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Re: ISSUE PROXY-AUTHORIZATION: Proposal wording

From: Dave Kristol <dmk@bell-labs.com>
Date: Tue, 8 Jul 1997 17:16:11 -0400
Message-Id: <l0302090cafe85b60d61d@[135.3.51.121]>
To: Koen Holtman <koen@win.tue.nl>
Cc: dwm@xpasc.com, koen@win.tue.nl, frystyk@w3.org, http-wg@cuckoo.hpl.hp.com
At 9:34 PM +0200 7/8/97, Koen Holtman wrote:
> [...]
>I don't want proxies to be `creative'.  I think that HTTP/1.x should
>not allow creative proxies, and am against weakening MUSTs to allow
>such creativity.
>
>If you want a new creative service in a proxy, call it a HTTP/1.1
>proxy which implements the `creative-authentication-rewrite' protocol
>extension on top of HTTP/1.1.  The use of creative extensions can be
>negotiated either in-band or out-of-band.

This semantic fussing seems to get us nowhere.  Is an "HTTP/1.1 proxy that
implements custom feature X" an HTTP/1.1 proxy or not?  Your first
paragraph says "no"; your second implies "yes".

People choose to use a proxy for a number of reasons, always because they
expect to get some benefit.  (Otherwise why use the proxy?)  I presume they
understand the benefit *before* they start to use the proxy, although I
realize in some environments there can be an automatic configuration.
Understanding the benefit implies they know what the proxy does to/for them.

My original example, LPWA, is transparent except for a little bit of
substitution that only occurs at the user's prompting (by using escape
sequences to induce action).  What should we say about content-filtering
proxies that mollify parents and politicians by blocking pre-programmed
stuff?  They change the content in the server -> user agent direction.  Can
they never be conforming HTTP/1.1 proxies thereby?

I think we're going to see lots of proxies appear that perform some useful
function between an origin server and a user agent, and they're not all
going to be specification-pure in the sense you (Koen) want them to be.  I
think we need to have a way to say that a proxy conforms to HTTP/1.1 at all
times in terms of handling connections and content unless its defined
function dictates that it alter the content (or headers?).  I agree in
advance that that's *way* too mushy a definition, but I also think that
declaring these functions non-conformant to HTTP/1.1 is too strict.

Dave Kristol
Received on Tuesday, 8 July 1997 14:55:52 EDT

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