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From (Rob Hartill)
Subject Re: expires header merging
Date Sun, 09 Jun 1996 20:19:30 GMT

>  the problem is that any script can add whatever headers it likes, then
>  when we introduce redirects and modules which add headers too, the
>  whole thing gets really messy fast.
>Ummm... well, scripts can do whatever they like, but a response that
>goes out with more than one expiration date is in *gross* violation of
>the specs as I read them

Okay. So do we need to stop Apache from passing on garbage?, it's
Expires: today, might be something else tomorrow.

Another suggestion is to define a set of HTTP headers that Apache
must not merge. Instead the most recent duplicated header overwrites
the last one. 

Headers can be divided into 3 types:

 1) those that can be merged (",")  (default for unclassified headers)
 2) those that should be duplicated (e.g. set-cookie)
 3) those that should be overwritten (expires)

>, and I *really* don't think that the server
>should be hacked one iota to facilitate it.

How about being hacked to prevent it?

>But *combining* *multiple* expiration dates on a single item?  Sorry.
>No can do.  The HTTP spec simply won't allow it.

I agree with that. This is what I was pointing out to be wrong and needed
to be fixed. I suggested passing on multiple headers for Expires, but you
say that breaks HTTP, so I'll withdraw that suggestion, in favour of a
system that defines headers according to the 3 types above and manages
them accordingly.

Rob Hartill (
The Internet Movie Database (IMDb)
           ...more movie info than you can poke a stick at.

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