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Re: HTTP response version, again

From: Brian Behlendorf <brian@organic.com>
Date: Fri, 20 Dec 1996 15:42:29 -0800 (PST)
To: "M. Hedlund" <hedlund@best.com>
Cc: Dave Kristol <dmk@research.bell-labs.com>, http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com, www-talk@w3.org
Message-Id: <Pine.GSO.3.95.961220153516.20218G-100000@eat.organic.com>
X-Mailing-List: <http-wg@cuckoo.hpl.hp.com> archive/latest/2145
On Fri, 20 Dec 1996, M. Hedlund wrote:
> On Fri, 20 Dec 1996, Dave Kristol wrote:
> > I still consider the question unresolved as to what version an HTTP/1.x
> > server should return for an HTTP/1.0 request.
> [...]
> > Case 1 (return HTTP/1.0 to HTTP/1.0 request):
> > Case 2 (return HTTP/1.1 to HTTP/1.0 request):
> I agree with Dave that Case 1 is preferable.  AOL's proxies apparently
> started giving users errors this week when a new version of Apache was
> released, which responded to 1.0 requests with 1.1 responses (Case 2).  
> While this instance will likely be fixed next week, it does indicate how an
> HTTP/1.0 client can be confused by an HTTP/1.1 response.

No, it indicates how a company with little concern for standards can dictate
implementations in other products through technological inertia.  There's
nothing in the 1.1 response which should cause problems with the 1.0 proxy or
1.0 client - section 3.1 of both the 1.0 and 1.1 specs promise this, and (as
best this group can tell) 1.1 fulfills this promise.  

If it becomes common acceptance that 1.0 and 1.1 are incompatible, then no one
will ever upgrade to 1.1.  This is exactly the perception this wg labored long
and hard to prevent.

The big question is, what will happen first: will AOL fix their proxies, or
will Apache users "fix" [hack] their servers?  Client service dictates that
we at Organic hack our servers, but the Apache development group has no such

A document describing the situation is available at



brian@organic.com  www.apache.org  hyperreal.com  http://www.organic.com/JOBS
Received on Friday, 20 December 1996 16:11:06 UTC

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