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Re: WG Last Call for draft-schulzrinne-http-status-00.txt

From: Roy T. Fielding <fielding@kiwi.ics.uci.edu>
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 1997 14:52:03 -0800
To: Larry Masinter <masinter@parc.xerox.com>
Cc: http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com
Message-Id: <9711201506.aa11336@paris.ics.uci.edu>
Having a document to vet and register proposed status codes is
a good idea -- one that we have discussed in the past.  Reserving
sets of status codes for use by other protocols is a bad idea.
HTTP status codes need to be thought-out with the rigor of an RFC.
The draft is insufficient for helping IANA set up a registry.
Better examples of that are the charset and media type registries.

HTTP/1.x status codes are three digits.  Responses are examined for
three digits.  Any more than three digits and the response will
be treated as HTTP/0.9.

When a protocol using HTTP needs a new status code, it can talk about
it in the abstract (e.g., 4aa) until a sufficient justification can
be put in text and registered for that status.  There is no need to
pre-register codes that might be needed.  Fewer than 10% of the proposals
for new status codes have been accepted, usually because the authors
didn't bother to check for an existing status code that already
serves their purpose, or simply wanted their own "special" code
"just in case", or the proposal faded into dust long before implementation.

What other protocols not using HTTP want to do with their own status
codes is not relevant.  I suggest they use more than three digits.
Likewise, it would make sense for HTTP/2+ to use more than three
digits (or at least a token with wider range).

....Roy
Received on Thursday, 20 November 1997 15:38:18 EST

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