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What happened to Retry-After and 503?

From: Chuck Shotton <cshotton@biap.com>
Date: Fri, 1 Sep 1995 09:05:26 -0500
Message-Id: <ac6cbff303021004aa1e@[]>
To: http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com
In reading through the latest spec, I can find no reference in the docs for
the 503 "Service Unavailable" response nor in the Response Headers section
detailing the "Retry-After" header. This header was discussed at length
last Fall and Roy had added it to the spec (when 503 was "Server Busy").

The Retry-After header field allowed servers to specify a time after which
clients would be able to retry their request. This allows servers that are
temporarily overloaded to ask clients to come back in a few seconds or
minutes. The syntax of the field allowed for either an absolute number of
seconds or a date to be specified.

It is extremely important that this header field be supported, and that
this response be supported by both clients and servers. Can someone tell me
what happened to this field and the semantics of the 503 response code? We
had a LENGTHY discussion on this subject, and had thoroughly debated the
merits of this response header field. It appears to have fallen through the
cracks and I'd like to suggest that it be added again to the current draft
(assuming it isn't there now and I've just overlooked it.)

Chuck Shotton                                StarNine Technologies, Inc.
chuck@starnine.com                              http://www.starnine.com/
                  "Shut up and eat your vegetables!"
Received on Friday, 1 September 1995 07:02:34 UTC

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