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Re: What is Content-Length?

From: David W. Morris <dwm@xpasc.com>
Date: Thu, 11 Dec 1997 09:43:34 -0800 (PST)
To: John Franks <john@math.nwu.edu>
Cc: Scott Lawrence <lawrence@agranat.com>, http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com, http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com
Message-Id: <Pine.GSO.3.96.971211093922.17178A-100000@shell1.aimnet.com>
X-Mailing-List: <http-wg@cuckoo.hpl.hp.com> archive/latest/4907

On Thu, 11 Dec 1997, John Franks wrote:

> I would prefer Content-length to be the length BEFORE any transfer
> encoding.  From Scott's remarks it is clear this is what he
> understands content length to be.  But if Content-length is length
> before transfer encoding we must introduce a Transfer-length header or
> forbid any future transfer encodings which are not self-delimiting.

As I've already said, transfer encoding was introduced to resolve the
problem that some servers don't know the total length until 
the whole document has been sent.  All future transfer encodings MUST
be self-delimiting. It would be stupid to introduce a new header
whose value can't always be computed to define the length of 
some possible new method of encoding.

IF and WHEN a new encoding is defined which can't be designed to be
self-delimiting, a new header can be introduced coupled for use with
that encoding.  Easy enough to redefine the the new encoding to include
an extra prefix record containing the length.

Dave Morris
Received on Thursday, 11 December 1997 09:46:55 UTC

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