Discovery of voiD descriptions with well-known URIs

In voiD 2.0, a new discovery mechanism, based on the .well-known URI mechanism as of RFC 5758 is being prepared, see section 7.2 Discovery with well-known URI of the voiD guide. Note that progress on the registration of /.well-known/void with IETF is tracked under Issue 74 in the voiD Issue Tracker.


A voiD file is a machine-readable description of an RDF dataset. This specification describes how well-known URIs can be used to locate a voiD file that describes RDF data published on a given host.

1. Intro

The voiD guide [VOID-GUIDE] describes how to construct and deploy voiD files in order to describe datasets.
This specification makes use of the "well known URI" feature [RFC5785] of HTTP servers to provide a well known URI for voiD files, so that they can be
located by clients. It registers the well-known URI name "void" for voiD files. This means that the well-known location for a voiD file on the host is

Note that the key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT", "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119].

2. voiD well-known URI

The ".well-known" URI "void" is registered by this specification for voiD files. The voiD files are described in the voiD guide [VOID-GUIDE], section "6.2 Publishing a voiD file alongside a dataset". The ".well-known" URI points to a resource that the client can use to retrieve the top-level voiD file for a dataset.

Clients MUST handle HTTP redirects on the ".well-known" URI.

3. IANA Considerations

This document defines a ".well-known" URI using the registration procedure and template from Section 5.1 of [RFC5785].

 URI suffix:  void

 Change controller:  voiD editors, that is: Keith Alexander, Richard Cyganiak, Michael Hausenblas and Jun Zhao.

 Specification document(s):  This document.

 Related information:  See also [VOID-GUIDE].

4. Normative References

Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.
Nottingham, M., and Hammer-Lahav, E., "Defining Well-Known Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs)", RFC 5785, April 2010.
Alexander, K., Cyganiak, R., Hausenblas, M., and Zhao, J., "Describing Linked Datasets with the voiD Vocabulary",, W3C Editor's Draft for an Interest Group Note, 16 December 2010.