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Re: mailing list administration; text of description of "POST"

From: Jeffrey Mogul <mogul@pa.dec.com>
Date: Tue, 09 Apr 2002 16:18:18 -0700
Message-Id: <200204092318.QAA14885@wera.pa.dec.com>
To: <lmnet@attglobal.net>
Cc: <http-wg@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
    Section 9.5 of RFC 2616 says:
    
       The POST method is used to request that the origin server accept the
       entity enclosed in the request as a new subordinate of the resource
       identified by the Request-URI in the Request-Line.
    
    Now, later on in the section it notes that POST covers other cases, e.g.,
    
	  - Providing a block of data, such as the result of submitting a
	    form, to a data-handling process;
    
    but some people have taken the first sentence to be somehow
    definitional. ("is used" turning into "is only used" rather than
    "may be used").
    
    So I would suggest changing this wording -- and even putting up an
     errata -- that "The POST method is used to request that the origin
     server accept the entity enclosed in the request as data to be
     processed by the resource identified by the Request-URI in the
     Request-Line."
    
Makes sense to me.  But then it might also make sense to remove the
second sentence of this paragraph in section 9.5:


   The actual function performed by the POST method is determined by the
   server and is usually dependent on the Request-URI. The posted entity
   is subordinate to that URI in the same way that a file is subordinate
   to a directory containing it, a news article is subordinate to a
   newsgroup to which it is posted, or a record is subordinate to a
   database.

That is, just say:

   The actual function performed by the POST method is determined by the
   server and is usually dependent on the Request-URI.

and leave it at that.  I never really understood why POST seemed to
be restricted to operations that involve "subordinates", since many
(most?) existing uses of POST would not be natural to describe this
way.

-Jeff
Received on Wednesday, 10 April 2002 00:18:58 EDT

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