Re: HTTPSubstrate-16

On Monday, April 22, 2002, at 02:39  AM, Roy T. Fielding wrote:

> After spending another night trying to figure out what we would like to 
> say in regard to RFC 3205, I am ready to declare this as a "waste of 
> time".  The basic problem is that the RFC covers a great deal of topics 
> in a mostly accurate fashion, and is directed towards misuse of HTTP as 
> a transport layer protocol.  As far as that is concerned, there is only 
> one appropriate answer: HTTP is an application protocol and it makes no 
> sense whatsoever to use it as a transport.  However, unless the TAG is 
> willing to make a definitive statement to that effect, I am probably 
> the wrong person to be writing a critique of 3205.
> I see no point in addressing the individual problems that some W3C uses 
> of HTTP might have with the recommendations in RFC 3205.  3205 merely 
> describes common ways in which ignorance of HTTP practice will cause 
> problems when introducing protocols that abuse HTTP semantics.  
> Although I would have written it differently (e.g., the recommendations 
> in section 8 are simply wrong -- HTTP semantics must not be hidden by 
> the application even when it is layered), I'd rather just inform people 
> how to use HTTP correctly.
> Finally, I believe that the reason 3205 is a BCP instead of an 
> Informational document is so that it can be revised over time. There 
> are areas in which the document is already out of date (it was written 
> long before its publication date), such as the discussion of "s" URLs 
> and use of 40bit encryption.  It can be revised by the IETF when (or 
> if) it proves to be inacccurate in regards to some deployed Internet 
> protocols.

Part of the motivation for raising this issue was to improve (or at 
least make more visible) the coordination between the IETF and W3C on 
these matters. If the document is to be revised over time, and the W3C 
has identified some issues with it, doesn't it seem appropriate to make 
the effort to collect that input?

Mark Nottingham

Received on Wednesday, 24 April 2002 01:30:22 UTC