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Re: Proposal on removing Content Negotiation from http 1.1

From: Peter J Churchyard <pjc@trusted.com>
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 1996 18:55:02 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <9601242355.AA24146@hilo.trusted.com>
To: Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@hq.lcs.mit.edu>
Cc: masinter@parc.xerox.com, http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com
The proposal does not need common practice to justify it. The justifications
of the NEED must be made in the same light. 

As regards to WEB usage I agree with the "We'v seen nothing yet" and that the
explosion is just begining. Hope you agree that 1.1 is far from "clean".

Less choices should mean less confusion. 

As you say the seperation of transport with content (HTML) has been a
boon.

Browser manufacturers seem hard at work providing all formats so where is
the negotiation?

Content-type is still there, so where is the loss of extensibility?

Non negotiating servers can be implemented in as few as 70 lines of C but
other servers use as much as 55000 with proxies somewhere in the
1000 - 5000 range. Clients seem to be stuck with reasonably large implementation
sizes.

Without firm figures this has to be a discussion about opinions.
Time will tell.

Pete.
> 
> The web protocols have from time to time suffered a great blow because
> of the desire to encode in specs "current practice".  This desire ignores
> any need for foresight or clean architecture.
> 
> Content negotiation was planned from the early days as a flexibility
> point which separated HTTP and HTML, and would allow evolution of the
> web in ways we do not yet envision.  It has been a hard sell because
> itse design involves sending a lot of bytes. However, the web is now
> suffering from its lack.  Right now, there is confusion, user-agent
> abuse, lack of direction when it comes to introduction of HTML tables,
> PNG, progressibe jpeg, etc.  Wait till you see applets available in AVI,
> Java, 386 machine code and Python.  I feel that making this work is
> very important.  I believe that removing it would be a disaster, and
> send exactly the wrong signals to the whole community.
> 
> Tim BL
> 
> PS:  (I assume that it content negotiation can be made to work
> with fewer bytes).
> 
> ___________________________________________________________
> Tim Berners-Lee	                    Director, W3 Consortium
> MIT Laboratory for Computer Science Phone +1 (617) 253 5702
> 545 Technology Square               Fax   +1 (617) 258 8682
> Cambridge MA 02139, USA             Email      timbl@w3.org
> http://www.w3.org/People/Berners-Lee
> 


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Received on Wednesday, 24 January 1996 15:57:56 EST

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