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Re: Decision about Host?

From: Paul Hoffman <ietf-lists@proper.com>
Date: Sat, 7 Oct 1995 11:59:51 -0700
Message-Id: <v02130501ac9c7bf74cd4@[165.227.40.14]>
To: http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com
>No.  The only server capable of changing the port number must already
>be under the control of the site for which disambiguation of the
>hostname is necessary.  In this case, the server receiving the request
>may do a million different things to further disambiguate the request
>before passing it on, including adding additional headers or just
>changing the Request-URI, and thus including the port number is never
>necessary.

This is true for present software: the server software had to be listening
to a particular port in order to even get the "Host" header, or anything
for that matter. My thought was, in the future, one copy of a server might
be watching more than one port number for requests. As far as I know, none
do that now. In that case, it could be useful for the server to know which
port the request came in on. This seems a bit far-fetched, given that any
1.0-speaking client would never tell the server, and thus it would be
assuming way too much.

I think it's probably not worth adding the port for this very small
potential in the future since it might lead to some ambiguities.

Which reminds me, we should remember in the "Host" wording of the spec that
there may be an IP address instead of a domain name in the URL. The URL
spec allows IP addresses in the host part, and some people use them when
their chosen DNS server is broken. And, I've seen a fair number of
hard-coded IP addresses in some of the big databases like Yahoo and Lycos.

--Paul Hoffman
--Proper Publishing
Received on Saturday, 7 October 1995 12:03:11 EDT

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