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Re: Why is From: limited?

From: Roman Czyborra <czyborra@cs.tu-berlin.de>
Date: Mon, 27 Mar 1995 11:38:41 +0200
To: HTTP Working Group <http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
Message-Id: <czyborra950327113810914@titanic.cs.tu-berlin.de>
Albert Lunde:

> In real life the Unix UID that "owns" a document may have nothing to
> do with the author, for example on a CWIS where everything is posted
> by a few people.

But those few people will have the write permission on the documents
and know who to forward the criticism to.

> There are already HTML solutions in wide use for
> indicating/contacting the author of HTML docs.

What do you do about non-HTML documents served on HTTP?  Do you put
comments on all of your GIFs?


Chuck Shotton:

> Assuming that a feature in the protocol is easy to implement based
> on the effort to hack it into Unix is not a valid measure.

Assuming that an optional header cannot be generated on all machines
is not a valid reason to rule it out for those who could.

> Third, there is no correlation between an operating system-specific
> "owner" of a file and the author of the file

For the documents at our server, there is a very strong correlation.

> this field has no place as a required header field

As I said, I was asking for the From: in the response to be as
optional as the From: in the request.

> If it's not required, then it is of little value.

LINK REV="made" is not required either and still it is very valuable
in the documents that provide it.

> The bottom line is that "authorship" of content has no place in the
> transport protocol.

I find it very convenient that my RFC822 mail transport automatically
places my name in the header so I don't have to type it into every
message.  I am envisioning the same convenience for HTTP.

First thing that I do when I want to debug an URL is to look at the
HTTP header.  It contains all the MIME typing and date information.


Paul Hoffman:

> Further, for security, many systems have the owners of many or all
> documents have "noshell" login accounts where mail would go and
> probably either never be read or get forwarded to someone who knows
> nothing about the content of the file.

I would configure my httpd with MailExchange @cs.tu-berlin.de to have
the mail routed to the mailhost.

> The return email address is much more likely to be useful if it is
> part of the content of the document.

I am not arguing that it should vanish from the contents.  I just want
a default place to look at if the document did not provide the address
like I can look at Last-Modified if the contents wasn't dated.


I suggest the following amendment:

7.1.15 From

	The From field provides an email address to contact for
	changes to the Entity-Body.

		From = "From" ":" 1#mailbox

	Server administrators may choose to send their own, the file
	owners', or no addresses at all with each document.
Received on Monday, 27 March 1995 02:15:39 EST

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