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From Dean Gaudet <>
Subject cvs commit: apache/htdocs/manual/misc known_client_problems.html
Date Sun, 20 Jul 1997 21:26:49 GMT
dgaudet     97/07/20 14:26:48

  Added:       htdocs/manual/misc  known_client_problems.html
  First draft of all the problems we know about and have worked around...
  Revision  Changes    Path
  1.1                  apache/htdocs/manual/misc/known_client_problems.html
  Index: known_client_problems.html
  <TITLE>Apache HTTP Server Project</TITLE>
  <!-- Background white, links blue (unvisited), navy (visited), red (active) -->
  <!--#include virtual="header.html" -->
  <H1 ALIGN="CENTER">Known Problems in Clients</H1>
  <p>Over time the Apache Group has discovered or been notified of problems
  with various clients which we have had to work around.  This document
  describes these problems and the workarounds available.  It's not arranged
  in any particular order.  Some familiarity with the standards is assumed,
  but not necessary.
  <p>For brevity, <i>Navigator</i> will refer to Netscape's Navigator
  product, and <i>MSIE</i> will refer to Microsoft's Internet Explorer
  product.  All trademarks and copyrights belong to their respective
  companies.  We welcome input from the various client authors to correct
  inconsistencies in this paper, or to provide us with exact version
  numbers where things are broken/fixed.
  <p>For reference,
  <a href="">RFC1945</a>
  defines HTTP/1.0, and
  <a href="">RFC2068</a>
  defines HTTP/1.1.  Apache as of version 1.2 is an HTTP/1.1 server (with an 
  optional HTTP/1.0 proxy).
  <p>Various of these workarounds are triggered by environment variables.
  The admin typically controls which are set, and for which clients, by using 
  <a href="../mod/mod_browser.html">mod_browser</a>.  Unless otherwise
  noted all of these workarounds exist in versions 1.2 and later.
  <a name="trailing-crlf"><H3>Trailing CRLF on POSTs</H3></a>
  <p>This is a legacy issue.  The CERN webserver required <code>POST</code>
  data to have an extra <code>CRLF</code> following it.  Thus many
  clients send an extra <code>CRLF</code> that
  is not included in the <code>Content-Length</code> of the request.
  Apache works around this problem by eating any empty lines which
  appear before a request.
  <a name="broken-keepalive"><h3>Broken keepalive</h3></a>
  <p>Various clients have had broken implementations of <i>keepalive</i>
  (persistent connections).  In particular the Windows versions of
  Navigator 2.0 get very confused when the server times out an
  idle connection.  The workaround is present in the default config files:
  BrowserMatch Mozilla/2 nokeepalive
  Note that this matches some earlier versions of MSIE, which began the
  practice of calling themselves <i>Mozilla</i> in their user-agent
  strings just like Navigator.
  <p>MSIE 4.0b2, which claims to support HTTP/1.1, does not properly
  support keepalive when it is used on 301 or 302 (redirect)
  responses.  Unfortunately Apache's <code>nokeepalive</code> code
  prior to 1.2.2 would not work with HTTP/1.1 clients.  You must apply
  <a href="">this
  patch</a> to version 1.2.1.  Then add this to your config:
  BrowserMatch "MSIE 4\.0b2;" nokeepalive
  <a name="force-response-1.0"><h3>Incorrect interpretation of <code>HTTP/1.1</code>
in response</h3></a>
  <p>To quote from section 3.1 of RFC1945:
  HTTP uses a "<major>.<minor>" numbering scheme to indicate versions
  of the protocol. The protocol versioning policy is intended to allow
  the sender to indicate the format of a message and its capacity for
  understanding further HTTP communication, rather than the features
  obtained via that communication.
  Since Apache is an HTTP/1.1 server, it indicates so as part of its
  response.  Many client authors mistakenly treat this part of the response
  as an indication of the protocol that the response is in, and then refuse
  to accept the response.
  <p>The first major indication of this problem was with AOL's proxy servers.
  When Apache 1.2 went into beta it was the first wide-spread HTTP/1.1
  server.  After some discussion, AOL fixed their proxies.  In
  anticipation of similar problems, the <code>force-response-1.0</code>
  environment variable was added to Apache.  When present Apache will
  indicate "HTTP/1.0" in response to an HTTP/1.0 client,
  but will not in any other way change the response.
  <p>The pre-1.1 Java Development Kit (JDK) that is used in many clients
  (including Navigator 3.x and MSIE 3.x) exhibits this problem.  As do some
  of the early pre-releases of the 1.1 JDK.  We think it is fixed in the
  1.1 JDK release.  In any event the workaround:
  BrowserMatch Java1.0 force-response-1.0 <br>
  BrowserMatch JDK/1.0 force-response-1.0 
  <p>RealPlayer 4.0 from Progressive Networks also exhibits this problem:
  BrowserMatch "RealPlayer 4.0" force-response-1.0
  <a name="msie4.0b2"><h3>Requests use HTTP/1.1 but responses must be in HTTP/1.0</h3></a>
  <p>MSIE 4.0b2 has this problem.  Its Java VM makes requests in HTTP/1.1
  format but the responses must be in HTTP/1.0 format (in particular, it
  does not understand <i>chunked</i> responses).  The workaround
  is to fool Apache into believing the request came in HTTP/1.0 format.
  BrowserMatch "MSIE 4\.0b2;" downgrade-1.0 force-response-1.0
  This workaround is available in 1.2.2, and in a
  <a href="">patch
  </a> against 1.2.1.
  <a name="257th-byte"><h3>Boundary problems with header parsing</h3></a>
  <p>All versions of Navigator from 2.0 through 4.0b2 (and possibly later)
  have a problem if the trailing CRLF of the response header starts at
  the 256th or 257th byte of the response.  A BrowserMatch for this would
  match on nearly every hit, so the workaround is enabled automatically
  on all responses.  The workaround is to detect when this condition would
  occur in a response and add extra padding to the header to push the
  trailing CRLF past the 257th byte of the response.
  <a name="boundary-string"><h3>Multipart responses and Quoted Boundary Strings</h3></a>
  <p>On multipart responses some clients will not accept quotes (")
  around the boundary string.  The MIME standard recommends that
  such quotes be used.  But the clients were probably written based
  on one of the examples in RFC2068, which does not include quotes.
  Apache does not include quotes on its boundary strings to workaround
  this problem.
  <a name="byterange-requests"><h3>Byterange requests</h3></a>
  <p>A byterange request is used when the client wishes to retrieve a
  portion of an object, not necessarily the entire object.  There
  was a very old draft which included these byteranges in the URL.
  Old clients such as Navigator 2.0b1 and MSIE 3.0 for the MAC
  exhibit this behaviour, and
  it will appear in the servers' access logs as (failed) attempts to
  retrieve a URL with a trailing ";xxx-yyy".  Apache does not attempt
  to implement this at all.
  <p>A subsequent draft of this standard defines a header
  <code>Request-Range</code>, and a response type
  <code>multipart/x-byteranges</code>.  The HTTP/1.1 standard includes
  this draft with a few fixes, and it defines the header
  <code>Range</code> and type <code>multipart/byteranges</code>.
  <p>Navigator (versions 2 and 3) sends both <code>Range</code> and
  <code>Request-Range</code> headers (with the same value), but does not
  accept a <code>multipart/byteranges</code> response.  The response must
  be <code>multipart/x-byteranges</code>.  As a workaround, if Apache
  receives a <code>Request-Range</code> header it considers it "higher
  priority" than a <code>Range</code> header and in response uses
  <p>The Adobe Acrobat Reader plugin makes extensive use of byteranges and
  prior to version 3.01 supports only the <code>multipart/x-byterange</code>
  response.  Unfortunately there is no clue that it is the plugin
  making the request.  If the plugin is used with Navigator, the above
  workaround works fine.  But if the plugin is used with MSIE 3 (on
  Windows) the workaround won't work because MSIE 3 doesn't give the
  <code>Range-Request</code> clue that Navigator does.  To workaround this,
  Apache special cases "MSIE 3" in the <code>User-Agent</code> and serves
  <code>multipart/x-byteranges</code>.  Note that the necessity for this
  with MSIE 3 is actually due to the Acrobat plugin, not due to the browser.
  <p>Netscape Communicator appears to not issue the non-standard
  <code>Request-Range</code> header.  When an Acrobat plugin prior to
  version 3.01 is used with it, it will not properly understand byteranges.
  The user must upgrade their Acrobat reader to 3.01.
  <!--#include virtual="footer.html" -->

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