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Re: new editorial issue RANGE_WITH_CONTENTCODING

From: Henrik Frystyk Nielsen <frystyk@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 1997 12:34:14 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: "Roy T. Fielding" <fielding@kiwi.ics.uci.edu>, Jeffrey Mogul <mogul@pa.dec.com>
Cc: http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com
X-Mailing-List: <http-wg@cuckoo.hpl.hp.com> archive/latest/4694
At 15:52 11/14/97 -0800, Roy T. Fielding wrote:

>The spec does make it explicit, at least to the extent that general
>discussion of encodings can be explicit.  On-the-fly compression is
>a transfer-coding.  Source-based compression is a content-coding.

There are two reasons why you can't substitute one for the other:

1) They don't have the same scope - one is end-to-end and the other is
hop-by-hop. As the message length changes, it can only be used through
proxies that know about that particular encoding. In other words: the
stupidest link in the chain decides the encoding.

2) A client can't say that it "accepts" transfer codings, so there is no
way to introduce the funkyflate compression. Currently, the only way is to
use Accept-Encoding. I would actually vote for having a Accept-Transfer
header field - this would also make the handling of trailers much easier.

>The problem is that people keep trying to wedge both into content-coding
>instead of just defining on-the-fly compression with Transfer-Encoding.

I think you need both - the real problem is the separation of content
encoding and content type.

Henrik Frystyk Nielsen,
World Wide Web Consortium
Received on Monday, 17 November 1997 09:38:44 UTC

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