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v10-spec-00 comments

From: Owen Rees <rtor@ansa.co.uk>
Date: Tue, 21 Mar 1995 17:57:15 +0000
Message-Id: <9503211757.AA28180@plato.ansa.co.uk>
To: http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com
Comments on draft-ietf-http-v10-spec-00. The comments on Accept, Message-ID 
and Version are more important than the others.

3.2 Universal Resource Identifiers

Should refer to RFC1738 as the standard for URLs including the http scheme, 
escaping rules and allowed characters.

3.3.1 Full Date

RFC 1123 (5.2.14) says:
        "There is a strong trend towards the use of numeric timezone
         indicators, and implementations SHOULD use numeric timezones
         instead of timezone names.  However, all implementations MUST
         accept either notation."
"+0000" should at least be permitted as an alternative to "GMT" in the 
"updated by RFC 1123" case.

4.3.2 Forwarded

The final sentence about hiding internal hosts should say that existing 
Forwarded headers (added by proxies inside the firewall) should be removed.

4.3.3 Message-ID

  The first paragraph specifies that this is a unique identifier for the 
message, presumably the HTTP request or response message. The final paragraph 
says that an HTTP response should only include a Message-ID header if the 
entity has one. Since it is possible to retrieve a Mail/News message more than 
once, the HTTP Message-ID cannot be the Message-ID of the enclosed entity as 
this would violate the unique identification property for the HTTP response 
message.

My preferred solution is to remove Message-ID from HTTP altogether, but if it 
is retained it cannot be both a unique identifier for an HTTP message and 
imported from Mail/News/etc. by a gateway.

4.3.4 MIME-Version

I would have classified this as an entity-header rather than a general-header.

5.4.1 Accept

See my recent note about "*/*" meaning "not unusual" where the server cannot 
know how to interpret "unusual" because it is customisable by the user agent. 
Encouraging user-agent authors to give users control over media types is good; 
undermining the means by which this information is passed to the server is bad.

7.1.1 Allow

I would have classified this as a response-header rather than an 
entity-header; it is required with 405 Method Not Allowed and will not be 
meta-information about the entity containing an explanation of the error.

7.1.14 Version

"A user agent can request a particular version of an entity by including its 
tag in a Version header as part of the request." How should Version be 
interpreted in a POST request? It could refer either to the version of the 
entity, or to the version of the resource to which the entity is to be made 
subordinate. What is the existing practice in this case?

Regards,
  Owen Rees <rtor@ansa.co.uk>
Information about ANSA is at <URL:http://www.ansa.co.uk/>.
Received on Tuesday, 21 March 1995 10:41:34 EST

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