hit metering in HTTP

The HTTP Working group is creating standards for new versions of
HTTP. We are considering a proposal for a standard for 'hit metering':
allowing proxy caches to send back hit counts to origin servers.

This proposal can be found at:


Some of the debate in the standards group is over the efficacy of this
method of gathering statistics, whether the data gathered would be
sufficient to reduce the 'cache busting' techniques used on the web by
those who wish to otherwise gather demographic information.

We have noticed your paper on "net metrics for new media".

It is important to make sure that proposals get adequate review. Since
the main question before us is not quite a technical question but a
projection of the future behavior of the marketplace, it's reasonable
to consult with those who profess to be experts in the field.

I believe that it is important that the technical standards for
gathering demographic data match the marketing standards for the kind
of demographic data that is wanted. Do they?

Your comments on this issue would be welcome; if there are others who
would also be suitable reviewers on this topic, please forward this


Larry Masinter
Chair, HTTP working group

Received on Thursday, 28 November 1996 09:56:25 UTC