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Re: HTTP extensibility: musings and a proposal

From: Donald E. Eastlake 3rd <dee@cybercash.com>
Date: Thu, 18 Apr 1996 09:46:34 -0400 (EDT)
To: Paul Leach <paulle@microsoft.com>
Cc: "'http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com'" <http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
Message-Id: <Pine.SUN.3.91.960418094435.5902D-100000@cybercash.com>
Read the pep draft: 
ftp://ftp.ietf.cnri.reston.va.us/internet-drafts/draft-khare-http-pep-01.txt

Donald

On Wed, 17 Apr 1996, Paul Leach wrote:

> Date: Wed, 17 Apr 1996 17:28:30 -0700
> From: Paul Leach <paulle@microsoft.com>
> To: "'http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com'"
     <http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
> Subject: HTTP extensibility: musings and a proposal
> 
> Lately, I've been thinking about HTTP extensibility and contrasting it
> with object system extensibility. The implicit type compatibility rules
> in the HTTP is much looser than for (e.g.) C++ -- one can add often new
> headers to HTTP requests and responses in a backwards compatible way,
> whereas such extensions would not pass the type checker of most strongly
> typed languages. New headers can't have arbitrary semantics: they have
> to have semantics such that proxies can just forward them, and servers
> can ignore them, if not understood.
> 
> Another interesting aspect of HTTP in this regard is the Connection:
> header. Proxies are supposed to delete headers named in the Connection
> header before forwarding them. This allows addition of headers that are
> only supposed to apply to directly connected clients and servers to be
> added to HTTP, without fear that they will be forwarded out of scope by
> unaware proxies.
> 
> This notion can be extended -- it is easy to imagine adding headers that
> origin-servers can't just ignore when they don't understand them. In
> such cases, they should return a status code saying that they reject the
> request; the client might retry using some alternate, perhaps less
> fucntional, headers that the server did understand.
> 
> ...
> 
> But I thought it was an interesting enough idea to bring it up now.
> 
> Comments?
> 
> ----------------------------------------------------
> Paul J. Leach            Email: paulle@microsoft.com
> Microsoft                Phone: 1-206-882-8080
> 1 Microsoft Way          Fax:   1-206-936-7329
> Redmond, WA 98052
=====================================================================
Donald E. Eastlake 3rd     +1 508-287-4877(tel)     dee@cybercash.com
   318 Acton Street        +1 508-371-7148(fax)     dee@world.std.com
Carlisle, MA 01741 USA     +1 703-620-4200(main office, Reston, VA)
http://www.cybercash.com           http://www.eff.org/blueribbon.html
Received on Thursday, 18 April 1996 06:55:11 EDT

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