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Re: Do we kill the "Host:" header in HTTP/2 ?

From: Ted Hardie <ted.ietf@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2013 08:04:21 -0800
Message-ID: <CA+9kkMC1X0mnSVEau-FNXkeYasVduJ+OPmoiDdLEtYMhYykxqQ@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Roy T. Fielding" <fielding@gbiv.com>
Cc: HTTP Working Group <ietf-http-wg@w3.org>
On Thu, Jan 31, 2013 at 5:15 AM, Roy T. Fielding about this

>> We had no idea how early we were in the popularity curve of HTTP or
>> how dominant it would become, but it was clear even then that the
>> protocol would be very, very common on the network.  In retrospect, it
>> is clear that we shouldn't have looked at the current installed
>> base--we should have looked at what we expected eventual use would be.
>> That makes "the earlier the better" clear.
> I think your memory is a bit hazy there ... HTTP passed all
> application protocols other than email in 1995, and by that
> time (Mar 1996) was roughly double email traffic, IIRC (this was
> before email-based spam became common).  That's why the WG
> meeting contained a lot of people who had nothing to do
> with developing the Web protocols---there was panic in the air.

I think we can both agree it only got more popular from there.  It may
well have surpassed email by that discussion, but the hockey stick had
a lot of run to go.

> I find it amusing that you think we could have proceeded in any
> other way without relegating the IETF work to the garbage bin.

It would have taken agreement from a lot of people, but the web
community of the time could have decided then to rev the major
protocol version for that change.  That suggestion was made.  The IETF
could not have mandated that.  The IETF *never* gets to dictate
protocol changes--it didn't have police then and it doesn't now, but
saying that the buy-in for that change didn't happen doesn't equate to
saying it could not.


>> For HTTP 2.0, where we can make non-backward compatible changes, I
>> personally think the right thing to do is to drop the Host: header
>> (that version shift is what we were waiting for 17 years ago, after
>> all).  If there are things folks are getting from side-effects of the
>> Host header (e.g. proxy targeting), we put them into the bin of
>> potential requirements for HTTP 2.0 *and create mechanisms to meet
>> those needs*.
>> I think Adrien's proposal for extensions to the host header makes
>> clear that the need isn't perfectly met by the host header in any
>> case, so mapping out the real aim and meeting that seems like the best
>> notion to me.
> Oddly enough, waka separates the scheme+host routing information from
> the rest of the URI because that works better with multi-argument
> methods and message-based encryption. *shrug*
> ....Roy
Received on Thursday, 31 January 2013 16:04:52 UTC

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