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Please document that successful GET constitutes a retrieval

From: Jonathan Rees <jar@creativecommons.org>
Date: Thu, 22 Sep 2011 11:34:00 -0400
Message-ID: <CACHXnaqH-pEpKpRyjji2wRprOm53Zaxc3tY=w+CbPVW=q=zi0Q@mail.gmail.com>
To: HTTP Working Group <ietf-http-wg@w3.org>
I note in the description of GET
that the word "retrieve" does not occur in describing the general case
(it only occurs in the description of partial GET).

Maybe it is obvious that if a representation of a resource is
transferred, then it is retrieved. But I think it would be cleaner if
consistent terminology were used. RFC 3986 speaks of retrieval, and
(in my understanding) GET is the canonical instantiation of this idea.
The HTTP spec speaks of "retrieval" in other places (such as under
OPTIONS and safe methods). It would be nice to cement the connection
by using the word somewhere in the description of what GET does. For
example, instead of saying

   The GET method requests transfer of a current representation of the
   target resource.

one might say

   The GET method requests retrieval of a current representation of the
   target resource.

(although if this is incorrect, misleading, or incomplete I'm sure
there is some other way to make the connection between GET/200 and

Along the same lines I see 7.2 OPTIONS says "resource retrieval" and
7.5 POST says "retrieve a resource". This is confusing, given that
3986 says that it is representations that are retrieved, and says
nothing about resources being retrieved.

I have not been following every post to this list so my apologies if
this has already been discussed. I also heard a rumor that this
section was being rewritten, so just consider this comment as input to
the rewriting.

Received on Thursday, 22 September 2011 15:34:28 UTC

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