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[draft-nottingham-http-link-header-06] concerns about Link header

From: Anne van Kesteren <annevk@opera.com>
Date: Mon, 31 Aug 2009 12:26:22 +0200
To: "HTTP Working Group" <ietf-http-wg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <op.uziu98u864w2qv@annevk-t60>
I should probably have expressed my doubts earlier, but I don't really  
have the feeling that implementing the Link header fully per specification  
is really worth all the effort. In fact, dropping the limited support we  
have seems like a more attractive option.

Having a UI for the <link> element never really took of in the decade that  
it existed except for a few special values (which people are bitching  
about on this list; "alternate stylesheet" is one of the few minor success  
stories) and hoping that interest in implementing such a thing will revive  
if we re-introduce the Link header seems misguided. Making the Link header  
more complex than its counterparts by supporting localized titles also  
feels way too much like some nice theoretical idea that might be  
implemented correctly in a few clients but will hardly be used in  
practice. (It also stops it from being semantically equivalent to the HTML  
<link> element, but that is not stated. A bug?)

And while obviously lots of thought went into the specification, the  
primary goal seems to be to getting it to RFC status rather than getting  
it implemented in clients. There are no test cases, almost no checking of  
existing applications, almost no requirements for clients in the draft.

This is also not a feature Web authors are asking for as far as I know.  
(The implementation of the Link header in Opera was more done as a gimmick  
and in retrospect we should probably not have done it.)

Anne van Kesteren
Received on Monday, 31 August 2009 10:27:02 UTC

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