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[Bug 11895] New: Make Downloads more reliable by specifying checksums

From: <bugzilla@jessica.w3.org>
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2011 19:29:01 +0000
To: public-html-bugzilla@w3.org
Message-ID: <bug-11895-2486@http.www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/>
http://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=11895

           Summary: Make Downloads more reliable by specifying checksums
           Product: HTML WG
           Version: unspecified
          Platform: All
        OS/Version: All
            Status: NEW
          Severity: normal
          Priority: P2
         Component: HTML5 spec (editor: Ian Hickson)
        AssignedTo: ian@hixie.ch
        ReportedBy: andrew.in.snow+w3c@gmail.com
         QAContact: public-html-bugzilla@w3.org
                CC: mike@w3.org, public-html-wg-issue-tracking@w3.org,
                    public-html@w3.org


Problem Statement:
For many downloads (especially large files) the publisher often releases MD5
checksums in order to assure that the download arrives as intended.  The
problem is that this checksum often requires a manual check by the recipient of
the download.  The recipient is often unwilling or unable to do this
verification and continues on assuming the download is good, without actually
checking.

Relates to Spec section:
http://dev.w3.org/html5/spec/links.html#links-created-by-a-and-area-elements
http://dev.w3.org/html5/spec/text-level-semantics.html#the-a-element

Possible Solution:
A possible solution would be to include the checksum as a machine readable
attribute or tag that specifies the checksum and algorithm for the user agent
to verify the download after the download finishes, giving instant feedback to
the user.

An example implementation could be:
<p><a href="/files/livecd.iso" checksum="e10c75da3d1aa147ddd4a5c58bfc3646"
chkfunc="md5">Click Here to Download</a></p>

This would suggest (not mandate) to the user agent that it verify the download
using the MD5 checksum included in the opening 'a' tag.  The reason for
specifying the algorithm would be to allow for future enhancements of new
(possibly better) checksum functions to be included.

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Received on Thursday, 27 January 2011 19:29:02 GMT

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