Possible New Optional Field in Header?

I am new to this group, but checked the archives
of the mailing list to see if this has been brought
up before.  Obviously, I have not yet read everything,
but I so far have not found a similar suggestion yet.

I'd like to propose a new field in the request header.
This would be totally optional, like "Referer".
Many CGI scripts now use the UserAgent field to determine
whether to send an inline GIF or JPG, based on the type
of browser being used.  I'd like a field (called
perhaps "XferRate") which would list the speed (in bytes
per second) that the browser claims it is receiving
data at.

How this number is determined is up to the browser.
It could be a running average from the first time the
browser is used, or perhaps a daily, or session average.
In addition, there could be an option to have the user
set XferRate to an arbitrarily high number.  The reason?
This field would be used by scripts to determine whether
to send a lowbandwidth or highbandwidth version of a
page, image, sound, or video.  If a user did not want this
decision being made for them, and had the patience to
sit for a large file over a low bandwidth line, it is
necessary to have XferRate be manually settable.

Has this been brought up before?  Is there a problem
with adding new optional fields in the request header?
Can anyone see something horribly wrong with providing
a site with such information about your connection?

David Levine

Received on Tuesday, 9 May 1995 12:48:03 UTC