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HTTP Patch proposal

From: Graham Klyne <gk@ninebynine.org>
Date: Tue, 27 Apr 2004 11:43:34 +0100
Message-Id: <>
To: www-tag@w3.org

I just noticed this:

    Several applications extending HTTP require a feature to do partial
    resource modification.  Existing HTTP functionality only allows a
    complete replacement of a document. This proposal adds a new HTTP
    method, PATCH, to modify an existing HTTP resource.

And this is a key indicator of its function:
    The PATCH request MUST have a body.  It MUST include the Content-Type
    header with a value indicating what the body type is.  It MUST be a
    format that has the semantics of defining a change to an existing
    document (such as gdiff).

I don't think this poses any fundamental problems for Web architecture, but 
the only reason I can see for not using POST is this:
    The PATCH request is subject to access control, which in turn may
    require authentication.  The PATCH request SHOULD be subject to the
    same access control permissions as the PUT request.


Graham Klyne
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Received on Tuesday, 27 April 2004 06:45:24 UTC

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