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Re: Indicating a resource does not exist

From: Ben Niven-Jenkins <ben@niven-jenkins.co.uk>
Date: Thu, 20 Jan 2011 15:53:55 +0000
Cc: Joe Gregorio <joe@bitworking.org>, HTTP Working Group <ietf-http-wg@w3.org>
Message-Id: <D86D161C-C478-4539-9A89-ADF7E9FCE422@niven-jenkins.co.uk>
To: nathan@webr3.org
Nathan,

On 20 Jan 2011, at 14:47, Nathan wrote:

> Joe Gregorio wrote:
>> On Thu, Jan 20, 2011 at 9:31 AM, Nathan <nathan@webr3.org> wrote:
>>> Joe Gregorio wrote:
>>>> What's wrong with 404 Not Found?
>>>  404 Not Found
>>>  ...
>>>  The server has not found anything matching the effective request URI.
>>>  No indication is given of whether the condition is temporary or
>>>  permanent ...
>>> 
>>> The best you can conclude from that is "don't know" the state of the
>>> resource, or if there is one.
>> OK, so 410 Gone if you want to indicate it is permanent.
> 
> 410 entails more though, "was a resource, is no longer a resource", 404 is "I don't know", I'm looking for an unambiguous "origin server says this is not a resource"

"origin server says this is not a resource" is itself ambiguous, for example does it mean:
 - "this is not a resource now, and will never be a resource in the future"
 - "this is not a resource now, but may be a resource in the future" 
 - something else.

A description of the use case you have in mind would probably help quite a lot as I'm struggling to think of a scenario where 404 isn't sufficient.

Ben
Received on Thursday, 20 January 2011 15:54:26 GMT

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