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Re: text of description of "POST"

From: Scott Lawrence <lawrence@world.std.com>
Date: 24 Apr 2002 14:48:46 -0400
To: Mark Baker <distobj@acm.org>
Cc: Larry Masinter <lmnet@attglobal.net>, ietf-http-wg@w3.org
Message-ID: <82ofg99bld.fsf@dhcp74.ma.virata.com>
Mark Baker <distobj@acm.org> writes:

> I'll all for cleaning up the definition of POST, but IMO, proceeding
> with text that has most often been cited by those who tunnel over POST
> (IPP, SOAP), is the wrong way to go.
> 
> I could perhaps go for this definition if it were amended to say
> something like; 
> 
>  "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.
>   The entity SHOULD NOT include any instruction or direction to
>   perform an action other than simple form-like submission."

HTTP has been plagued by this debate for a long time.  I'd prefer to
make the spec clearer with respect to correct implementation of the
protocol as measured by success in interoperability.  The existing
wording clearly fails this test (in that it attempt to create some
sort of abstract notion using the term 'subordinate' in a way most
people don't seem to understand).

Your suggested wording adds a 'SHOULD NOT' that is not motivated by an
interoperability issue - it is an expression of a policy preference:
that other protocols should not be tunneled over HTTP.  As such, I
don't think it improves the clarity of the specification (especially
since it does not make that motivation clear, leaving the reader to
wonder _why_ one should not use it in that way, and because 'simple
form-like submission' is hardly a tight distinction).

I think that the changes Jeff suggests in his post are clear and
policy neutral - just what is needed.

--
Scott Lawrence        GlobespanVirata Embedded UPnP & Web Technology
slawrence@globespanvirata.com                  http://www.emweb.com/
Received on Wednesday, 24 April 2002 14:49:17 GMT

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