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Re: Proposal: 205 Bodies [#88]

From: Adrien de Croy <adrien@qbik.com>
Date: Mon, 08 Jun 2009 23:37:09 +1200
Message-ID: <4A2CF7E5.5050308@qbik.com>
To: Mark Nottingham <mnot@mnot.net>
CC: "Roy T. Fielding" <fielding@gbiv.com>, Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>, HTTP Working Group <ietf-http-wg@w3.org>


I just tested what 3 browsers do on a 205 response both

a) with an entity (scripted response to POST to set status to 205 from 200).
b) as above with Content-Length: 0

IE ignores the 205, and shows the new entity for both cases
Chrome & FF don't show the new entity, nor clear the form for both cases

none post any error or warning.

Apologies to the good people at Opera, I didn't have a copy on hand to test.

Since 205 is for resetting a form, and since therefore it's intended 
audience is browsers, and since there's no apparent browser support for 
it, perhaps 205 should go the way of 305.



Adrien de Croy wrote:
> from a proxy's POV it's easier to allow an entity body, even if 0 
> length.  Otherwise you have to cater to the case of a message that 
> must have an empty entity (and what to do if it's not).  Are there any 
> other responses than 205 which fall into this category?
> Do we also then need to cater for all those server writers who 
> probably mis-read the spec and don't send Content-Length on 205?  Do 
> we know if there are any?  Having just run into IIS 5 sending 
> Content-Length: 0 on all 304 responses, I wouldn't be holding my 
> breath that people are sending empty entities on 205.
> I guess it's going to need special case handling in a proxy for that 
> reason anyway, but it would be nicer not to have to code for a 
> must-be-empty entity.  The proxy shouldn't need to care if there's an 
> entity or not there anyway?  Or is it expected to clean it up?
> Regards
> Adrien
> Mark Nottingham wrote:
>> I.e., allow entity bodes on 205?
>> *shrug* In the scheme of things, it's not that important, I suppose, 
>> since they're not widely used. However, it seems you'd have the same 
>> philosophical debates either way -- "what is the meaning of an entity 
>> on a 205 response" vs. "what is the meaning of the entity headers on 
>> a 205 response"?
>> On 08/06/2009, at 9:03 PM, Roy T. Fielding wrote:
>>> On Jun 8, 2009, at 12:43 PM, Julian Reschke wrote:
>>>> Roy T. Fielding wrote:
>>>>> ...
>>>>> Big objection.  205 was added late in the process of 2068 and
>>>>> could not be grandfathered into the message parsing algorithm
>>>>> as yet another (bad) exception.  The requirement that 205 not
>>>>> include an entity means that the message-body MUST be of zero size
>>>>> (i.e., Content-Length must be supplied with a value of 0
>>>>> or Transfer-Encoding chunked is used with a zero-length chunk).
>>>>> Hence, it is correct as specified, albeit confusing.  It will
>>>>> be less confusing when the terminology is cleaned up.
>>>>> ...
>>>> Yes, I was wondering about that (and duplicated language about 
>>>> special cases in Part 1 & 2).
>>>> So, shouldn't we change part of the description for status 205 from
>>>>     "The response MUST NOT include an entity."
>>>> to
>>>>     "The response MUST include a zero-length entity."
>>>> ?
>>> I think that would lead to more philosophical arguments than simply
>>> removing the sentence (it is a stupid requirement).
>>> ....Roy
>> -- 
>> Mark Nottingham     http://www.mnot.net/

Adrien de Croy - WinGate Proxy Server - http://www.wingate.com
Received on Monday, 8 June 2009 11:34:24 UTC

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