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Re: HTTbis spec size, was: Rechartering HTTPbis

From: Poul-Henning Kamp <phk@phk.freebsd.dk>
Date: Sat, 28 Jan 2012 12:05:35 +0000
To: "Markus Lanthaler" <markus.lanthaler@gmx.net>
cc: "'HTTP Working Group'" <ietf-http-wg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <2220.1327752335@critter.freebsd.dk>
In message <00dc01ccddb3$69f96be0$3dec43a0$@lanthaler@gmx.net>, "Markus Lanthal
er" writes:

>Sorry to ask a (probably stupid) question in this context. Isn't HTTP
>supposed to be an application protocol? Wasn't one main problems with SOAP
>that it abused HTTP as a transport protocol?

That's a very pertinent question.

The first version of HTTP was clearly not a transport protocol since it
used TCP as transport protocol: One TCP connection for each
request/response.

But onto that were hacked the various "keep-live" hacks, which
suddenly turned HTTP a transport protocol, but without proper design
of semantics.

Without keepalive, there were/is no doubt about how you
find out if a request has a object-body.  But when the keep-alive
hack was added, they forgot to add a transport-header that said
"has body", instead implementations had to divine this from the
semantics of the request.

And from there it went downhill, into chunked encoding, transfer-encoding
and now various ridiculous proposals for how to bolt pipelining and
multiplexing onto the side.

This history is a good argument against calling the transport protocol
HTTP/2.0, but it not a good argument for not doing proper layering.

-- 
Poul-Henning Kamp       | UNIX since Zilog Zeus 3.20
phk@FreeBSD.ORG         | TCP/IP since RFC 956
FreeBSD committer       | BSD since 4.3-tahoe    
Never attribute to malice what can adequately be explained by incompetence.
Received on Saturday, 28 January 2012 12:05:58 GMT

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