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Question about "406 None Acceptable"

From: Jim Seidman <jim@spyglass.com>
Date: Thu, 18 May 95 11:41:52 -0500
Message-Id: <9505181641.AA22400@hook.spyglass.com>
To: http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com
The draft specifies that a 406 response must include the content-type,
content-encoding, and content-language of the resounce.  What is the correct
response when there are multiple variants of a document, none of which match?

As an example, suppose I have HTML versions of a resource in English,
French, and Russian.  Then I also have PDF versions in English, Spanish, and
Russian.  Lastly, I have a plaintext version in English which is only
available with gzip encoding.  The client asks a Russian plaintext version
be sent with a unity encoding.  (Assume here that the server doesn't do
translations and conversions on the fly.)

All of the versions have zero quality, since either the content-type or
content-encoding doesn't match the request.  But I can't really describe the
varieties of the resource that are available, since the semantics for
content-type and content-encoding don't provide for multiple tokens, and the
semantics for content-language are such that multiple tokens don't really
carry the correct meaning.  Also, not all permutations of the existing
types, encodings, and languages are available.

Am I missing something obvious?

Jim Seidman, Senior Software Engineer
Spyglass Inc., 1230 E. Diehl Road, Naperville IL 60563
Received on Thursday, 18 May 1995 09:44:52 UTC

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