Re: Host: header and port number

Rob McCool writes:
 > BearHeart / Bill Weinman wrote:
 > >    Perhaps I'm missing something, but I can't seem to figure
 > > out what a server would do with the port number.
 > > 
 > >    If a request comes in on, say port 80, and it says:
 > > 
 > >
 > > 
 > >    What does the server do with that?
 > Probably nothing. In outlandish theory it could provide a way for people
 > to provide HTTP data from non-standard ports to people behind
 > restrictive firewalls (the request came for port 80, but they're
 > interested in the specialized stuff on port 8000 that their firewall
 > won't let them get to).

It's conceivable that a gateway would want to translate requests it
receives on various ports to other ports on the other side (the
inside) of a firewall.  If the original port were part of this header
info, a gateway could even multiplex requests on many ports down to
one, with the port number maintaining the information in a natural way
as to which "virtual" server was being spoken to.  This is one way
someone could organize  a single http server providing several virtual
services.  For example you could set up externally visible services on ports
8000, 8001, 8002, ... and have them all translate down to port 80 (or
whatever) on the inside of the firewall.

Maybe that is outlandish -- I'm not so sure.  It's not that much of a
burning issue for me, though it feels more sensible to me to leave the
port info in if it's there, rather than exclude it.


Received on Monday, 22 January 1996 23:22:19 UTC