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RE: WebDAV and 404-handling

From: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>
Date: Fri, 17 Jan 2003 13:13:27 +0100
To: "Eriksson, Michael" <Michael.Eriksson@bauer-partner.com>, "Julian Reschke" <julian.reschke@gmx.de>, <w3c-dist-auth@w3.org>
Message-ID: <JIEGINCHMLABHJBIGKBCGEJDGDAA.julian.reschke@gmx.de>

> ...
> >So if you map 404 response to an error
> > page, that error page should send out an HTTP status of 404 as well:
> Theoretically, yes. Their might however be pragmatic reasons not do so.
> Specifically, Internet Explorer has a configurable setting
> ("friendly error messages" or similar) that ensures that most users
> never see the body sent by the server for a 404. Instead a
> standard message
> builtin in Internet Explorer is displayed.
> (Yes, I know what this list thinks about breaking server-side behaviour
> to accomodate client-side behaviour, but thats life.)

One could argue that if this is what is configured in IE, this is what the
user should get. One the other hand, there seems to be an easy workaround (I
think sending a response body with more than 500 bytes length).

> > > ...
> > > Even if the status _is_ set a client that relies on the
> > > content of the original body is in difficulties -- because
> > > somewhere along the line the assumption was made that it was
> > > safe to send a user oriented body.
> > > ...
> >
> > In which case you shouldn't use the mapping.
> If this is an option. But remember that this part relates to the
> discussion about the existance of a "user vs. software oriented
> assumption". In other words, by using the mapping one effectively
> assumes that the output is user oriented.
> (That this is, at least potentially, a bad thing is indisputable.)
> Cf. my original mail.

IMHO: no. If the process that originally produced the non-2xx status has
supplied a response body, it *always* seems to be wrong to replace it with
something else.

Now GET and 404 is a very simple case because WebDAV doesn't require a
specific response body (how could it?). We may want to dicuss a specific
mime type that a client could stick into the HTTP Accept header to specify
the response body type.


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Received on Friday, 17 January 2003 07:14:02 UTC

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