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Re: Draft finding - "Transitioning the Web to HTTPS"

From: Graham Klyne <gk@ninebynine.org>
Date: Tue, 17 Feb 2015 15:13:45 +0000
Message-ID: <54E35AA9.5090600@ninebynine.org>
To: "Henry S. Thompson" <ht@inf.ed.ac.uk>, "Eric J. Bowman" <eric@bisonsystems.net>
CC: Mark Nottingham <mnot@mnot.net>, Noah Mendelsohn <nrm@arcanedomain.com>, "www-tag@w3.org List" <www-tag@w3.org>
On 17/02/2015 12:11, Henry S. Thompson wrote:
> The Squid logs which is what I was working with don't contain any
> request or response headers, just the response status code.  The only
> evidence available of what 2616 [1] calls "server-driven negotiation"
> and 7231 calls "proactive negotiation" is a 406 (Not Acceptable)
> response, indicating that the server has no representation satisfying
> the Accept... headers in a request.  I found only a handful of 406
> responses, none of which appeared to be actually responding to an
> attempt at conneg.  Note that this kind of conneg is what I think most
> people, including you, understand by "content negotiation"

FWIW, this is a form of conneg I often use, where the client sends an 'Accept' 
header and the server picks a suitable response format.  This will typically 
happen in a context where there is some prior client knowledge or expectation of 
the server capabilities.

In my usage, a 406 response would indicate an exceptional condition, and I would 
not expect it to be a common response even when server driven content 
negotiation is being performed.  As you say in a later message, lack of 406 
response is at best a lack of evidence for a particular pattern of conneg 
actually happening.  Given that browsers routinely send Accept headers (in my 
observation), I'd also suggest that presence of 406 responses is not strong 
evidence of an attempt to actually perform content negotiation.

#g
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Received on Tuesday, 17 February 2015 15:14:17 UTC

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