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HEAD and 301/302/303 conflict?

From: Paul Leach <paulle@microsoft.com>
Date: Fri, 25 Aug 95 18:03:51 PDT
Message-Id: <9508260221.AA12558@netmail2.microsoft.com>
To: fielding@beach.w3.org, http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com
Section 5.2.2 on the HEAD method says that HEAD is just like GET, 
except that the server must not return any Entity-Body in the response. 
Section 6.2.3 on redirection status codes, 301 and 302 (Moved 
Permanently and Moved Temporarily ) says that the Entity-Body in the 
response should contain a short hypertext note. Similarly for 303 (See Other).

Presumably, 301 and 302 are reasonable responses for HEAD requests (303 
is not so obvious -- it might be only OK as a response to a POST in 
1.1?) and so require Entity-Bodies, which HEAD says can't be sent. In 
the description for 300, it explictly says that 300 in response to a 
HEAD request doesn't return an Entity-Body; there is no explicit 
exemption for 301, 302, or 303.

In section 5.2.2, was the intent to say that HEAD is like GET, except 
that whenever GET would return 200 and an Entity-Body, HEAD will return 
204 and no Entity-Body? That seems plausible, and reconciles all 
behavioral difference except for when GET would return 300. Equally 
plausible is that 301, 302, and 303 should contain the same exception 
for HEAD that 300 contains.  I don't know the intent, so I can't make a 

Which should it be?

Received on Friday, 25 August 1995 18:34:39 UTC

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