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displaying content of 4xx/5xx HTTP responses

From: Nir Dagan <nir@nirdagan.com>
Date: Tue, 29 Feb 2000 14:44:20 -0500
Message-Id: <200002291942.OAA06004@vega.brown.edu>
To: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
The User agents guidelines http://www.w3.org/TR/2000/CR-UAAG10-20000128/
Do not refer to issue of displaying the content of the entity body that 
a server attach to a response with a 4xx or 5xx status codes. 

This has been discussed in some WAI forums, I think.

In RFC 2616 section "10.4 Client Error 4xx" and in 
"10.5 Server Error 5xx" we find:
"User agents SHOULD display any included entity to the user." 

This may be mentioned in both: 
Guideline 2. Ensure user access to all content
guideline 8. orient the user.

There are current implementations, notably IE and Opera, whose 
default setup is in contradiction the HTTP spec in this regard.
This may cause loss of orientation since the server should know best 
how to solve the problem by providing links, search options, and other
advice to the user.

Nir Dagan
Assistant Professor of Economics
Brown University 
Providence, RI

Received on Tuesday, 29 February 2000 14:42:19 UTC

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