Re: Retry-After header on 20X response -- HTTP/1.1 spec extension?

Hi Bryce,

This is the correct list to discuss such a specification change.  You might
write up the proposal in the form of specific text changes that can be made
to the current in-progress HTTP specs.


On Sun, Jan 4, 2009 at 7:46 PM, Bryce Nesbitt <> wrote:

> Dear http-wg members.
> Where would I go to propose a specification change to HTTP such as the one
> below (allowing optional Retry-After headers in a 20X response)?  This is a
> backwards compatible change, and need not have any browser support to be
> valuable to cooperating automated harvesting robots (e.g.
> ).
> On Mon, Dec 22, 2008 at 8:51 PM, Bryce Nesbitt <>wrote:
>> Dear Working Group Folks,
>> I am not a member of the working group.  But I have recently been tempted
>> to "stretch" the HTTP spec, and I'm writing to inquire if what I'm doing is
>> reasonable enough to eventually fold into the spec.
>> Basically I'm sending a Retry-After header on a 20x HTTP response.
>> I'm working with a "throttled" data service which rate limits
>> connections.   Clients are harvesting a huge volumes of data over time.
>> Presently clients get some data with a 200 result, ask again right away and
>> get a 503 response, then wait out the proper Retry-After time.
>> If I can return Retry-After with the 20x result, it will cut the total
>> requests in half.  Clients can ask for data, and know immediately how long
>> to wait before they ask again.  Only a client that violates the timeout
>> would ever see a 503.
>> The HTTP/1.1 spec is pretty clear (in section 14.37) that Retry-After is
>> for 503 and 3xx return codes only. Your thoughts?  Where would I go to
>> suggest an expansion of the Retry-After header, to be inclusive of 20x
>> results?  Is this a reasonable extension in your view?

Received on Monday, 5 January 2009 17:33:51 UTC