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Re: Host header issue

From: Jim Gettys <jg@pa.dec.com>
Date: Wed, 8 Sep 1999 08:13:21 -0700
Message-Id: <9909081513.AA24518@pachyderm.pa.dec.com>
To: "Josh Cohen (Exchange)" <joshco@exchange.microsoft.com>
Cc: "Roy T. Fielding" <fielding@kiwi.ICS.UCI.EDU>, http-wg@hplb.hpl.hp.com

Here's the story, folks (short history lesson):

The lack of host information meant that IP addresses has had to be assigned
for all virtual host web sites.

Not only did this waste IP addresses (getting to be a scarce resource), 
it caused MAJOR headaches among major ISP's doing Web hosting (think about 
the problems caused by adding the 257'th host to a web server on a class 
C net (or whatever you call the CIDR equivalent these days).

So certain (more than one) IESG/IAB members insisted this get fixed in
such a way that it COULD NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES be gotten wrong in all
software going forward.  There was no confidence in people getting
it right otherwise.

At least one of these people said 'I don't care if HTTP/1.1 has anything
else', as a way to show the vehemence of the problem.

Ergo, the requirement to report buggy clients with an error.

And note Roy's remark about proxies...

Might there be some further optimization possible?  Maybe.
But we sweat blood over them words, as I remember.  And they were written
to enable transitioning to absolute URI's in a V1.2, as I also remember
(we had a problem that would have made that hard at one point, that did
get fixed).

If you insist on riding this horse, you should start by refreshing your 
mind with all the discussion on the topic, and of exactly how the spec 
words got to where they are. The issues were more subtle than they
first appeared, as I remember the discussion (and I don't remember all
the subtleties).
			- Jim
Received on Wednesday, 8 September 1999 16:14:43 EDT

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