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Re: About that Host: header....

From: Paul Hoffman <paulh@imc.org>
Date: Fri, 22 Mar 1996 09:49:51 -0800
Message-Id: <v03005504ad7895a681c5@[165.227.113.247]>
To: http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com
>- Should full URLs be mandatory to send for all HTTP/1.1 clients when
>  they don't know that they are talking to a HTTP/1.0 server?

Absolutely not. This breaks the current use of the Web by giving the users
extremely astounding and negative results:
Open up FooClient 1.0, enter the URL, and get the page.
Open up FooClient 1.1, enter the same URL, and get an error or a long delay
*for each request you send*

Guess what someone will do with FooClient 1.1?

You are not helping the cause here: you are making people want to stay with
HTTP/1.0 software.

>- Should the host: header be deleted from the spec?

No, no, no. I've just reread all the messages on this thread, and I find
almost no one supporting this idea.

>- Are there less extreme positions that make sense?

Yes, and they are the ones I thought there was consensus on. Most people
indicated they supported Jim's "#4", which, to quote it exactly, says:

a) Add host header, with improved wording in the specification.
b) Require 1.1 server to accept full URL from 1.1 or later client.
  (so far, same as option 3).
c) Require server to generate an error if a 1.1 client is detected, and no host
information present (or more strongly, at the expense of extra bytes on
the wire, no host header present).
Transition to requiring full URL in 1.2, after 1.0 servers have been
replaced.

With some exact wording, that seems completely clear to me. It will not
break the current Web, it will not greatly increase the traffic silently,
it will not cause people to shun 1.1 clients, and will be easy to check
compliance on.

--Paul Hoffman
--Internet Mail Consortium
Received on Friday, 22 March 1996 09:58:49 EST

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