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Re: A broken browser

From: Alexei Kosut <akosut@nueva.pvt.k12.ca.us>
Date: Thu, 2 Jan 1997 01:17:42 -0800 (PST)
To: "M. Hedlund" <hedlund@best.com>
Cc: http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com
Message-Id: <Pine.HPP.3.95.970102010958.13431A-100000@ace.nueva.pvt.k12.ca.us>
On Thu, 2 Jan 1997, M. Hedlund wrote:

> I agree that Apache is behaving predictably, but I do not agree that it is
> behaving desirably.  Almost no browsers give users control of the
> Accept string, and very few users even know what an Accept string is.
> Apache is denying Lynx users access to text/html when that is clearly not
> the intention of the user.  I think Apache should provide a way for server
> maintainers to work around browser bugs, and send text/html even if it has
> a q value of 0.  (If it has this capability, please inform Brian.  ;)

Depends what the intentions of the user agent and the server are. As
has been pointed out by you and others, the language in the spec says
that the Accept header only indicates preference, not capability. And
certainly for most documents, the Apache server does that: if a user
makes a request for a specific variant directly (as most requests
are), the server will return it no matter what the Accept header
says.

It's only when the user/server (wherever the URL comes from) tells
Apache to perform content negotiation with the browser that this comes
into play. There is certainly a degree of liberallity in Apache's code
to deal with a number of current situations where browsers send
not-quite-right Accept headers (the proliferation of "Accept:
image/gif, image/jpeg, */*", when the browser clearly would perfer a
GIF or JPEG to something else, even though they're given the same q
value), but I think that the line has to be drawn somewhere - and when
an Accept header specifically says "I don't want any HTML files",
well... it makes some sense to trust it.

At any rate, I think this is straying from a discussion of the HTTP
protocol (the HyperText Transfer Protocol protocol... is that like
saying "knots per hour"?) and more into the real of specific
implementations.

-- 
________________________________________________________________________
Alexei Kosut <akosut@nueva.pvt.k12.ca.us>      The Apache HTTP Server
URL: http://www.nueva.pvt.k12.ca.us/~akosut/   http://www.apache.org/
Received on Thursday, 2 January 1997 01:19:18 EST

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