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issue & resolution: 204-UNCLEAR

From: Paul Leach <paulle@microsoft.com>
Date: Tue, 10 Mar 1998 17:15:32 -0800
Message-Id: <5CEA8663F24DD111A96100805FFE6587031E3BC0@red-msg-51.dns.microsoft.com>
To: http-wg@cuckoo.hpl.hp.com
The definition of "204 No Content" makes reference to updated
metainformation being returned about the requested variant. It does so in
old language that refers to the "document in the user agent's active view",
rather than the requested variant, making it seem that it only had UI
consequences. Some server implementations were returning updated
metainformation, e.g. after a PUT, and expecting that clients could use it,
and some client implementations wanted updated information after a PUT and
didn't realize this was the way to get it.

The following is proposed as the replacement for 10.2.4 204 No Content:

> 10.2.5 204 No Content 
> The server has fulfilled the request but does not need to return an
> entity-body, and may want to return updated metainformation.  The response
> MAY include new or updated metainformation in the form of entity-headers,
> which if present SHOULD be associated with the requested variant.
> 
> If the client is a user agent, it SHOULD NOT change its document view from
> that which caused the request to be sent. This response is primarily
> intended to allow input for actions to take place without causing a change
> to the user agent's active document view, although any new or updated
> metainformation SHOULD be applied to the document currently in the user
> agent's active view.
> 
> The 204 response MUST NOT include a message-body, and thus is always
> terminated by the first empty line after the header fields.
> 
paul
Received on Tuesday, 10 March 1998 17:17:43 EST

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