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Re: HTTP 1.1 issue 15: 14.23 Host

From: Ross Patterson <ROSSP@ss1.reston.vmd.sterling.com>
Date: Wed, 11 Nov 98 12:15:58 EST
Message-Id: <199811111724.RAA22605@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
To: jg@pa.dec.com, fielding@kiwi.ics.uci.edu, http-wg@hplb.hpl.hp.com
X-Mailing-List: <http-wg@cuckoo.hpl.hp.com> archive/latest/204

jg@pa.dec.com (Jim Gettys) writes:

>Actually, Roy, I see Ross's point here: it says "on the Internet". Some
>might misinterpret this on a LAN or intranet.  I agree there should be
>no reference to TCP or other transport protocols in this paragraph, of
>course, for the reasons you give.


>So I think striking the two phrases "on the Internet", and the word
>"Internet-based"  from the paragraph will reduce the wriggle room of
>implementers to get it wrong.  The result would be:
>   "A client MUST include a Host header field in all HTTP/1.1 request
>   messages (i.e., on any message corresponding to a
>   request for a URL which includes an Internet host address for the
>   service being requested). If the Host field is not already
>   present, an HTTP/1.1 proxy MUST add a Host field to the request
>   message prior to forwarding it. All
>   HTTP/1.1 servers MUST respond with a 400 (Bad Request) status code
>   to any HTTP/1.1 request message which lacks a Host header field."

That's clearer, and jibes with the MUST in section 9.

>I don't think that any arguments to allow the host header to be dropped
>for PDA use are compelling enough to relax this requirement in this way.

Indeed, one could argue that a PDA if RF/infrared/whatever communication
with its base station should send Host headers if the URL includes a
host address for the base station (e.g., running IP-on-the-air ala
AMPRNet).  By the same argument, if the URL requested by the PDA doesn't
include a host address, no Host header is required (although that
violates section 9).

Ross Patterson
VM Software Division
Sterling Software, Inc.
Received on Wednesday, 11 November 1998 09:28:47 UTC

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