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Re: Size of the Spec Was:Re: Beyond 1.1

From: <touch@isi.edu>
Date: Thu, 8 Aug 1996 10:35:16 -0700
Message-Id: <199608081735.AA04504@ash.isi.edu>
To: pjc@trusted.com, http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com, hallam@etna.ai.mit.edu
Cc: touch@isi.edu
> From http-wg-request@cuckoo.hpl.hp.com Thu Aug  8 10:22:58 1996
> Resent-Date: Thu, 8 Aug 1996 18:21:40 +0100
> To: Peter J Churchyard <pjc@trusted.com>,
>         http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com
> Cc: hallam@Etna.ai.mit.edu
> Subject: Size of the Spec Was:Re: Beyond 1.1  
> From: hallam@Etna.ai.mit.edu
...
> I's like to take an unpopular position here. I don't think that the
> HTTP/1.1 spec is too large at all. It may be larger than the average

There are two distinct issues -
	- size
	- layers (or separable protocols)

I would propose that the HTTP/1.1 spec should be split
more because of the latter than the former.

There are really distinct protocols:

	- object exchange (HTTP)
	
	- caching (MIME extensions for caching distributed objects)

	- non-protocol HTTP extensions (MIME extensions for HTML)

	- protocol extensions for persistence
		including extensions for chunking and muxing

> It would be nice to strip down HTTP to its essentials and start again.
> We don't have that opportunity. We have a deployed protocol and little
> chance to do a major upgrade. That chance probably went about the time
> NCSA released Mosaic.

We can simply spec a new version, and deal with backward compatibility 
or reduced-function translators until the phaseover is complete.
This is a poor argument for inertia, ever since version numbers have
been included in protocol specs.

Joe
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Joe Touch - touch@isi.edu		    http://www.isi.edu/~touch/
ISI / Project Leader, ATOMIC-2, LSAM       http://www.isi.edu/atomic2/
USC / Research Assistant Prof.                http://www.isi.edu/lsam/
Received on Thursday, 8 August 1996 10:37:02 EDT

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