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RE: Apache Groupy

From: Yaron Goland <yarong@microsoft.com>
Date: Wed, 19 Feb 1997 18:41:53 -0800
Message-Id: <c=US%a=_%p=msft%l=RED-44-MSG-970220024153Z-3259@INET-04-IMC.microsoft.com>
To: 'Alexei Kosut' <akosut@nueva.pvt.k12.ca.us>, 'Henrik Frystyk Nielsen' <frystyk@w3.org>, "'http-wg@cuckoo.hpl.hp.com'" <http-wg@cuckoo.hpl.hp.com>
Cc: Thomas Reardon <thomasre@microsoft.com>, Joe Peterson <joepe@microsoft.com>, Rajeev Dujari <rajeevd@microsoft.com>, Richard Firth <rfirth@microsoft.com>
MSIE 3.x does not and MSIE 4 will not make multipart byte-range
requests, thus there is nothing to fix in MSIE.

It is true that products that interact w/MSIE, like Adobe's PDF plug in,
do use multipart byte-ranges. We have no control over third party
software as we do not implement support for byte-ranges in any of our
software. The best we can do is provide advise. When Adobe built its
plug-in, we advised them to use multipart/x-byterange because that was
the most advanced spec at the time. We now advise those who ask to use
multipart/byterange.

If there are any other questions or concerns on the issue of Microsoft
and byte-ranges, I am the proper person to speak with.

	Sincerely,
		Yaron

>-----Original Message-----
>From:	http-wg@cuckoo.hpl.hp.com [SMTP:http-wg@cuckoo.hpl.hp.com]
>Sent:	Wednesday, February 19, 1997 5:48 PM
>To:	Henrik Frystyk Nielsen
>Cc:	HTTP Working Group
>Subject:	Re: Apache Groupy
>
>On Wed, 19 Feb 1997, Henrik Frystyk Nielsen wrote:
>
>[The Apache Group's dealings with HTTP/1.1]
>
>> I think it would be a tremendous help if you wrote up as much as you have
>> and send it to the list ASAP. I found it very useful and very productive to
>> work with Dean Gaudet on optimizing beta versions of Apache for HTTP/1.1
>> pipelining.
>
>Okay, here's one:
>
>I should point out that this is not a problem with the HTTP/1.1 spec
>itself, per se, and falls more under the category of "standards are
>great; everyone's is different!"
>
>Section 19.2 of HTTP/1.1 defines multipart/byteranges as the response
>media type to be used for a multipart byterange request. Now, this,
>and the other byterange sections of the draft (except for If-Range)
>were based on the Luotenen/Franks drafts about byteserving. In fact,
>the last of those drafts and the HTTP/1.1 semantics are nearly
>identical, and almost interoperable.
>
>Almost.
>
>These versions of the spec did not define multipart/byteranges. They
>used instead multipart/x-byteranges. I won't speculate why, but for
>whatever reason, they did. Several browsers were coded to this
>now out-of-date specification, including Netscape Navigator 2 and 3,
>and Microsoft Internet Explorer 3; several servers were also coded
>this way.
>
>The result? Any HTTP application that implements the HTTP/1.1
>specification for byteranges is not compatible with these
>implementations. For example, when Navigator would request a PDF file
>(the PDF plugin requests multiple byteranges; one part for each page
>of the file, I believe), Apache would send a multipart/byteranges
>response. Navigator's behavior is at this point incorrect (basically,
>the window just goes blank, at least with the Mac version).
>
>Our eventual decision was that Apache 1.2b7 (which has not yet been
>released) will contain what amount to User-Agent checks for these two
>browsers (there may be others, but we are not aware of them), and it
>will send multipart/x-byteranges to them. We have also been assured
>by Netscape and Microsoft that future versions of their browsers will
>understand multipart/byteranges.
>
>To be sure, neither Navigator nor IE claim to be HTTP/1.1-compliant,
>nor do any of the servers that send multipart/x-byteranges by
>default. However, they do cause problems with clients and servers that
>are compliant with HTTP/1.1 - a spec supposedly 100%
>backwards-compatible with HTTP/1.0.
>
>I guess the problem is also one of interim standards; the spec to
>which these HTTP applications adhere no longer exists: It was an
>internet draft that expired some time ago. Someone writing a server
>today might look at the HTTP/1.0 and HTTP/1.1 specs, and implement a
>server (the same applies to a browser; I'm speaking here from my
>experiences) that is 100% to-the-letter compliant with both. They
>might then assume that their server would be compatible with the
>plethora of browsers that are out there. They'd be wrong, at least in
>this respect.
>
>Anyhow, I just thought I'd share that...
>
>-- 
>________________________________________________________________________
>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 Wednesday, 19 February 1997 18:47:03 EST

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