RE: indefinite server-push (was 'Last-Modified in chunked footer' )

Just for my own curiosity, what is the difference, from the client or
proxy point of view, between a slow server sending a very large chunked
response and an "endless" response?

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Phillip Hallam-Baker []
> Sent:	Monday, September 15, 1997 9:08 AM
> To:	'Larry Masinter'; Ben Laurie
> Cc:
> Subject:	RE: indefinite server-push (was 'Last-Modified in
> chunked footer')
> On Monday, September 15, 1997 11:32 AM, Larry Masinter
> [] wrote:
> > but seriously, shouldn't there be an expectation that a single
> > HTTP request should get a complete reply, properly terminated,
> > within a relatively small amount of time, and that a continuous
> > entity body without termination (delivered through chunked encoding,
> > perhaps) is not a valid HTTP response?
> No, there has never been this assumption and it is impossible to
> put one in now.
> Servers already commonly deliver far more content than is practical
> to store to disk. I regularly use HTTP to transfer files of several
> hundred
> Mb. It is far faster using HTTP than NFS on our LAN and I suspect on
> many others. TCP/IPs stream connection has great performance
> advantages over UDP. If you don't believe me set up to Alphas running
> Digital UNIX on an entirely separate LAN and benchmark them.
> Incidentally HTTP also outperforms FTP if the server providing the 
> data is a MAC and in any case vastly reduces the probability of
> the data being corrupted by braindamaged character conversion.
> A perfectly reasonable use for HTTP is to use it to transfer backups
> across a Lan. 
> > If we don't disallow such things, a proxy implementation which
> attempted
> > to buffer complete responses before sending them on would be
> > non-compliant.
> Such proxies are simply broken. There are plenty of good ones
> available.
> I see no reason to cripple the spec to make it easy for people with a
> broken O/S to write code. It is a trivial matter to implement a pass 
> through buffering system with threads, libwww does this without
> threads.
> At this point however I would regard any system without threads to
> be 'legacy' and not deserving of having the spec mangled to pander to
> it.
> A continuous entity body allows the creation of interactive chat like 
> services that work much better. Simply send the data as it is
> generated. The big problem is that although the clients can almost
> all handle this mode of use there is no way of making the window
> scroll down to show the most recent material.
> I really don't think that any change in this area is acceptable when a
> spec is meant to be progressing to proposed standard. Arbitrary 
> limits on data sizes are almost always bad.
> It is worth pointing out that during the development of the chunked 
> spec we considered the problem of sending chunks of more than 
> 2^64 bytes. 
> 		Phill

Received on Monday, 15 September 1997 12:29:37 UTC