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Re: What is a specification for? [was Re: Calculating Age Question]

From: Roy T. Fielding <fielding@liege.ICS.UCI.EDU>
Date: Wed, 27 Nov 1996 19:43:31 -0800
To: Jeffrey Mogul <mogul@pa.dec.com>
Cc: HTTP-WG <http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
Message-Id: <9611271943.aa21022@paris.ics.uci.edu>
X-Mailing-List: <http-wg@cuckoo.hpl.hp.com> archive/latest/1979
As an author of the specification, I have a right to point out those
parts of the specification which are known to be in error.  It is foolish
to insist that implementers should implement HTTP/1.1 incorrectly just
because the specification was accepted by the IESG with a known error
inside of it.  This is not a matter of opinion, it is a fact based on
both the original intent of the Age header field and the intent of the
caching subgroup.  I have provided sufficient documentation of that fact,
and your opinion that the age calculation should be "conservative" is
irrelevant to whether or not the Age header field should be created by
a proxy that never used its cache in forwarding the response message.

Encouraging people to implement Age as you suggest would promulgate
incorrect implementations and make Age useless as a real lower-bound
for the already-conservative age calculation.  If it becomes useless,
then you have defeated its purpose entirely.  I cannot wait until the
next round of drafts if I am to prevent Age from becoming useless,
nor do I have the time to generate another special draft just to point
out an error which should be obvious to anyone who actually looks at
the problems caused by promulgating erroneous Age values.

 ...Roy T. Fielding
    Department of Information & Computer Science    (fielding@ics.uci.edu)
    University of California, Irvine, CA 92697-3425    fax:+1(714)824-4056
Received on Wednesday, 27 November 1996 19:54:39 UTC

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