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Netscape 4.5 and HTTP/1.1 Accept-Encoding

From: Dave Kristol <dmk@research.bell-labs.com>
Date: Tue, 3 Nov 1998 14:38:40 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <199811031938.OAA04672@aleatory.research.bell-labs.com>
To: http-wg@hplb.hpl.hp.com
Something interesting has come up that's one of: a bug or infelicity in
my server, or a bug or infelicity in Netscape 4.5

Netscape 4.5 sends an HTTP/1.0 request with Accept-Encoding: gzip
header.  A web site has a paper.ps.Z file, i.e., Content-type:
application/postscript, Content-Encoding: compress.  When NS 4.5 tries
to GET the paper, my server returns 406 Not Acceptable, because
"compress" is not one of the accepted encodings.

There seem to be two (not mutually exclusive) conclusions to draw:

1) Netscape 4.5 should send Accept-Encoding: gzip, compress, because
gzip (well, the gzip program, anyway) understands the Unix compress
format.

2) My server should not send 406, since it's only a SHOULD requirement
anyway.  Or perhaps it should send 406 only for HTTP/1.1 requests.

Opinions/comments?

Dave Kristol
Received on Tuesday, 3 November 1998 19:39:14 EST

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