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Re: HTTP should be able to transfer part of a document

From: John Franks <john@math.nwu.edu>
Date: Wed, 8 Mar 1995 08:29:00 -0600 (CST)
Message-Id: <199503081429.IAA27824@hopf.math.nwu.edu>
To: http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com
According to Adam Dingle:
> In HTTP 1.0 there seems to be no way to retrieve a given 
> part of a document, e.g. bytes 1500000 through 1600000 of 
> a long binary file.  This seems to be an important 
> limitation, but I haven't seen any discussion of adding 
> the capability for partial  document retrieval to the next
> version of HTTP, so I thought I'd bring it up  here.
> 
> I would be very interested to hear any comments about this.
> 

Some of the capability you discusss has been in the WN server since its
beginning and in it predecessor GN.  With the WN server, for example, the
URLs

	http://host/dir/foo;bytes=15000-25000
and

	http://host/dir/foo;lines=256-1024

request the corresponding byte and line ranges of file foo.  The lines
version is only allowed for files of type text/*.  The content-type is
often changed.  E.g. a line range from a text/html file is given
content type text/plain.

This has more uses than you might expect, primarily with text/plain files.
See <URL:http://hopf.math.nwu.edu/docs/utility.html#digest>.
See <URL:http://hopf.math.nwu.edu/> for more information about WN.

John Franks
Received on Wednesday, 8 March 1995 06:37:44 EST

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