W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > ietf-http-wg-old@w3.org > May to August 1997

Re: NUDGE: Our piece on Host: and URLs (Fwd)

From: Dave Kristol <dmk@research.bell-labs.com>
Date: Sat, 10 May 97 17:06:11 EDT
Message-Id: <9705102106.AA29651@aleatory.tempo.bell-labs.com>
To: http-wg@cuckoo.hpl.hp.com
Cc: dwm@xpasc.com, snowhare@netimages.com
"David W. Morris" <dwm@xpasc.com> wrote:
  > [...]
  > On Sat, 10 May 1997, Benjamin Franz wrote:
  > > [...]
  > > An attempt to chop FQDNs down to the host feels to me like the kind of
  > > protocal 'shortcut' (Shortcut: Noun; A path or course of action taken by
  > > lazy people that only takes twice as much time and effort as the original
  > > path or course of action would have taken.) that created the problem that
  > > Host: solves in the first place - ambiguous identification of multiple web
  > > servers sharing a single IP address.  Why take a step *backwards* for the
  > > sake of people's lazyness in typing? 
  > 
  > Excuse me... who are we serving here? Users or server and DNS operators. A 
  > major step backwards exists if we insist that a user type a FQDN and the
  > client magically know it is or is not a FQDN so the protocol can demand
  > that a host: field include a FQDN for the portion of content providers who
  > use virtual hosts.
  > 
  > I'm not a DNS expert, but my understanding/recollection is that for www to
  > resolve, the DNS must be configured to allow such a resolution. If I'm
  > wrong, then fix the DNS configurations, demanding users be forced to type
  > a FQDN is giant step backward.

I think Benjamin Franz has made an incorrect assumption.  There is no
"attempt to chop FQDNs down to the host".  I thought the rule of thumb
was to be that the Host header should contain the host/port portion of
the URL exactly as it appears in the URL.  Therefore, except when a
user enters a URL by hand, the content provider typically controls
what's in the URL and, therefore, what gets passed in Host.  If an HTML
page contains a URL with a FQDN, that's what would appear in the Host
header.

Dave Kristol
Received on Saturday, 10 May 1997 14:11:17 EDT

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