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Re: 505 response a MUST?

From: Roy T. Fielding <fielding@kiwi.ics.uci.edu>
Date: Fri, 27 Feb 1998 15:33:57 -0800
To: Larry Masinter <masinter@parc.xerox.com>
Cc: HTTP Working Group <http-wg@cuckoo.hpl.hp.com>, Scott Lawrence <lawrence@agranat.com>, jg@w3.org
Message-Id: <9802271533.aa04454@paris.ics.uci.edu>
>>  ... and section 3.1 spells out various rules about version number
>>  usage, but does not specify that a server MUST send a 505 response
>>  if it receives a major version number higher than the highest
>>  version it implements.

That isn't why 505 was created.  It allows a future server to deny
service to older protocols.  Since we cannot know whether HTTP/2.0
is incompatible with HTTP/1.1 (the major version change does not imply
incompatibility, it just removes the requirement for compatibility),
it is inappropriate for a server to be required to respond in error
to a message it might be able to respond to normally.  That's why it
is not a MUST, and why Apache responds normally to an HTTP-version of
HTTP/2.0 if it can interpret the request as an HTTP/1.1 server.

....Roy
Received on Friday, 27 February 1998 15:57:24 EST

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