs, it establishes multiple links that share the same
context, target, and target attributes.
The "rev" parameter has been used in the past to indicate that the
semantics of the relationship are in the reverse direction. That is,
a link from A to B with REL="X" expresses the same relationship as a
link from B to A with REV="X". rev is deprecated by this
specification because it often confuses authors and readers; in most
cases, using a separate relation type is preferable.
The ABNF for the rel and rev parameters' values is:
relation-type *( 1*SP relation-type )
relation-type = reg-rel-type / ext-rel-type
reg-rel-type = LOALPHA *( LOALPHA / DIGIT / "." / "-" )
ext-rel-type = URI ; Section 3 of [RFC3986]
Note that extension relation types are REQUIRED to be absolute URIs
in Link header fields and MUST be quoted when they contain characters
not allowed in tokens, such as a semicolon (";") or comma (",") (as
these characters are used as delimiters in the header field itself).
3.4. Target Attributes
The Link header field defines several target attributes specific to
this serialisation and also allows extension target attributes.
Target attributes are serialised in the Link header field as
parameters (see [RFC7231], Section 220.127.116.11 for the definition of
3.4.1. Serialisation-Defined Attributes
The "hreflang", "media", "title", "title*", and "type" link-params
can be translated to serialisation-defined target attributes for the
The "hreflang" attribute, when present, is a hint indicating what the
language of the result of dereferencing the link should be. Note
that this is only a hint; for example, it does not override the
Content-Language header field of a HTTP response obtained by actually
following the link. Multiple hreflang attributes on a single link-
value indicate that multiple languages are available from the
The ABNF for the hreflang parameter's value is:
The "media" attribute, when present, is used to indicate intended
destination medium or media for style information (see
[W3C.REC-html5-20141028], Section 4.2.4). Its value MUST be quoted
if it contains a semicolon (";") or comma (","). There MUST NOT be
more than one media attribute in a link-value; occurrences after the
first MUST be ignored by parsers.
The ABNF for the media parameter's value is:
The "title" attribute, when present, is used to label the destination
of a link such that it can be used as a human-readable identifier
(e.g., a menu entry) in the language indicated by the Content-
Language header field (if present). The title attribute MUST NOT
appear more than once in a given link; occurrences after the first
MUST be ignored by parsers.
The "title*" link-param can be used to encode this attribute in a
different character set and/or contain language information as per
[RFC8187]. The title* link-param MUST NOT appear more than once in a
given link-value; occurrences after the first MUST be ignored by
parsers. If the attribute does not contain language information, its
language is indicated by the Content-Language header field (when
If both the title and title* link-params appear in a link,
applications SHOULD use the title* link-param's value for the title
The "type" attribute, when present, is a hint indicating what the
media type of the result of dereferencing the link should be. Note
that this is only a hint; for example, it does not override the
Content-Type header field of a HTTP response obtained by actually
following the link. The type attribute MUST NOT appear more than
once in a given link-value; occurrences after the first MUST be
ignored by parsers.
The ABNF for the type parameter's value is:
type-name "/" subtype-name ; see Section 4.2 of [RFC6838]
3.4.2. Extension Attributes
Other link-params are link-extensions and are to be considered as
Such target attributes MAY be defined to use the encoding in
[RFC8187] (e.g., "example" and "example*"). When both forms are
present, they SHOULD be considered to be the same target attribute;
applications SHOULD use the value of the name ending in "*" (after
[RFC8187] decoding) but MAY fall back to the other value if there is
an error in decoding it, or if they do not support decoding.
3.5. Link Header Field Examples
Link: <http://example.com/TheBook/chapter2>; rel="previous";
indicates that "chapter2" is previous to this resource in a logical
Link: </>; rel="http://example.net/foo"
indicates that the root resource ("/") is related to this resource
with the extension relation type "http://example.net/foo".
Link: </terms>; rel="copyright"; anchor="#foo"
indicates that the linked copyright terms only apply to the portion
of the document indicated by the (media type-specific) fragment
The example below shows an instance of the Link header field encoding
multiple links and also the use of the encoding from RFC 8187 to
encode both non-ASCII characters and language information.
Here, both links have titles encoded in UTF-8, both use the German
language ("de"), and the second link contains the Unicode code point
U+00E4 ("LATIN SMALL LETTER A WITH DIAERESIS").
Note that link-values can convey multiple links between the same link
target and link context; for example:
Here, the link to "http://example.org/" has the registered relation
type "start" and the extension relation type
Finally, this header field:
Link: <https://example.org/>; rel="start",
is equivalent to these:
Link: <https://example.org/>; rel="start"
Link: <https://example.org/index>; rel="index"
4. IANA Considerations
4.1. Link HTTP Header Field Registration
This specification updates the "Message Headers" registry entry for
"Link" in HTTP [RFC3864] to refer to this document.
Header Field Name: Link
Reference: RFC 8288
4.2. Link Relation Type Registry
This specification updates the registration procedures for the "Link
Relation Types" registry; see Section 18.104.22.168. Also, all references
to RFC 5988 in that registry have been replaced with references to
IANA will direct any incoming requests regarding the registry to this
document and, if defined, the processes established by the expert(s);
typically, this will mean referring them to the registry Web page.
Note that the expert(s) is allowed (as per Section 22.214.171.124) to define
additional fields to be collected in the registry.
4.3. Link Relation Application Data Registry
Per this specification, IANA has removed the "Link Relation
Application Data" registry, as it has not been used, and future use
is not anticipated.
5. Security Considerations
The content of the Link header field is not secure, private, or
integrity-guaranteed. Use of Transport Layer Security (TLS) with
HTTP [RFC2818] is currently the only end-to-end way to provide these
Link applications ought to consider the attack vectors opened by
automatically following, trusting, or otherwise using links gathered
from HTTP header fields.
For example, Link header fields that use the "anchor" parameter to
associate a link's context with another resource cannot be trusted
since they are effectively assertions by a third party that could be
incorrect or malicious. Applications can mitigate this risk by
specifying that such links should be discarded unless some
relationship between the resources is established (e.g., they share
the same authority).
Dereferencing links has a number of risks, depending on the
application in use. For example, the Referer header [RFC7231] can
expose information about the application's state (including private
information) in its value. Likewise, cookies [RFC6265] are another
mechanism that, if used, can become an attack vector. Applications
can mitigate these risks by carefully specifying how such mechanisms
The Link header field makes extensive use of IRIs and URIs. See
[RFC3987], Section 8 for security considerations relating to IRIs.
See [RFC3986], Section 7 for security considerations relating to
URIs. See [RFC7230], Section 9 for security considerations relating
to HTTP header fields.
Appendix A. Notes on Other Link Serialisations
Header fields (Section 3) are only one serialisation of links; other
specifications have defined alternative serialisations.
A.1. Link Serialisation in HTML
HTML motivated the original syntax of the Link header field, and many
of the design decisions in this document are driven by a desire to
stay compatible with it.
In HTML, the link element can be mapped to links as specified here by
using the "href" attribute for the target URI, and "rel" to convey
the relation type, as in the Link header field. The context of the
link is the URI associated with the entire HTML document. HTML also
defines several attributes on links that can be seen as target
attributes, including "media", "hreflang", "type", and "sizes".
Section 4.8 of HTML5 [W3C.REC-html5-20141028] defines modern HTML
links. That document links to the Microformats Wiki as a registry;
over time, the IANA registry ought to mirror its contents and,
ideally, eventually replace it (although that depends on the HTML
Surveys of existing HTML content have shown that unregistered link
relation types that are not URIs are (perhaps inevitably) common.
Consuming HTML implementations ought not consider such unregistered
short links to be errors, but rather relation types with a local
scope (i.e., their meaning is specific and perhaps private to that
Finally, the HTML specification gives a special meaning when the
"alternate" relation types coincide with other relation types in the
same link. Such links ought to be serialised in the Link header
field using a single list of relation-types (e.g., rel="alternate
stylesheet") to preserve this relationship.
A.2. Link Serialisation in Atom
Atom [RFC4287] is a link serialisation that conveys links in the
atom:link element, with the "href" attribute indicating the link
target and the "rel" attribute containing the relation type. The
context of the link is either a feed locator or an entry ID,
depending on where it appears; generally, feed-level links are
obvious candidates for transmission as a Link header field.
When serialising an atom:link into a Link header field, it is
necessary to convert link targets (if used) to URIs.
Atom defines extension relation types in terms of IRIs. This
specification redefines them as URIs, to simplify and reduce errors
in their comparison.
Atom allows registered link relation types to be serialised as
absolute URIs using a prefix, "http://www.iana.org/assignments/
relation/". This prefix is specific to the Atom serialisation.
Furthermore, link relation types are always compared in a case-
sensitive fashion; therefore, registered link relation types SHOULD
be converted to their registered form (usually, lowercase) when
serialised in an Atom document.
Note also that while the Link header field allows multiple relations
to be serialised in a single link, atom:link does not. In this case,
a single link-value may map to several atom:link elements.
As with HTML, atom:link defines some attributes that are not
explicitly mirrored in the Link header field syntax, but they can
also be used as link-extensions to maintain fidelity.
Appendix B. Algorithms for Parsing Link Header Fields
This appendix outlines a set of non-normative algorithms: for parsing
the Link header(s) out of a header set, for parsing a Link header
field value, and algorithms for parsing generic parts of the field
These algorithms are more permissive than the ABNF defining the
syntax might suggest; the error handling embodied in them is a
reasonable approach, but not one that is required. As such they are
advisory only, and in cases where there is disagreement, the correct
behaviour is defined by the body of this specification.
B.1. Parsing a Header Set for Links
This algorithm can be used to parse the Link header fields that a
HTTP header set contains. Given a header_set of (string field_name,
string field_value) pairs, assuming ASCII encoding, it returns a list
of link objects.
1. Let field_values be a list containing the members of header_set
whose field_name is a case-insensitive match for "link".
2. Let links be an empty list.
3. For each field_value in field_values:
1. Let value_links be the result of Parsing a Link Field Value
(Appendix B.2) from field_value.
2. Append each member of value_links to links.
4. Return links.
B.2. Parsing a Link Field Value
This algorithm parses zero or more comma-separated link-values from a
Link header field. Given a string field_value, assuming ASCII
encoding, it returns a list of link objects.
1. Let links be an empty list.
2. While field_value has content:
1. Consume any leading OWS.
2. If the first character is not "<", return links.
3. Discard the first character ("<").
4. Consume up to but not including the first ">" character or
end of field_value and let the result be target_string.
5. If the next character is not ">", return links.
6. Discard the leading ">" character.
7. Let link_parameters be the result of Parsing Parameters
(Appendix B.3) from field_value (consuming zero or more
characters of it).
8. Let target_uri be the result of relatively resolving (as per
[RFC3986], Section 5.2) target_string. Note that any base
URI carried in the payload body is NOT used.
9. Let relations_string be the second item of the first tuple
of link_parameters whose first item matches the string "rel"
or the empty string ("") if it is not present.
10. Split relations_string on RWS (removing it in the process)
into a list of string relation_types.
11. Let context_string be the second item of the first tuple of
link_parameters whose first item matches the string
"anchor". If it is not present, context_string is the URL
of the representation carrying the Link header [RFC7231],
Section 126.96.36.199, serialised as a URI. Where the URL is
anonymous, context_string is null.
12. Let context_uri be the result of relatively resolving (as
per [RFC3986], Section 5.2) context_string, unless
context_string is null, in which case context is null. Note
that any base URI carried in the payload body is NOT used.
13. Let target_attributes be an empty list.
14. For each tuple (param_name, param_value) of link_parameters:
1. If param_name matches "rel" or "anchor", skip this
2. If param_name matches "media", "title", "title*", or
"type" and target_attributes already contains a tuple
whose first element matches the value of param_name,
skip this tuple.
3. Append (param_name, param_value) to target_attributes.
15. Let star_param_names be the set of param_names in the
(param_name, param_value) tuples of link_parameters where
the last character of param_name is an asterisk ("*").
16. For each star_param_name in star_param_names:
1. Let base_param_name be star_param_name with the last
2. If the implementation does not choose to support an
internationalised form of a parameter named
base_param_name for any reason (including, but not
limited to, it being prohibited by the parameter's
specification), remove all tuples from link_parameters
whose first member is star_param_name, and skip to the
3. Remove all tuples from link_parameters whose first
member is base_param_name.
4. Change the first member of all tuples in link_parameters
whose first member is star_param_name to
17. For each relation_type in relation_types:
1. Case-normalise relation_type to lowercase.
2. Append a link object to links with the target
target_uri, relation type of relation_type, context of
context_uri, and target attributes target_attributes.
3. Return links.
B.3. Parsing Parameters
This algorithm parses the parameters from a header field value.
Given input, an ASCII string, it returns a list of (string
parameter_name, string parameter_value) tuples that it contains.
input is modified to remove the parsed parameters.
1. Let parameters be an empty list.
2. While input has content:
1. Consume any leading OWS.
2. If the first character is not ";", return parameters.
3. Discard the leading ";" character.
4. Consume any leading OWS.
5. Consume up to but not including the first BWS, "=", ";", or
"," character, or up to the end of input, and let the result
6. Consume any leading BWS.
7. If the next character is "=":
1. Discard the leading "=" character.
2. Consume any leading BWS.
3. If the next character is DQUOTE, let parameter_value be
the result of Parsing a Quoted String (Appendix B.4)
from input (consuming zero or more characters of it).
4. Else, consume the contents up to but not including the
first ";" or "," character, or up to the end of input,
and let the results be parameter_value.
5. If the last character of parameter_name is an asterisk
("*"), decode parameter_value according to [RFC8187].
Continue processing input if an unrecoverable error is
1. Let parameter_value be an empty string.
9. Case-normalise parameter_name to lowercase.
10. Append (parameter_name, parameter_value) to parameters.
11. Consume any leading OWS.
12. If the next character is "," or the end of input, stop
processing input and return parameters.
B.4. Parsing a Quoted String
This algorithm parses a quoted string, as per [RFC7230],
Section 3.2.6. Given input, an ASCII string, it returns an unquoted
string. input is modified to remove the parsed string.
1. Let output be an empty string.
2. If the first character of input is not DQUOTE, return output.
3. Discard the first character.
4. While input has content:
1. If the first character is a backslash ("\"):
1. Discard the first character.
2. If there is no more input, return output.
3. Else, consume the first character and append it to
2. Else, if the first character is DQUOTE, discard it and return
3. Else, consume the first character and append it to output.
5. Return output.
Appendix C. Changes from RFC 5988
This specification has the following differences from its
predecessor, RFC 5988:
o The initial relation type registrations were removed, since
they've already been registered by RFC 5988.
o The introduction has been shortened.
o The "Link Relation Application Data" registry has been removed.
o Incorporated errata.
o Updated references.
o Link cardinality was clarified.
o Terminology was changed from "target IRI" and "context IRI" to
"link target" and "link context", respectively.
o Made assigning a URI to registered relation types serialisation
o Removed misleading statement that the Link header field is
semantically equivalent to HTML and Atom links.
o More carefully defined and used "link serialisations" and "link
o Clarified the cardinality of target attributes (generically and
o Corrected the default link context for the Link header field, to
be dependent upon the identity of the representation (as per
o Defined a suggested parsing algorithm for the Link header.
o The value space of target attributes and their definition has been
o The ABNF has been updated to be compatible with [RFC7230]. In
particular, whitespace is now explicit.
o Some parameters on the HTTP header field can now appear as a
o Parameters on the HTTP header can now be valueless.
o Handling of quoted strings is now defined by [RFC7230].
o The "type" header field parameter now needs to be quoted (as
"token" does not allow "/").