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Re: p2: Considerations for new headers

From: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>
Date: Thu, 25 Apr 2013 16:41:46 +0200
Message-ID: <517940AA.3040108@gmx.de>
To: Mark Nottingham <mnot@mnot.net>
CC: "ietf-http-wg@w3.org Group" <ietf-http-wg@w3.org>
On 2013-04-24 10:06, Julian Reschke wrote:
> On 2013-04-24 10:03, Mark Nottingham wrote:
>> We should consider adding the following to the laundry list of
>> considerations in p2 8.3.1:
>> * Whether the field should be stored by origin servers that understand
>> it upon a PUT request.


>> Furthermore, I think we should change:
>> * How the header field might interact with caching (see [Part6]).
>> to:
>> * When the header is used in requests and affects response selection
>> [ref], it is good practice to advise listing that header in the Vary
>> response header [ref].

<http://trac.tools.ietf.org/wg/httpbis/trac/changeset/2227> (slightly 

>> Finally, we should add (near the top of the section):
>> """
>> New header fields cannot change the semantics of a message in an
>> incompatible fashion. That is, it is not possible to require
>> recipients to understand a header field through its mere presence.
>> However, new methods and status codes can require the presence of
>> headers in their definitions, in the scope of the message they occur
>> within.
>> """
>> Make sense?
> ...

I think the consequences of the first sentence are not totally clear.

- you can set a new header field on a message, but you can not rely on 
the recipient looking at it (because it's "must ignore")

- you could require the presence of a new header field on a request 
using a new method, or on a response using a new status code

...but then, you could require it in other cases as well (think a new 
auth scheme, a successful upgrade, an applied Preference...).

Not sure how to explain this better...

Best regards, Julian
Received on Thursday, 25 April 2013 14:42:22 UTC

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