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decompression at 2 -> 1.1 gateway breaks ranges

From: <K.Morgan@iaea.org>
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 2014 15:16:16 +0000
To: <ietf-http-wg@w3.org>
CC: <C.Brunhuber@iaea.org>
Message-ID: <0356EBBE092D394F9291DA01E8D28EC20100F4B0B0@sem002pd.sg.iaea.org>
>From Section 9.3: "Intermediaries that perform translation from HTTP/2 to HTTP/1.1 MUST decompress payloads unless the request includes an Accept-Encoding value that includes 'gzip'." [1]

Issue: Decompression by a 2 <-> 1.1 intermediary breaks ranges

Consider the following scenario...

+ A HTTP/1.1 client requests a static resource X (without an Accept-Encoding header i.e. implicitly only accepts Identity)

+ The request is routed through a 1.1 <-> 2 intermediary.

+ A HTTP/2 server responds with "Content-Encoding: gzip" for the static resource X (because in HTTP/2 C-E gzip is implicitly assumed acceptable and the server has no way to know the request came from a 1.1 client)

+ Per the requirement in Section 9.3 (quoted above), the 1.1 <-> 2 intermediary begins to decompress X before forwarding the response back to the client (and presumably strip the C-E header)

+ During the transfer of the response, the connection is dropped/cancelled

+ The client now has a part of resource X (with the Identity representation)

+ The client requests the remainder of resource X with a range request (as we showed in [2], almost all browsers will try a range request if it has the Identity representation of a content)

+ The server receives the request and serves the range from the gzip content encoded representation of X (again, because gzip is implicitly accepted in HTTP/2)

+ The 1.1 <-> 2 intermediary again tries to decompress the response, but fails because it is impossible to decompress part of a gzip (unless the portion starts from the beginning)

+ ...

Others have indirectly mentioned this problem before, but nobody seems to be listening...

- Roland said: "Existing HTTP/1.1 clients may not support C-E gzip and the gateway can't do the decompression without affecting HTTP/1.1 functionality like range requests." [3]

- Roy said (emphasis added): "Content Encoding is metadata about the representation.  If the protocol modifies a value for CE, then it breaks anything that relies on the payload being delivered without transformation (e.g., ranges and signature metadata)." [4]

- Roy also said (emphasis added): "Dynamic CE is deployed, but is known to break content signatures, ranges, and caches, and is incapable of supporting selectively compressed transfer from client to server." [5]

On a related note: decompressing from /2 -> /1.1 violates a requirement [HTTP-p1]

>From [HTTP-p1], Section 5.7.2: "A proxy MUST NOT transform the payload (Section 3.3 of [Part2]) of a message that contains a no-transform cache-control directive (Section 5.2 of [Part6])." [6]

[1] http://http2.github.io/http2-spec/#Compression

[2] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/ietf-http-wg/2014AprJun/0112.html

[3] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/ietf-http-wg/2014JanMar/1225.html

[4] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/ietf-http-wg/2014JanMar/1189.html

[5] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/ietf-http-wg/2014JanMar/1203.html

[6] http://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-ietf-httpbis-p1-messaging-26#section-5.7.2

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Received on Friday, 11 April 2014 15:16:51 UTC

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