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Re: Alternative to 303 response: Description-ID: header

From: Henry S. Thompson <ht@inf.ed.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 05 Dec 2007 11:55:10 +0000
To: Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>
Cc: "Sean B. Palmer" <sean@miscoranda.com>, "David Booth" <dbooth@hp.com>, www-tag@w3.org
Message-ID: <f5bfxyh9x0h.fsf@hildegard.inf.ed.ac.uk>

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Tim Berners-Lee writes:

> . . .

> I did wonder about the following:  in the case when the URI is not of
> document, when currently we use 303,
> then the  server can return a document *about* it with  an extra
> header to explain to the browser
> that it is actually giving you a description of it not the content of
> it.  (Pick a header name)
>
> Description-ID:     kynase/data

I presume you mean "the server can return [with a 200 response code] a
document *about* it. . ."

If we're going to add something, I'd rather add a response code than a
header.  That would forestall the "if you ignore the header you'll get
an inconsistency problem."

I proposed adding a 207 response code along these lines on another
list [1]:

  "To get something stronger than the negative conclusion which 303
   gives us, I think we should look seriously at asking for a new
   response code in the new HTTP RFC: Either a 207, meaning explicitly
   "The tag:representation returned herewith represents a description
   of the resource identified by the requested URI (i.e. it is _not_ a
   tag:representation of the resource itself)", or a 308, meaning
   explicitly "No tag:representation of the resource identified by the
   requested URI is available.  The accompanying Location response
   header gives a URI which identifies a description of that resource.

  "The 207 approach has the advantage that it does not require two
   round-trips.  The 308 approach has the advantage that it provides a
   URI for the description.  We _could_ mandate the provision of a
   Content-Location response header when a 207 is given, but that is I
   guess a bit weird. . ."

ht

[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-awwsw/2007Nov/0011.html
- -- 
 Henry S. Thompson, HCRC Language Technology Group, University of Edinburgh
                     Half-time member of W3C Team
    2 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh EH8 9LW, SCOTLAND -- (44) 131 650-4440
            Fax: (44) 131 650-4587, e-mail: ht@inf.ed.ac.uk
                   URL: http://www.ltg.ed.ac.uk/~ht/
[mail really from me _always_ has this .sig -- mail without it is forged spam]
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Received on Wednesday, 5 December 2007 12:02:37 GMT

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