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

Re: Byte ranges -- formal spec proposal

From: Chuck Shotton <cshotton@biap.com>
Date: Wed, 17 May 1995 18:47:49 -0500
Message-Id: <v0211010cabe039a4cfb0@[129.106.201.2]>
To: Ari Luotonen <luotonen@netscape.com>, www-talk@w3.org, http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com
Cc: uri@bunyip.com
>Description of the byterange URL Parameter
>
>     * The byte range request is attached to the end of the URL,
>       separated by a semi-colon.

Why not use the already supported "?" separator? Many file systems use the
semi-colon character to represent version numbers and overloading this
character could cause difficulties. In effect, you are asking the server to
"search" for a specific byte range in a document anyway, so it's not too
big of a stretch to adopt the "?" safe character instead of risking
possible conflicts with ";".

>     * The first byte in file is byte number 1.

This is good.


>     * The range includes both limits, that is, a range 500-1000 means
>       the 501 bytes between 499 and 1001.

This isn't clearly worded.

>     * In place of a range there may be only a single positive integer.
>       This means only a single byte. This is not meaningful for byte
>       ranges, but if and when this scheme gets extended to allow other
>       kinds of ranges (such as lines, chapters or pages), this will be
>       useful.

Please. Let's not expand on this. It forces servers to have a much more
intimate knowledge of the content they serve than is necessary. Let's
define how byte ranges work and leave the nasty WWW object model for
another day and another syntax. If you want a single byte, specify a range,
n-n.

Leave the content semantics between CGIs and Viewers.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Chuck Shotton
cshotton@biap.com                                  http://www.biap.com/
cshotton@oac.hsc.uth.tmc.edu                           "I am NOT here."
Received on Wednesday, 17 May 1995 16:55:56 EDT

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