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PERSIST: headers needed at all?

From: Dave Kristol <dmk@allegra.att.com>
Date: Mon, 15 Apr 96 17:31:15 EDT
Message-Id: <9604152131.AA25283@zp.tempo.att.com.tempo.att.com>
To: http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com
I had a bizarre thought concerning persistent connections.

<asbestos>
Suppose we decreed that all HTTP/1.1 agents understand persistent
connections, without requiring them to pass special headers.  We also
grant clients and servers the right to close connections at their
discretion following a request/response exchange (as we already do).
Servers could, optionally, honor Connection: Keep-alive from HTTP/1.0
clients.

I've probably overlooked something, but at first (and second) thought,
the presence of an HTTP/1.1 protocol version in the request and
response should be enough to tell

a) a server that the client expects to hold the connection open
b) a client that the server will try to hold the connection open.

If all the proxies between a user agent and an origin server understand
HTTP/1.1, the entire connection can be held open.
</asbestos>

Dropping the Connection header would simplify the protocol.  Why not?

Dave Kristol
Received on Monday, 15 April 1996 14:42:50 EDT

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