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RE: 404

From: <Patrick.Stickler@nokia.com>
Date: Wed, 19 Mar 2003 09:32:14 +0200
Message-ID: <A03E60B17132A84F9B4BB5EEDE57957B5FBB4A@trebe006.europe.nokia.com>
To: <Patrick.Stickler@nokia.com>, <sandro@w3.org>
Cc: <www-archive@w3.org>

> > What if
> > GET on the URI for DanC's car returned a 404 (or perhaps something
> > similar) with the semantics being "there is no 
> representation for that
> > thing (and therefor of course the representation was Not Found)", 
> 
> This is how I am thinking. In essence, 404 could be 
> generalized to mean
> "the server cannot provide what you asked for" and what was asked for
> depends on the request. If GET, then you asked for (and 
> couldn't get) a
> representation. If MGET, then you asked for (and couldn't get) a 
> description. The complete meaning of 404 is then dependent on 
> the nature
> of the request. It simply means the server can't provide what 
> you want,
> even though it fully understood what you wanted.

One additional comment on this...

IMO, the HTTP spec already says this, but alot of non-normative
material and common (mis?)understanding tends to hold 404 as
being fairly representation-centric, which is where practical
problems could arise.

But my present usage with URIQA as a response to MGET indicating
"no description found" is fully compatible with the present
HTTP 1.1 spec, which simply says

[
   10.4.5 404 Not Found 

   The server has not found anything matching the Request-URI. No 
   indication is given of whether the condition is temporary or 
   permanent. The 410 (Gone) status code SHOULD be used if the 
   server knows, through some internally configurable mechanism, 
   that an old resource is permanently unavailable and has no 
   forwarding address. This status code is commonly used when 
   the server does not wish to reveal exactly why the request 
   has been refused, or when no other response is applicable. 
]

which seems to suggest a method-centric interpretation, and suitable
to any arbitrary content retrieval method, not just GET and MGET.

Cheers,

Patrick
Received on Wednesday, 19 March 2003 02:32:23 GMT

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