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HTTP/1.1

From: Peter Ball <pball@hab-software.de>
Date: Fri, 20 Sep 1996 13:40:08 -0700
Message-Id: <32430128.767D@hab-software.de>
To: http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com
I recently read the (August 14) draft on HTTP/1.1 and I thought that I
would give my comments:

1. The second paragraph of 13.9 is unclear in it's meaning. Do you mean
that a URI with a ? should never be cached or only when from an HTTP/1.0
server? Under HTTP/1.1 I think it should be cached (and under 1.0 it
should have been too but of course that cant be changed anymore) because
it's up to the programmer of the CGI script to provide cache directives
preventing caching if the calling of the script produces side effects. I
mean, I am currently writing some CGI programs that always return the
same thing because the QUERY_STRING parameters selects info from a
database and such a response is cachable. Because it is by default not
cached then I need to give an Expires header to enable caching but I
think in HTTP/1.1 this shouldn't be necessary.

2. This is really only a thought that occured to me when I read the
draft. It seems that the cache control is rather complex. Could it be
possible that the extra burden of all this cache management could make
proxies ineffective? Even now, my current experience with proxies is
that they seem to be overloaded most of the time and I generally get a
better and more reliable connection when I remove them from my list of
proxies in my browser. Could the more complex cache control further
burden the proxy computers?

One thing is that I don't see the point in caching ANYTHING other than
responses with a status of 200. I guess 99% of the time the responses
have this status and extra programming just to do certain things under
certain conditions for responses with other status codes, complicates
and slows the program and possibly introduces bugs which no-one really
finds because they don't often occur (but when they do then "something
doesn't work right").

3. Document style: perhaps a few more examples would be helpful. Also
why 'octets'? I thought the word 'byte' was fairly unambiguous.

Keep up the good work.
Received on Friday, 20 September 1996 05:08:52 EDT

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