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Re: Request that the WG reconsider section 3.4: Content Negotiation

From: Bjoern Hoehrmann <derhoermi@gmx.net>
Date: Tue, 05 Nov 2013 16:38:11 +0100
To: ht@inf.ed.ac.uk (Henry S. Thompson)
Cc: ietf-http-wg@w3.org, www-tag@w3.org
Message-ID: <jv1i79l6639n29r7lcs582g3k96flhh9uj@hive.bjoern.hoehrmann.de>
* Henry S. Thompson wrote:
>See my response to Julian.  Either "contains a list" is a reference to
>a 300 response, in which case I repeat my request to be pointed to
>_any_ user agent which implements any kind of response to a 300 (other
>than to treat it as a 200), or it refers to something in the message
>body, in which case it has nothing to do with HTTP as a protocol.

The redirection response codes are for cases where further action needs
to be taken. The draft specifically mentions that a server might prefer
such action over offering one of the alternatives directly in which case
300 might be a good choice for a response code. Consider as an example

  Please choose your language to continue: English, Deutsch

This requires the user to react. A common alternative would be

  Herzlich Willkommen (also available in -> English)

Which allows the user to react but does not require it. That would be a
200 response. It does not make sense to me that a server would include a
list of available alternatives only if it forces the user to choose, so
your first interpretation strikes me as unreasonable.

Your second interpretation is mistaken, the draft specifically mentions
the option of including the list in header fields. It is appropriate to
discuss how users and clients and servers can select among alternative
representations including how to discover available alternatives. That
is a core concern for people developing and deploying implementations
of the protocol. If discovering alternatives often involves looking at
links in Hypertext documents, the Hypertext Transport Protocol specifi-
cation surely can mention that.

I think your proposal to remove a large portion of text without any
replacement would make the draft worse, not better. I do see much room
for improving the current text, but no particular need to do it.
-- 
Björn Höhrmann · mailto:bjoern@hoehrmann.de · http://bjoern.hoehrmann.de
Am Badedeich 7 · Telefon: +49(0)160/4415681 · http://www.bjoernsworld.de
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Received on Tuesday, 5 November 2013 15:38:39 UTC

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