W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > ietf-http-wg-old@w3.org > September to December 1995

Re: Decision about Host?

From: Roy T. Fielding <fielding@avron.ICS.UCI.EDU>
Date: Sat, 07 Oct 1995 17:06:46 -0700
To: http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com
Message-Id: <9510071706.aa22330@paris.ics.uci.edu>
*groan*

There is a whole lot of babbling here on an issue which I consider
closed.  Why?  I think it is because we have fallen into yet another
trap of trying to invent features which aren't even needed, let alone
intended for standardization.

There is no such thing as a server proxy.  What has been called such 
is nothing more than a gateway.  Gateways have a number of interesting
characteristics, but the only important one for this level of discussion
is that the client does not know it is talking to a gateway, and what
happens between the gateway and the origin server has nothing whatsoever
to do with the communication between the client and the gateway.

When a client makes an HTTP request over the Internet, it connects to
the host and port number identified by the URL being requested.  The
client has no way of knowing whether the host is the origin server
or a gateway to the origin, nor does it care.  As far as it knows,
it is simply making a request on the host at that port.

Now, what happens behind the curtains (between the gateway and the
origin server) is none of our business.  There is no need for that
communication to even be HTTP.  What we do know is that the gateway
controls the DNS hostname that is being used to access those services,
and thus it MUST know what is desired by way of the original request,
and therefore the origin server never needs to know the port number
that was used to access the gateway.


 ...Roy T. Fielding
    Department of Information & Computer Science    (fielding@ics.uci.edu)
    University of California, Irvine, CA 92717-3425    fax:+1(714)824-4056
    http://www.ics.uci.edu/~fielding/
Received on Saturday, 7 October 1995 17:12:08 EDT

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