RE: Sending Referer [#144]

Mark Nottingham wrote:
> However, in previous discussions, Adam et al indicated that it would
> be interesting to require that Referer always be sent, by minting a
> new value (e.g., 'null', although it will have to be something else,
> since "null" is a valid partial-URI) to indicate when a Referer is not
> available.

> Purely within HTTPbis, I think the best we could do, then, would be to
> add a null value that can be sent when appropriate, and encourage UAs
> to send referer. However, there's nothing stopping a third party
> document (e.g., a W3C browser profile) from requiring that it be sent...

There's no way to represent the null value in a way compatible with RFC 2616
syntax. New syntax for existing headers should be done only for HTTP 1.2 or
later. Further, this would be a new feature, which would make it out of
scope for HTTPbis.

I think that the less that is said about Referer in the HTTPbis
specification, the better. Its syntax and intended purpose is enough. Any
requirements regarding Referer for UAs are pointless; they will be ignored
by most UAs, especially UAs that aren't browsers. A specification for what
web browsers should do with the Referer should go into a browser-specific


Received on Monday, 1 June 2009 19:15:06 UTC