RE: [HTTPSubstrate-16] What is W3C's position on RFC 3205?

> From: Larry Masinter []


> While we're constructing useful theories to explain how the web
> works (like REST) as a way of understanding how to extend the web
> to work in new ways (like XML protocol), we shouldn't abandon the
> practical value of making sure the standards we design will also
> operate correctly in the real world.

Agreed. But I'm not sure that the current situation is really "working".
Standards don't work very well when implementors reinterpret the standards
to suit their liking. I routinely switch between different browsers because
I am constantly finding sites that don't work with particular browsers.

I have also run afoul of faulty HTTP client stacks that don't respect HTTP
semantics in my programming -- including the HTTP client included in the
W3C-sponsored Jigsaw project. Last time I checked (admittedly over a year
ago), it included code that would intercept HTTP error status codes from
proxy servers, and return to the client an HTTP status code of 200 and a
generic HTML message with a generic error message (while blocking the
message body from the server).

Trying to steer standards around such abuses is not a promising path
forward, in my opinion. The TAG and/or IETF really should issue a best
practices document admonishing such behavior and exhorting implentors to
respect HTTP semantics.

Received on Monday, 8 April 2002 16:32:46 UTC