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Host: header and port number

From: Rob McCool <robm@netscape.com>
Date: Mon, 22 Jan 1996 21:03:50 -0800
Message-Id: <31046C36.1372@netscape.com>
To: http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com
There's been a little discussion here lately about the fact that
Netscape 2.0 sends everything between the second and third slash in a
URL for the Host header. The reason for this was a misinterpretation of
a message from Roy about his intent to add a header matching that
description to the specification.

We are at a point where fixing Netscape 2.0's behavior is not an option
for this release. What I would like to propose is that both
specifications can co-exist.

If a browser sends:

Host: www.netscape.com:8000

then servers can strip the :8000 off to get just the hostname. If the
browser sends:

Host: www.netscape.com

then the lack of a :port is intended to imply "the port to which this
request was made". Logically, it also means "the default port" but if
you interpret it in the first way, then an implementation which never
sends a :port is correct.

Is there a problem with this specification change? The only problem I
see is if there are server implementations which already support only
the host name, and those implementations are widely deployed, then they
will become confused by the :port that Netscape sends.

Rob McCool, robm@netscape.com
Stunt Programmer, Netscape Communications Corporation
It was working ten minutes ago, I swear...
<a href="http://home.netscape.com/people/robm/">A must see.</a>
Received on Monday, 22 January 1996 21:05:47 UTC

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