W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > http-caching-historical@w3.org > February 1996

Re: backward compatibility of non-cachable headers

From: Paul Leach <paulle@microsoft.com>
Date: Tue, 27 Feb 96 18:10:44 PST
To: fielding@avron.ics.uci.edu, sjk@amazon.com
Cc: http-caching@pa.dec.com, state@xent.w3.org
Message-Id: red-16-msg960228020349MTP[01.52.00]000000b1-118701

] >                             The problem is that the reference to "the
] > request" in the final sentence is unclear:  does it refer to (1) the
] > request for which the response contains cache-control: max-age=n?  Or
] > does it refer to (2) "a new request" for that resource?
] (2).  I suppose we should add "new" for that sentence to go along with
] all the other times it is mentioned in that paragragh, but there is
] no other reasonable interpretation of that feature.

But it can take the reader a long time to decide that there really is 
no other reasonable
interpretation. In specs, unlike novels, I think the reader has to 
assume that if the author uses a different word, or wording or 
phrasing, its because they are trying to tell the reader that there's 
really something different going on, not just because it would sound 
better (less pedantic or less repetitious).

For example, I've spent a lot of time on paragraphs of the HTTP spec 
where it said something like "resource" in one sentence and "entity" in 
the next, trying to decide if they really meant to the same thing, or 
if there was something that I just didn't get.

It's especially hard before you learn the "gestalt" of HTTP.

Yours for pendanticism,
Received on Wednesday, 28 February 1996 02:20:39 UTC

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