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ISSUE: Expect Header Field Problem

From: Henrik Frystyk Nielsen <frystyk@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 27 Jul 1998 12:31:00 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: jg@w3.org
Cc: http-wg@cuckoo.hpl.hp.com
X-Mailing-List: <http-wg@cuckoo.hpl.hp.com> archive/latest/261
 The current wording in section 14.20 is nonsense as it renders all
existing HTTP/1.1 servers not compliant:

The Expect request-header field is used to indicate that particular server
behaviors are required by the client. A server that does not understand or
is unable to comply with any of the expectation values in the Expect field
of a request MUST respond with appropriate error status.

People  not having read the spec before or not knowing about HTTP
implementations will get very surprised if they expect this behavior. The
MUST MUST be changed to something like this:

The Expect request-header field can be used to indicate that particular
server behaviors are preferred by the client. The client is not guaranteed
that the server recognizes the information in an Expect request header field.

The stronger semantics of a MUST is captured by the Mandatory proposal
which is under way on the HTTP-EXT mailing list.

Henrik Frystyk Nielsen,
World Wide Web Consortium
Received on Tuesday, 28 July 1998 11:38:23 UTC

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