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Re: Possible optimization to State-Info proposal

From: Dave Kristol <dmk@allegra.att.com>
Date: Mon, 28 Aug 95 17:47:10 EDT
Message-Id: <199508282153.AA152636830@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
To: koen@win.tue.nl
Cc: http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com
koen@win.tue.nl (Koen Holtman) wrote:
  > Dave Kristol: 
  > >My only reason for fussing with the definition is to be sure we're talking
  > >about the same things and using the same terms to do so.  I feared we were
  > >using the same words to mean different things.
  > In a previous message your definition was:
  > >I think the prevailing definition of an idempotent {method, URI} pair
  > >is that you get back exactly the same content each time you make a
  > >request with that pair.
  > I would call that a `static' pair.
  > Your meaning of idempotent is not the (prevailing?) one used in the draft
  > http spec. From draft-ietf-http-v10-spec-02.html:

  > [definition from spec. omitted]

  > >From this, I read that:
  >  - GET and HEAD are defined to be the idempotent methods
  >  - idempotent means `safe'.

Sorry to be a pain, but what do you mean by "safe"?  This is the
philosophical vs. operational divide.  The definition so far has been
operational:  GET and HEAD are idempotent; they have no side-effects.
Okay.  But what are we implying when we say that?  What is the
philosophical definition, in the context of WWW?

  > IMO, the spec should be rewritten to avoid the use of the word
  > `idempotent' altogether.  Failing that, there should be a proper
  > definition of it in the terminology section.

Dave Kristol
Received on Monday, 28 August 1995 15:41:54 UTC

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