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Re: <meta> tags and their practical use

From: Tim Bagot <tsb-w3-html-0005@earth.li>
Date: Tue, 3 Sep 2002 07:45:07 +0000 (UTC)
To: <www-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.33.0209030728210.895-100000@213-152-52-166.dsl.eclipse.net.uk>

At 2002-09-03T09:28+1000, Mark Stanton wrote:-

[Henri Sivonen]
> > * Trying to do cache control via <meta> is delusional, because proxies
> >   don't see the <meta> tags.
>
> Sorry can you clarify this. Are they unable to see the <meta> tags or do
> they simply not bother looking?

Most caching proxies do not attempt to parse the content of cached
documents, because it is too expensive.

> If its the later I would suggest meta is kept or perhaps this information is
> expressed in a different way so that a future generation of proxies could
> read it.
>
> My knowledge of proxies is very limited but I think the idea of telling a
> proxy how to cache a page is a very good one.

Such a way already exists, and can be read by the current generation of
proxies: HTTP headers. These also have the advantage that they can be used
for all files, not just HTML documents. The usual response to this is that
many free hosting providers do not allow their users to modify HTTP
headers. This is a problem not with HTTP or HTML, but with those
providers. They could easily allow modification of the cacheability,
Content-Type, etc. headers if they actually cared.


Tim Bagot
Received on Tuesday, 3 September 2002 03:45:32 GMT

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