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http conditional requests and validation (e.g. if-modified, if-unmodified)

From: Michael Wedel <etk31073@stud.uni-stuttgart.de>
Date: Thu, 13 Nov 2003 15:53:41 +0100
Message-Id: <200311131553.AA540999858@studsv07.stud.uni-stuttgart.de>
To: <www-talk@w3.org>

I am implementing an embedded web server, which does not necessarily have a clock. Is there any way to tell the client, that I am not accepting conditional requests/how I can reliably prevent clients from sending conditional requests (but the server should be conditionally compliant with HTTP/1.1)?

The first solution could be not to include Date/Last-Modified headers (this should be compliant with the standard as long as I do not have a clock). However, RFC2616 allows clients to use arbitrary dates for If-Modified-Since, which means it does not need the Last-Modified header. 

The second solution would be always to return a 200 OK with the complete enitity in response to If-Modified-Since requests (304 is only a SHOULD requirement). The problem is that I have always to answer If-Unmodified-Since requests with 412 (performing the operation is only a SHOULD requirement), because I cannot determine if they have been modified or not.
Received on Thursday, 13 November 2003 10:03:03 UTC

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