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Re: HTTP/1.1 draft 12 aug 1996 and content encodings

From: John Franks <john@math.nwu.edu>
Date: Tue, 17 Sep 1996 07:45:57 -0500 (CDT)
To: Jamison Gulden <jamison@ncic.net>
Cc: janl@ifi.uio.no, fielding@liege.ICS.UCI.EDU, http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com
Message-Id: <Pine.SUN.3.91.960917072554.18609A-100000@hopf.math.nwu.edu>
On Mon, 16 Sep 1996, Jamison Gulden wrote:

> 
> Should the content-encoding header ONLY be used when the SERVER
> performs an encoding on the file?
> 

Certainly not.

> Should the content-encoding header be used when the SERVER does not
> perform an encoding on the file?
> 

Yes, if something other than the server has encoded the file.

HTTP has nothing to say about what happens in a server.  It is about
the bytes that go down the wire. 


> 
>      If I ask for a file and it's returned with content-encoding of
>      gzip do I get the file I asked for if I unzip it?
> 

Yes.

>      If I ask for a file and it's returned with content-encoding of
>      gzip do I get the file I asked for if I don't unzip it?
> 
> 

No. 

This can be confusing but the things to keep in mind are that
filenames mean nothing and headers describe only the bytes coming down
the wire.  Here are some examples

       Headers                       What the client does
       -------                       --------------------

1) C-T: text/html			Display it
        
2) C-T: text/html			Unzip and then display it
   C-E: x-gzip

3) C-T: application/octet-stream	Save to disk (it could be
                                        a gzip'ed file intended to
                                        be saved as a gzip'ed file)

4) C-T: application/octet-stream	Unzip and save to disk (it could
   C-E: x-gzip                          be a gzip'ed file intended to
                                        be saved as a gzip'ed file
					which has been gzip'ed again)
						


John Franks 	Dept of Math. Northwestern University
		john@math.nwu.edu
Received on Tuesday, 17 September 1996 05:49:38 EDT

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