Caching multipart data

It occurs to me that under many circumstances the entity carried by an HTTP
message could consist of a mixture of very static information and highly
volatile data. For example, if HTTP is used to retrieve a database record,
many fields included in the reply will be very stable (e.g., name, address,
hair color, etc.) and other fields will be quite volatile, possibly
changing daily or hourly. It makes sense to bundle such a message in MIME
format with the stable fields grouped together (albeit with a strong
validator) and the less stable fields in related groups. The idea is that a
cache that could handle the parts of a multipart MIME message separately
would be able to validate a message with considerably less overhead. In
fact, it would be possible to have data that should not be cached at all
(such as a stock price, humidity, heart rate, etc.) retrieved from the
origin server with each request, but information that can be cached can
simply be revalidated. 

Gregory Woodhouse
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Received on Friday, 25 October 1996 14:32:09 UTC