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new issue: confusing statement about HTTP/1.1 version numbers

From: Jeffrey Mogul <mogul@pa.dec.com>
Date: Mon, 30 Mar 98 14:16:30 PST
Message-Id: <9803302216.AA15812@acetes.pa.dec.com>
To: http-wg@cuckoo.hpl.hp.com
Section 3.1 (HTTP Version) of the latest draft currently includes
this statement:

  Applications sending Request or Response messages, as defined by this
  specification, MUST include an HTTP-Version of "HTTP/1.1". Use of this
  version number indicates that the sending application is at least
  conditionally compliant with this specification.

I think this is at least confusing, and possibly wrong.  For example,
the first sentence directly contradicts some statements in RFC2145,
which is cited a few paragraphs earlier.  The parenthetical statement
is also odd, since a completely normal HTTP/1.0 implementation could
send messages that are defined by "this specification".

The most important statement that we need to make here is the second
sentence in the paragraph, and I think this is where the MUST needs
to be.

I propose rewriting this pararagraph to be:

   An application that sends a Request or Response message that
   includes HTTP-Version of "HTTP/1.1" MUST be at least conditionally
   compliant with this specification.  Applications that are at least
   conditionally compliant with this specification SHOULD use an
   HTTP-Version of "HTTP/1.1" in their messages, and MUST do so for any
   message that is not compatible with HTTP/1.0.  For more details on
   when to send specific HTTP-Version values, see RFC 2145 [36].

I.e.,
	you MUST NOT say you're HTTP/1.1 unless you comply.
	if you do comply, you SHOULD say so.
	if your message isn't intelligible to an HTTP/1.0 recipient,
		say you're HTTP/1.1.

-Jeff
Received on Monday, 30 March 1998 14:18:52 EST

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