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LC comments on draft-yevstifeyev-http-headers-not-recognized-08.txt

From: Mark Nottingham <mnot@mnot.net>
Date: Tue, 14 Dec 2010 11:09:48 +1100
Cc: httpbis Group <ietf-http-wg@w3.org>
Message-Id: <C3557348-94A0-40AD-AC05-C51BB1126EA4@mnot.net>
To: The IETF <ietf@ietf.org>

The use cases for this draft are highly speculative and unproven, even for something aspiring to be Experimental. I haven't seen any implementers express interest in it. 

The draft does not cover what it means for a server to "recognise" a header, yet it places a MUST level requirement on this; e.g., if a server doesn't actively use the "Via" header, should it list it as not recognised? What about X-Forwarded-For? Deploying this on a server as-is means that a lot of extra bytes will be sent in responses (and not just because the field-name is so long, although that doesn't help). If the client sends a 'Range' header but the server chooses not to sent a partial response, should it be listed? And so on...

It's also under-specified; e.g, I haven't seen any analysis on the interaction of this mechanism with hop-by-hop headers, nor with content negotiation, nor with caching. 

Furthermore, the draft enables implementation of an anti-pattern for HTTP, by offering an alternative to the 'must ignore' pattern. I understand that the intent of the header is to enable debugging, but if it gains deployment, it will be very tempting for developers to build on top of it.

Therefore, I recommend that this draft NOT be published as an RFC (of any kind).


Begin forwarded message:

> From: The IESG <iesg-secretary@ietf.org>
> Date: 14 December 2010 12:28:08 AM AEDT
> To: IETF-Announce <ietf-announce@ietf.org>
> Subject: Last Call: <draft-yevstifeyev-http-headers-not-recognized-08.txt> ('Headers-Not-Recognized' HTTP Header Field) to Experimental RFC
> The IESG has received a request from an individual submitter to consider
> the following document:
> - ''Headers-Not-Recognized' HTTP Header Field'
>  <draft-yevstifeyev-http-headers-not-recognized-08.txt> as an
> Experimental RFC
> The IESG plans to make a decision in the next few weeks, and solicits
> final comments on this action. Please send substantive comments to the
> ietf@ietf.org mailing lists by 2011-01-14. Exceptionally, comments may be
> sent to iesg@ietf.org instead. In either case, please retain the
> beginning of the Subject line to allow automated sorting.
> The file can be obtained via
> http://datatracker.ietf.org/doc/draft-yevstifeyev-http-headers-not-recognized/
> IESG discussion can be tracked via
> http://datatracker.ietf.org/doc/draft-yevstifeyev-http-headers-not-recognized/
> No IPR declarations have been submitted directly on this I-D.
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Mark Nottingham   http://www.mnot.net/
Received on Tuesday, 14 December 2010 00:10:25 UTC

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