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content-encoding and range headers

From: Stefan Eissing <stefan.eissing@greenbytes.de>
Date: Tue, 10 Dec 2002 13:50:46 +0100
To: ietf-http-wg@w3.org
Message-Id: <00961816-0C3E-11D7-BC86-00039384827E@greenbytes.de>

I have unsuccessfully tried to google an answer to this, maybe someone
on this list has an answer.

My understanding of 2616 is that range is applied to the
content-encoded entity. So if an entity is gzipped, the
byte selection is applied on the gzipped representation.
Given that:

What is a server to do when a client sends a request with
Accept-Encoding: gzip
Range: bytes=0-499

Is the server free to chose the content-encoding to its liking 
(identity or gzip)?

Assuming there is a second request later
Accept-Encoding: gzip
Range: bytes=500-1000

Is the server allowed to use another content-encoding in the response?

If yes, that would mean it is purely the client's responsibility
to detect varying content-encodings in partial responses and
act accordingly?

Or did I misunderstand the order of range and content-encoding
and the byte range is selected on the unencoded entity and
content-encoding is applied *after* the range selection process?

In that case, a server storing gzipped entities has some work to do
answering range request. It would then need to "uncompress"
(ungzip?) the entity before it can select the correct range.

  Thanks for any help.

Received on Tuesday, 10 December 2002 07:51:37 UTC

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