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RE: HTTP Endpoints and Resources

From: <noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com>
Date: Fri, 28 Sep 2007 17:17:08 -0400
To: "Booth, David (HP Software - Boston)" <dbooth@hp.com>
Cc: "Ed Davies" <edavies@nildram.co.uk>, "Technical Architecture Group WG" <www-tag@w3.org>
Message-ID: <OF7FE98136.2BAEE77A-ON85257364.007473A1-85257364.0074C4F4@lotus.com>

David Booth writes:

> I think it is true for a 303, because by redirecing you 
> somewhere else, the 303 is acknowledging that there is a 
> resource associated with the URI.

Are you sure?  I think it's very important that we keep this discussion 
grounded in the pertinent RFCs and specifications.  In this case, RFC 2616 
says of status code 303:

"10.3.4 303 See Other

The response to the request can be found under a different URI and SHOULD 
be retrieved using a GET method on that resource. This method exists 
primarily to allow the output of a POST-activated script to redirect the 
user agent to a selected resource. The new URI is not a substitute 
reference for the originally requested resource."

That seems to me at best very ambiguous as to what a 303 warrants 
regarding the URI originally referenced.  So, you did a get to URI1 and 
got a 303.  The spec says "the response to that request is at" URI2.  Does 
that clearly say that URI1 has been "assigned" (if you like that term) and 
that it thus identifies a resource?

I find the wording to be somewhat informal, and thus subject to differing 
interpretations, but to me 303 is pretty broad in suggesting "you might 
find joy over there".  That's about it by my reading.


[1] http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc2616.html

Noah Mendelsohn 
IBM Corporation
One Rogers Street
Cambridge, MA 02142
Received on Friday, 28 September 2007 21:15:50 UTC

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