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Re: Proxies and gethostbyname

From: David W. Morris <dwm@xpasc.com>
Date: Mon, 27 Apr 1998 12:20:46 -0700 (PDT)
To: Jim Gettys <jg@pa.dec.com>
Cc: http working group <http-wg@cuckoo.hpl.hp.com>
Message-Id: <Pine.GSO.3.96.980427112129.4948G-100000@shell1.aimnet.com>


On Mon, 27 Apr 1998, Jim Gettys wrote:

> Clarification is needed on what error is to be returned if a Proxy
> times out looking up a hostname.  The spec is silent on what is a very
> common failure.
> 
> My current opinion is that returning 504 Gateway Timout is correct, but 
> that clarification to the spec is in order.  But other options include 
> introducting other error codes, or less likely, some other existing error 
> code.
> 
> Other opinions?

I agree that it is a 5xx error, but I believe that overloading an
existing error is wrong. It is important to give the network support
infrastructure more information as well as allowing the browser the
chance to provide a decent message to the user.  

504 Gateway Timeout ... means the gateway timed out waiting for the
               resource itself

5xx Gateway DNS Timeout     ... means that the gateway timed out waiting
                    for a response from the DNS
5xy Gateway DNS Unknown     ... means that the DNS provide a definate
                    response that the host name is unknown
5xz Gateway Request Refused ... means that the gateway's attempt to
                    connect the remote server was refused 

Considering this issue and looking overthe 5xx errors, I notice what to
me is a glaring oversight .... no clear differentiation between 
errors reported by server and errors reported by a proxy about its
attempt to contact a server. This makes intelligent problem
determination more difficult.

Dave Morris
Received on Monday, 27 April 1998 12:30:24 EDT

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