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From Alexei Kosut <>
Subject Re: Problems with Content Negociation (fwd)
Date Wed, 15 May 1996 01:10:06 GMT
On Tue, 14 May 1996, Roy T. Fielding wrote:

> Fine with me.  I included appropriate weasel words in the HTTP/1.1
> draft 00 to allow such kludges, but I'm not sure if it survived.
> I'll try to make sure that it is always possible for a server to
> compensate for broken browser implementations.

The current draft spec, <draft-ietf-http-v11-spec-03.html>, says, in
section 18.1 (page 83):

  Media ranges can be overridden by more specific media ranges or
  specific media types. If more than one media range applies to a
  given type, the most specific reference has precedence. For example,

       Accept: text/*, text/html, text/html;level=1, */*

  have the following precedence:

       1) text/html;level=1
       2) text/html
       3) text/*
       4) */*

Which seems correct. Except that if I read this correctly, simply,
say, assigning */* a quality value of, say, 0.2 by default and text/*
a value of, say, 0.5, would not be the proper thing to do. Because if
I read this correctly, consider the following accept header:

       Accept: */*, text/html, text/plain: q=0.9

While obviously text/html would (and should) take precedence over all
else, if the choice was between text/plain and image/gif, the image
would take precedence, since it has a 0% reduction in quality, while
the text/plain has a 10% reduction.

At least, that's how I read it. And probably, it's how it should be,
since there may in fact be a rationale for something like:

       Accept: text/html, text/*, image/gif: q=0.9

Which would mean give me HTML, then any other text, then a GIF if
that's the only thing left.

Alexei Kosut <>      The Apache HTTP Server
      "War does not determine who is right, only who is left."

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