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From: Chris Schefler <css@webcom.com>
Date: Wed, 20 Sep 95 16:50:06 PDT
Message-Id: <199509202341.AA031740509@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
To: http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com
Currently, the client does not seem pass the entire URL to the
server.  Although a strict reading of the spec seems to indicate
that the full URL (http://domain.name/path/to/file.html) is legal,
in practice only everything after the domain name is passed in
the GET request.

Questions:  Is there anything in the 1.1 spec for passing the full
URL, or, alternatively, passing the domain name as a header?
Or am I correct in my reading of the spec that passing the full
URL, including domain name, is legal in 1.0? (e.g., GET
http://www.domain.com/dir/welcome.html HTTP/1.0)?

It is important to be able to determine which domain name was
used in the URL in case a server answers to many domain names.

Since the client resolves the domain name to an IP address, and
only requests the part of the URL after the domain name, the
server can not know which domain name is being requested.  This
is necessary to support 'virtual hosting', in which a server appears
to be dedicated to many individual domain names, when in fact it
is shared among all the domain names, e.g.


Both resolve to the same server (same IP address), yet return
different home pages (one returns the foo home page, the other
returns the bar home page).

Typically, this is accomplished by assigning a different IP
address to each domain name, allowing the Web server to consult
a table or do a reverse DNS lookup to determine the domain name
and map to the appropriate home page.

However, this needlessly consumes IP addresses, requires an OS
which supports multiple IP addresses on the same network interface,
and has severe scalability problems (for instance, Solaris only
allows a maximum of 255 IP addresses per network interface).

If there is nothing currently in the works for the 1.1 spec,
(or now way to accomplish passing of the domain name within
the current revision of the protocol - 1.0), I would like to
know so we can submit a formal proposal.

Thank you.

Chris Schefler
Web Communications (sm)                 Chris Schefler
Voice: (408) 457-9671 x100              css@webcom.com

Web Communications Home Page <URL:http://www.webcom.com/>
Received on Wednesday, 20 September 1995 16:44:44 UTC

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