Grievances - Focused

First things first: the most concrete complaint I have about the latest
http draft is that we're still defaulting to qe=1 and qc=1 for encodings
and charset when the headers are missing.  The way I see it, this isn't
just my opinion, but rather, this is just broken.  A 1.0 user agent could
ask for a document, not be aware of encodings or charsets, click on stuff,
and according to the current spec, receive "".  1) The User
gets garbage on their screen, and 2) they might not even have the
opportunity to do a successful Save As, as a browser might have done
end-of-line translations or high-bit stripping.  The default encoding and
charset during lack of headers should be 0.001.  This has been discussed
before.  If logic bags can go in, certainly this change can be made.

Personally, I don't understand the existence of the version control
methods in the current spec.  This is a glaring example of something that
can easily be moved out to a separate draft.  The main implementors of
the HTTP spec in the marketplace are not even using PUT: PATCH and MOVE
are really fringe niche interests.  I'd like to know which of the 42
servers in Paul Hoffman's list support the PUT method.  2?  5 maybe?  I'm
making a generous guess here.  Not even the File Upload RFC uses the PUT
method.  These may have been in the interest of the original CERN uses of
HTTP, but they are not to the HTTP implementors at large.  I have nothing
against extension methods, PUT or others, but we need to shrink the HTTP
spec if we are to progress successfully, and these could be removed.

I heard a number of people express the feeling that Content negotiation is
a large, independent module that could be removed from HTTP for faster
consensus, and also something that should be accessible to other protocols.
I think the example of enhanced SMTP was given.  Let's see that happen!

I could go on but I think this is more than enough for the WG to digest for
now.  I encourage others to debate these points, and devise the details of
other breakups that will allow individual drafts to come to a speedier
rough consensus.
Dan DuBois, Software Animal   
		I absolutely do not speak for Spyglass.

Received on Thursday, 7 December 1995 11:42:19 UTC