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

From: David W. Morris <dwm@shell.portal.com>
Date: Fri, 9 Feb 1996 13:06:18 -0800 (PST)
To: http working group <http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
Message-Id: <Pine.SUN.3.90.960209124922.9398E-100000@jobe.shell.portal.com>


On Fri, 9 Feb 1996, Jeffrey Mogul wrote:

>   Roy T. Fielding wrote: 
>   >  The maximum length of a URL is whatever the server wants it to be.
> 
> This is true but unless we specifically consider the case of
> GET-based forms, it is not well-defined.  As far as I can tell,
> there is no mechanism in HTML (and certainly none in HTTP) that
> allows the server to tell a browser how to limit the size of
> certain form elements (such as TEXTAREA), and perhaps that needs
> fixing.

If this is not well specified, interoperaability will suffer because it
isn't sufficient to require servers to accept what they 'serve'.
Any intermediate proxies must be expected to handle the data as well.
And server software has little control over the size and shape of URL
references in the documents they serve.

Rarely is there no practical limit on the size of an object no matter how
hard the implementor tries to avoid limits.

I would favor something to the effect of:
  Servers and proxies MUST handle URLs at least 4096 bytes long
  Servers and proxies SHOULD handle URLs at least 64K long.
  Content providers SHOULD not expect correct handling of URLs greater
  than 4096 in length. Content providers MUST not expect correct
  handling of URLs greater than 64K long.

  Then a note to the effect that longer content should be transfered via
  another method such as POST.

I have no objection to using the above to apply to PROXY only with Jeff's
wording re. servers accepting what they serve. But 255 is clearlly too small
a value for proxies.

Dave Morris
Received on Friday, 9 February 1996 13:10:12 EST

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