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Re: don't use POST for big GET [was: Dictionaries in HTML ]

From: Roy T. Fielding <fielding@avron.ICS.UCI.EDU>
Date: Thu, 08 Feb 1996 23:38:10 -0800
To: Larry Masinter <masinter@parc.xerox.com>
Cc: http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com
Message-Id: <9602082338.aa18527@paris.ics.uci.edu>
>> (A) We really need to specify either a maximum length for URLs,
>> or that there is no such maximum.  The current situation allows
>> for non-interoperable assumptions.
> I have this down as an issue for the HTTP/1.0 document, as soon as
> we can decide what the reasonable length limit is.

No, absolutely not, and under no condition will that ever be acceptable
to me as an implementor of HTTP systems.  It is backwards thinking.
The maximum length of a URL is whatever the server wants it to be.
There is no requirement anywhere that a server must read a URL
completely before it knows whether or not it is invalid (or, in the
case of proxies/gateways, just unacceptable) and the server has control
over what it judges to be too long.  The protocol itself has no need
to restrict, a priori, the length of a URL.

Putting a note in the spec about interoperability problems for URLs
greater than 255 characters long is reasonable, but the protocol itself
must not have any such limitations.

 ...Roy T. Fielding
    Department of Information & Computer Science    (fielding@ics.uci.edu)
    University of California, Irvine, CA 92717-3425    fax:+1(714)824-4056
Received on Thursday, 8 February 1996 23:48:54 UTC

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