W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > ietf-http-wg-old@w3.org > September to December 1996

Re: HTTP response version, again

From: Koen Holtman <koen@win.tue.nl>
Date: Sun, 22 Dec 1996 14:31:19 +0100 (MET)
Message-Id: <199612221331.OAA09682@wsooti04.win.tue.nl>
To: "Roy T. Fielding" <fielding@liege.ICS.UCI.EDU>
Cc: http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com
X-Mailing-List: <http-wg@cuckoo.hpl.hp.com> archive/latest/2166
Roy T. Fielding:
   [Koen Holtman:]
>> I think that AOL's decision is silly, but they _are_ allowed to let
>> their 1.0 clients do silly things when getting a 1.1 response.  The
>> 1.0 spec is a `best current practice' spec, so you can call your
>> clients 1.0 even if they disagree with some of it.  

Correcting an error in my own message: RFC1945 is not even `best
current practice', it ended up being `informational'.  This gives it
even less legislative power.  To quote RFC1602:

              An "Informational" specification is published for the
              general information of the Internet community, and does
              not represent an Internet community consensus or

>>                                             It would make AOL
>> clients `inferior current practice', but they are allowed to be.
>Please stop spreading this nonsense.  There is only one definition
>of HTTP/1.0 and that is found in RFC 1945.


>  Whether or not it is a
>standard is simply irrelevant.

We've had this argument before.  All I pointed out above was that the
IETF as a whole has no opinion on the relevance of RFC1945.  You and I
have an opinion about it, and it happens to be the same opinion, but
it is a _personal_ opinion.

This is not an AOL vs. IETF conflict.  This is an AOL vs. as bunch of
individuals conflict.  If people want to go to war with AOL about
this, they should know that they are not fighting for the IETF, and
that the IETF would frown on them using the prestige of the RFC series
as a weapon.

I feel that interoperability, which is the main thing the IETF is
working for, would not be served by making the default configuration
of Apache incompatible with AOL's 1.0 clients.  Interoperability would
not even be served in the long run.  This would just cause a lot of
pain for unsuspecting AOL users and unsuspecting Apache site
maintainers.  Not to mention the mass media fallout.

Sure, I would like to see AOL change their proxies to match RFC1945.
But if this cannot be achieved by talking to them (maybe after putting
some clarifications in the 1.1 draft spec), so be it.  Just take them
out of the loop.

I would probably have had another opinion if this had been any other
client author, but AOL is a fairly big company.  I would be pleasantly
surprised if they were able to reverse their version numbering
decision within two months.

> ...Roy T. Fielding    (still on vacation, and enjoying it)

Received on Sunday, 22 December 1996 05:33:08 UTC

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