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Re: Worries about content-length

From: Henrik Frystyk Nielsen <frystyk@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 8 May 1995 15:17:23 +0500
Message-Id: <9505081917.AA24271@www20>
To: http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com, masinter@parc.xerox.com

> The boundary-marker method used by MIME multipart is the only way I've
> seen of getting (nearly) reliable determination of the end of the data
> without using content-length.
> 
> I wonder if there might be some way to employ this method in HTTP for
> single-part data being sent back over HTTP when content-length can't
> be easily precomputed (CGI or what have you).
> 
> Implementation is easy: the server would compute a random string,
> include it in the HTTP header; at the end of the transmission (e.g.,
> when the CGI returns without error) it would add the terminating
> header.

Hmm, is it that much easier? In order for the server to guarantee that the
`random' string is unique it must parse the stream before it can generate
one and then it might as well calculate the content-length?

I more like the solution that a cache only caches documents with a valid
content-length (it can count the bytes as they are cached so the overhead
is very small). A server can then let the `close-connection' determine the
size of the document which is 100% compatible with 0.9 responses and
all existent applications.

-- cheers --

Henrik Frystyk                                          frystyk@W3.org
World-Wide Web Consortium,                              Tel + 1 617 258 8143
MIT/LCS, NE43-356					Fax + 1 617 258 8682
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge MA 02154, USA
Received on Monday, 8 May 1995 12:40:27 EDT

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