Re: Proposal for SIZE attribute

Brian Behlendorf (
Tue, 9 Jan 1996 14:00:27 -0800 (PST)

Date: Tue, 9 Jan 1996 14:00:27 -0800 (PST)
From: Brian Behlendorf <>
To: Ian Burrell <>
Subject: Re: Proposal for SIZE attribute
In-Reply-To: <>
Message-Id: <>

On Mon, 8 Jan 1996, Ian Burrell wrote:
> I was thinking recently that a SIZE attribute that indicated the
> physical size in bytes of an included object would be a useful
> addition to HTML.
> Although the HTTP protocol
> gives the size in the header, this requires a network connection.  

Which doesn't really penalize you if it's done right.  Consider the news 
reader "trn" - it was designed to minimize the amount of wait-time by 
getting information from the news server in the background while you read 
posts or pick threads from a menu.  In the same way, the meta-information 
(size, content-type variants, etc) about a linked object can be obtained 
after the page has been loaded and rendered, but before a subsequent link 
is followed.  

As for using this to base decisions on inlining objects - the current 
netscape model of opening a bunch of parallel connections could handle 
the benefits you see this providing already.  With the addition of 
HTTP/1.1, a client could fetch the page, do a HEAD on each inlined 
object, and then fecth them in whatever order it prefers, all over the
same TCP connection.  It gets even better with HTTP-NG, when the server 
can send to the browser information the browser wasn't even aware it 
needed yet, like metainformation about inlined objects.


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