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multipart/byteranges minimum number of parts

From: A. Rothman <amichai2@amichais.net>
Date: Wed, 24 Sep 2008 23:22:03 +0000
Message-ID: <20509360.9381222298380987.JavaMail.SYSTEM@endor>
To: ietf-http-wg@w3.org

The spec contradicts itself regarding the minimum number of parts in a 
multipart/byteranges response: On the one hand, "A response to a request 
for multiple ranges, whose result is a single range, MAY be sent as a 
multipart/byteranges media type with one part", while on the other hand, 
"The multipart/byteranges media type includes two or more parts". If a 
multipart/byteranges media type indeed must include two or more parts, 
the first statement makes for an illegal response. And if a one-part 
response is valid, then the second statement is incorrect.

Since the spec also mandates that a client requesting a single range 
must never receive a multipart/byteranges response, it seems like the 
intention was to make it possible for a client to support partial 
retrieval without having to implement multipart support at all, in which 
case it would have been more straightforward if the spec simply required 
all single-range responses to use Content-Range and not 
multipart/byteranges. For backwards compatibility,  it can 
encourage/require multipart/byteranges recipients to properly handle 
single-part messages as well, which is very likely the case in existing 

In any case, this contradiction should be fixed and the use cases clarified.


Received on Thursday, 25 September 2008 08:34:54 UTC

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