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From Ben Laurie <>
Subject Re: Apache cannot handle multiple encoding types per document (fwd)
Date Wed, 10 Apr 1996 14:34:46 GMT
> [David]
> > HTTP/1.0 does not support multiple content-encodings.
> > HTTP/1.1 suggests an implementation of multiple content-encodings which
> > is broken; the ordering of the encodings is not defined. I'm sure I
> > mentioned this on http-wg, but I can't remeber the outcome. Roy?
> That is, the ordering *is* defined if it appears in a single
> Content-Encoding header, but the spec leaves some margin if
> you have several ones that you want to collapse.
> draft-ietf-http-v11-spec-01.txt says
>   [section 10.10]
>    If multiple encodings have been applied to a resource, the content 
>    codings must be listed in the order in which they were applied. 
> But, as Brian pointed out, it also says
>   [section 4.2]
>    The order in which header fields are received is not significant. 
> and
>    It must be possible to combine the multiple header fields into one 
>    "field-name: field-value" pair, without changing the semantics of 
>    the message, by appending each subsequent field-value to the first, 
>    each separated by a comma.
> Which is clearly broken, the semantics *is* changed.  I'll send a copy
> of this to http-wg.

Hmmm ... the statement about ordering is wrong (perhaps they meant that
ordering of different field-names is not significant?), but there's no reason
that the semantics should be changed by combining the headers (so long as the
ordering is preserved), is there?

Also, it seems to me that 10.10 is backwards - if they are listed in the order
applied then the application has to work backwards to decode. A small point, I



> -- Florent

Ben Laurie                  Phone: +44 (181) 994 6435
Freelance Consultant and    Fax:   +44 (181) 994 6472
Technical Director          Email:
A.L. Digital Ltd,           URL:
London, England.

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