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Re: ETags vs Variants, was: Revising RFC2616 - what's happening

From: Lisa Dusseault <lisa@osafoundation.org>
Date: Sun, 5 Nov 2006 14:00:32 -0800
Message-Id: <1F8BCF91-564E-4B5E-B171-0B054E0A2F8A@osafoundation.org>
Cc: Henrik Nordstrom <hno@squid-cache.org>, Jamie Lokier <jamie@shareable.org>, HTTP Working Group <ietf-http-wg@w3.org>
To: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>

On Nov 5, 2006, at 11:04 AM, Julian Reschke wrote:

> Lisa Dusseault schrieb:
>> Sounds like a trigger to at least consider obsoleting, dropping or  
>> deprecating the feature.
> Dropping it would be an incompatible change, breaking lots of  
> existing servers (which do send it, and if recipients ignored them  
> caches would break).
> I don't think there's an alternative to clarifying it.

There are certainly more creative alternatives.  For example, if the  
spec said roughly that
	- Vary headers are deprecated in the sense that servers implementing  
this RFC SHOULD discontinue use of the header, and instead simply use  
	- Clients MUST continue to handle the Vary header.  A client MAY  
treat the Vary header as defined in RFC2616, or it MAY simply treat  
the header as an indication not to cache the response.
	(plus some more text and ABNF for completeness)

While it can be a little painful to live with a deprecation period,  
it ends at some point, and I can't see how the deprecation period  
would be worse than the situation Henrik described as the current  

Received on Sunday, 5 November 2006 22:00:44 UTC

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