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RE: UA norm for redirects (both META and http)

From: Justin James <j_james@mindspring.com>
Date: Sun, 1 Jun 2008 00:52:44 -0400
To: "'Robert J Burns'" <rob@robburns.com>, "'Julian Reschke'" <julian.reschke@gmx.de>
Cc: "'Thomas Broyer'" <t.broyer@gmail.com>, <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <017301c8c3a3$54c8a3e0$fe59eba0$@com>

Robert –

I think that no matter what, any specs regarding the handling of *any* HTTP
status codes, redirects, etc. belong in the hands of the folks who work on
HTTP, not us. And I am fairly certain (based upon the current HTTP spec),
that specifying UI behavior is well outside of their jurisdiction as well.


From: Robert J Burns [mailto:rob@robburns.com] 
Sent: Friday, May 30, 2008 5:24 AM
To: Julian Reschke
Cc: Justin James; 'Thomas Broyer'; public-html@w3.org
Subject: Re: UA norm for redirects (both META and http)

HI Julian, Justin and Thomas,

On May 30, 2008, at 7:27 AM, Julian Reschke wrote:

Justin James wrote:

The issues that the original request attempts to address, in terms of how
browsers handle the redirect. Basically, my suspicion is that application
developers don't realize that multiple HTTP status codes can produce a
redirect, and they may have a redirect reason or two that the existing
status codes don't cover. What I see is that developers tend to use 302
(Moved) which is rarely the correct status code for what they are trying to
accomplish. So between developers frequently operating in a state of
ignorance, and the HTTP spec not fully meeting their needs (although
experience shows that few would use the needed feature if they were added
anyways), we have a scenario where the browser's behavior is often not

That may all be true, but I'm not sure how this is HTTP's problem.

HTTP basically distinguishes "moved temporarily" and "moved permanently".
Are you looking for more detail? What? And what would a UA do with it?

Thanks for the input on this. I changed the wiki page[1] so that it only
concerns 301 (permanently moved) redirects[2]. The motivation behind the
proposal is to advise UAs to treat the 301s and the META redirect
consistently and in an interoperable manner that authors (and users) can
count on.

On the issue of authoring misuse of 301s, is there some other litmus test we
can apply (such as consistent response headers) that could help identify
these misused 301s? If not, my inclination would be to simply treat all of
the 301s the same along with 0 timeout META redirects (with perhaps the
exception of handling some differences for extended redirect timeouts, as
Boris suggested).

Take care,

[1]  <http://esw.w3.org/topic/HTML/RedirectNorm>
[1]: <HTTP/1.1 section 10.3 Redirection 3xx>
Received on Sunday, 1 June 2008 05:00:32 UTC

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