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Re: NULL-Request (Sect. 4.1)

From: Robert S. Thau <rst@ai.mit.edu>
Date: Wed, 24 Apr 1996 16:00:40 -0400
Message-Id: <199604242000.QAA01800@volterra.ai.mit.edu>
To: dmk@allegra.att.com, jg@w3.org
Cc: http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com
[ Warning --- half-baked idea follows ]

Perhaps the spurious CRLFs following Netscape POST transactions would
be easier to deal with if they were viewed as being appended to the
beginning of the request following the POST rather than being appended
to the end of the POST itself.  That is, we could declare that in
connections where HTTP/1.0 keep-alive back compatibility is desired,
servers should allow a request-line to be *preceded* by an arbitrary
amount of spurious white-space, including CRLF combinations, which
they should simply ignore.

I'm starting from the --- hopefully non-bogus --- theory that the
CRLFs are in the stream no matter what, that we want the servers to
ignore them, and the problem is coming up with a way of saying that
without messing up the rest of the document.  Unfortunately, the two
suggestions floated so far do complicate the document a bit ---
calling them "null requests" creates an exception to every rule
elsewhere which "all requests" should follow, while considering them
to be an addendum to the POST-request itself messes up the semantics
of Content-length.

The hope here, then, is that less of the document depends on the
syntax of request-lines then on these other things, and so sweeping
these CRLFs under that part of the rug, rather than another, results
in a somewhat less unsightly bulge.  However, there may very well be a
dependance in the document that I've missed....

[ End half-baked idea. ]

rst
Received on Wednesday, 24 April 1996 13:08:20 EDT

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