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Re: Netscape vs. Digest

From: John Franks <john@math.nwu.edu>
Date: Tue, 27 Aug 1996 13:42:27 -0500 (CDT)
To: Michael Smith <ms@gf.org>
Cc: http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com
Message-Id: <Pine.SUN.3.91.960827132755.8213B-100000@hopf.math.nwu.edu>
On Tue, 27 Aug 1996, Michael Smith wrote:

> Daniel DuBois <dan@spyglass.com> wrote:
> 
> >"SHOULD" is clearly not going to get Netscape to support Digest. 
> > The only thing that we can *hope*
> >will get Netscape to support Digest is the threat of slapping "HTTP/1.1
> >uncompliant" on them publicly and hope it shames them into supporting it.
> >
> 
> Is it true that Netscape opposes Digest? Why? Is there anybody from Netscape 
> on the list who can comment on this? Failing that, is there anybody not from 
> Netscape who's willing to offer a hypothesis?
> 

I am not sure this attack on Netscape is justified.  To the best of my
knowledge Microsoft also does not support digest.  Some earlier
versions of MSIE supported digest authentication, but the latest
version has apparently withdrawn that support.  (These comments are
only based on experience with the Mac version of MSIE so maybe things
are different with Windows).

As one of the digest authentication spec authors, I would hope that
both Netscape and Microsoft will support it.  I don't know if either
will.  But, on the whole, I think Netscape has been more open and
"internet friendly" than any other major corporation and singling them
out in this kind of criticism is neither constructive nor fair.

Daniel's company, Spyglass, deserves credit for much of the early
work on digest authentication and, I believe, they have been nearly
the only browser vendor to provide consistent support for it.


John Franks 	Dept of Math. Northwestern University
		john@math.nwu.edu
Received on Tuesday, 27 August 1996 11:45:18 EDT

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