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Re: 301/302

From: Foteos Macrides <MACRIDES@sci.wfbr.edu>
Date: Tue, 29 Jul 1997 16:31:41 -0500 (EST)
To: koen@win.tue.nl
Cc: http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com
Message-Id: <01ILTD7R5G9U00517U@SCI.WFBR.EDU>

koen@win.tue.nl (Koen Holtman) wrote:
>Roy T. Fielding:
>>
>  [Yaron:]
>>>My suggestion is, as horrible as this is going to sound, that we change
>>>the definition of 301/302 to redirect to GET and make 303/304 be
>>>redirect, permanently or temporarily, with the same method. We can't
>>>force the whole world to rewrite all their scripts and our users aren't
>>>going to accept "Well gee, you know, the script is doing the wrong
>>>thing, it should send a 303 not a 301/302."
>>
>>No.  These issues were recognized and discussed in detail last year
>>and the year before that.  They are not subject to change in the current
>>draft revision.
>
>Well, they *could* become subject to change based on implementation
>experience.  

	OK, here's some implementation experience.

	Way back when when 303 persisted through 2 or 3 HTTP/1.1
drafts, we thought, "Great, we can implement that and start handling
301/302 validly."  Upon formal release of a version with that change,
we were barraged with false bug reports that Lynx doesn't work with
such and such search service, but it works fine with BrandX and
BrandY.  In the next formal release, when prompting about whether
to redirect a form submission with POST content, we included another
option (I'll use the en versions of the prompts):

 	Server asked for redirection of POST content to [URL]
	P)roceed, use G)ET or C)ancel:

We felt that

	P)roceed, U)se 303 or C)ancel:

was too arcane, and that

 	respect the protocol and F)ail,
	violate the protocol and S)ucceed, or C)ancel:

was too snide.  We've had no problems since offering the three options
(with the first prompt for en users).

	If a change were to be made, I don't see any reason for changing
301.  It's almost never used for form ACTIONs (I've never encountered it)
and if it's a permanent change, presumeably future submissions of a form
with METHOD=POST should still use POST.

	So it's a question of simply swapping the meanings of 302 and 303.

				Fote

=========================================================================
 Foteos Macrides            Worcester Foundation for Biomedical Research
 MACRIDES@SCI.WFBR.EDU         222 Maple Avenue, Shrewsbury, MA 01545
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Received on Tuesday, 29 July 1997 13:34:47 EDT

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