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Refresh and redirects

From: Nir Dagan <nir@nirdagan.com>
Date: Tue, 29 Feb 2000 15:13:57 -0500
Message-Id: <200002292011.PAA29969@vega.brown.edu>
To: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
There are some unclear issues with the 
Refresh HTTP header/ Meta tag in the techniques document
http://www.w3.org/TR/2000/WD-UAAG10-TECHS-20000128/
article 3.8

First I do not know what you mean by 
"server-side redirects". All redirects I know of are client side:

1. The server returning a response with a 3xx status code, and the client 
issues another request to the URI indicated in the location header.

2. The server returning a response with a 200 status code and a Refresh header,
and the client issues another request to the URI specified in the Refresh header.

3. The server returning a response with a 200 status code and an 
enclosed HTML document with a meta tag imitating the Refresh header 
as in 2. above, and the client issues another request to the URI 
specified in the meta tag.

Refresh and status 3xx have several differences:
1. Refresh may have a time delay suggestion
2. Refresh may refer to the same URI of the response. 3xx should not.
In RFC2616 "10.3 Redirection 3xx" we find:
"A client SHOULD detect infinite redirection loops, since such loops 
generate network traffic for each redirection."
3. Refresh is not a part of any HTTP specification. Its specification is 
given by Netscape's in:
http://home.netscape.com/assist/net_sites/pushpull.html

The statement "Instead of this markup, authors should use server-side 
redirects (with HTTP)." doesn't make sense since 
1. "server-side redirect" is not defined.
2. The markup example is of redirecting to the same page with a 
   time delay, which is impossible with 3xx status code.
3. It is not an advice to user agents, but to content providers.

Regards,
Nir. 
===================================
Nir Dagan
Assistant Professor of Economics
Brown University 
Providence, RI
USA

http://www.nirdagan.com
mailto:nir@nirdagan.com
tel:+1-401-863-2145
Received on Tuesday, 29 February 2000 15:11:53 GMT

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