W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > ietf-http-wg-old@w3.org > January to April 1995

Re: Getting full URI to the server

From: M. Hedlund <march@europa.com>
Date: Sun, 12 Feb 1995 12:50:45 -0800
Message-Id: <v02110100ab641aecc9ce@[199.2.194.110]>
To: http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com
rom Roy T. Fielding:
> The final question is: Does the additional functionality justify the cost
> and effort of including the Host header in the 1.1 standard, with the
> necessarily strong recommendation that it be included with all requests?
>
> In my opinion, the answer to this last question is NO.

rom John Franks:
>I suspect that the ability to customize the default page based on
>hostname part of the URL is the single most requested feature from
>server maintainers.  I doubt that a week goes by without a thread on
>this subject in c.i.w.providers.  The practice of using multiple IP
>addresses on a single host for the sole purpose of working around this
>deficiency in the protocol is becoming increasingly common.

Though I can't find it right now, there is actually a web page/tutorial
devoted to using multiple IP addresses on one network interface for this
purpose.

>Those who are critical of adding a new HTTP header just for "vanity
>addresses" should keep in mind that the likely alternative is the
>wasteful use of IP addresses just for vanity addresses.

Not only is it likely, it is happening quite a bit.  There are plenty of
businesses buying machines and connections exclusively to put up web
servers, and they often want to split costs with other businesses.

I agree with Roy that some protocol enhancement should drive the addition
of a Host: header.  It is currently possible to put more than one server at
one address by assigning one of them a non-standard port number
(http://www.name.dom/ and http://www.name.dom:8080/).  A Host: header could
provide the same functionality in a transparent manner.  As Chuck Shotton
mentioned, this addition would require no change to servers.  The benefit
-- allowing providers to seperate offerings into categories without making
the user choose from a home page menu -- seems worthwhile.  Not just to
businesses.

M. Hedlund <march@europa.com>
Received on Sunday, 12 February 1995 12:52:33 EST

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