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Re: Date verification in HTML pages

From: Matthew D. Fuller <fullermd@over-yonder.net>
Date: Wed, 12 Oct 2005 15:37:28 +0000
To: www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <20051012153711.GL23856@over-yonder.net>

On Wed, Oct 12, 2005 at 07:36:11AM +0100 I heard the voice of
David Woolley, and lo! it spake thus:
> Many of these could be addressed by more sophisticated use of
> caching control parameters and by having server side include and
> more general CGI processing synthesize a Last-Modified-Date based on
> the real content,

And even that doesn't really do the trick.

I maintain my web page in CVS, so I use $Date$ keywords as a cheap and
easy way to build 'Last Modified'.  But I modify pages all the time to
fix up spelling and grammar mistakes, or clarify labyrinthine
sentences.  If I didn't make use of templating and cross-includes, I'd
be modifying every page every time I made a change to the site
look&feel or some of the common code.

All of these would be changing the 'Last Modified', whether by
filesystem mtime or the revision $Date$.  But none of them say
anything about whether I checked that the content was up to date.
There's no way an automated system can know whether I checked or
updated something like that, so it can hardly be anything HTML (or
HTTP, or some server-side programming language for that matter) can

Matthew Fuller     (MF4839)   |  fullermd@over-yonder.net
Systems/Network Administrator |  http://www.over-yonder.net/~fullermd/
           On the Internet, nobody can hear you scream.
Received on Wednesday, 12 October 2005 16:37:44 UTC

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