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Re: Proxies and gethostbyname

From: Roy T. Fielding <fielding@kiwi.ics.uci.edu>
Date: Tue, 28 Apr 1998 10:26:37 -0700
To: Jim Gettys <jg@pa.dec.com>
Cc: http-wg@cuckoo.hpl.hp.com
Message-Id: <9804281026.aa11832@paris.ics.uci.edu>
>My current opinion is that returning 504 Gateway Timeout 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.

Ditto.  504 is sufficient, but we might do better.  The general question
in deciding on a response code is whether the "here's what you should do
next" semantics are equivalent to an existing response code, and whether
the "next" thing can be accomplished automatically or only by some real
person looking at the error response message.

In my opinion, a failure to resolve a DNS name is equivalent to a
failure to connect to the resolved IP address -- the reason being that
both are components of the resource resolution process.  A more general
status code would therefore be a new "5aa Unable to Resolve URI", with
the explanation of why being included in the response message.  This is
different from 404 Not Found since it does not imply an authoritative
response.  Likewise, we would gain nothing from further differentiation
of all possible resolution failure causes into separate error codes,
since there is nothing whatsoever that the client can do "next" aside
from display the cause or try a different proxy (i.e., all of those
failures are equivalent).

....Roy
Received on Tuesday, 28 April 1998 11:03:26 EDT

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