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Re: Review of new HTTPbis text for 303 See Other

From: Roy T. Fielding <fielding@gbiv.com>
Date: Wed, 8 Jul 2009 13:59:57 -0700
Message-Id: <8DCF5E71-103C-428B-92FE-F988D3082B1A@gbiv.com>
Cc: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>, Jonathan Rees <jar@creativecommons.org>, HTTP Working Group <ietf-http-wg@w3.org>, www-tag@w3.org
To: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
On Jul 8, 2009, at 1:37 PM, Pat Hayes wrote:
>> "A 303 response to a GET request indicates that the requested  
>> resource does not have a representation of its own that can be  
>> transferred by the server over HTTP.
>
> That just seems plain false. A 303 does not indicate that something  
> does not exist. It simply indicates that the server, for reasons  
> which may be entirely opaque and nobody is under any obligation to  
> explain, has decided to redirect the query elsewhere.

No, we have other redirect codes for that.

> The http-range-14 decision adds to this that, under these 303  
> circumstances, the original URI **may** be intended to denote  
> something which has no representation appropriate to a 200 level  
> response, but this is not actually implied by the 303 response  
> itself, only permitted. The only actual constraint in all this is  
> that if the URI elicits a 200 level response, then the payload of  
> that response is a representation of the resource that the URI is  
> understood to denote. And this does not mention 303 redirection.

Please, folks, stop making up things about the HTTPrange-14 issue
which did not exist at the time it was resolved.  If there are problems
with the 303 definition (like "resource owner"), then they will be
fixed in the HTTP spec.  When the spec is approved, it will define
the protocol.  If people use the protocol incorrectly, that's their
problem.  The TAG decision was input to the process, not a sacred cow.

....Roy
Received on Wednesday, 8 July 2009 21:00:21 GMT

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