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Re: #545 requirement on implementing methods according to their semantics

From: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>
Date: Sat, 04 Jan 2014 11:14:02 +0100
Message-ID: <52C7DEEA.3030502@gmx.de>
To: ietf-http-wg@w3.org
On 2014-01-03 10:38, Julian Reschke wrote:
> <http://greenbytes.de/tech/webdav/draft-ietf-httpbis-p2-semantics-25.html#rfc.section.4.1>:
>
>
> "All general-purpose servers MUST support the methods GET and HEAD. All
> other methods are OPTIONAL; when implemented, a server MUST implement
> the above methods according to the semantics defined for them in Section
> 4.3."
>
> This ignores methods not defined in Part 2. How about:
>
> "All general-purpose servers MUST support the methods GET and HEAD. All
> other methods are OPTIONAL; when implemented, a server MUST implement
> the above methods according to the semantics defined in their relevant
> specifications (as listed in the HTTP Method Registry maintained by
> IANA, described in Section 8.1.)".
>
> Best regards, Julian

There was a subsequent discussion between Roy and me in Trac...

Roy:

> The spec is correct as is. It is not our responsibility to require semantics of unknown or future methods. For example, a method might be defined by a few servers, implemented widely, proposed for standardization, and then specified by many drafts over multiple years. An HTTP server does not become non-conformant to HTTP as those definitions change -- they just don't conform to whatever spec (not HTTP/1.1) defines the new method.

Julian:

> True, but what I want to avoid is that implementers think that they can implement PATCH in their origin server any way they want. What's the correct spec text to ensure that?

Roy:

> The correct spec text would appear in the spec of that method, not the spec of HTTP/1.1.
>
> For example, consider experimental extensions to HTTP that have been deliberately published on the Experimental track instead of the standards track. Your suggested text would imply that those experiments have the same weight as the full standard.
 >
> I think what you want is some factual statement that describes the purpose of the method registry. In other words, it could say something about why methods should be registered, preferably in 8.1.2.

I think we need a clear statement that a server that implements a method 
not defined in P2 but registered with IANA needs to follow the spec as 
referenced by the IANA registry.

Yes, that can make an existing server non-conforming retro-actively if 
the authors chose to deploy a new method without standardizing and 
registering it.

Note that the IANA considerations for new methods require "IETF Review", 
so they do *not* exclude methods published on the Experimental Track.

Best regards, Julian
Received on Saturday, 4 January 2014 10:14:33 UTC

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