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From Paul Sutton <>
Subject Apache's new HTTP/1.1 stuff
Date Mon, 05 Aug 1996 12:07:14 GMT
Hello, I've been looking at the HTTP/1.1 spec for a future apache week
article, using Apache 1.2 as my test server.  I've noticed a few things
which I think are not compliant (or at least, are not 'unconditionally'
compliant).  Since I'm not 100% familiar with HTTP/1.1 I don't know if
these are valid, but here they are anyway:

1.  If If-Unmodified-Since contains an invalid date, the request
    should be treated as having no If-Unmodified-Since header [14.28].
    Apache returns a 412 (Precondition Failed) response.

2.  A TRACE method adds a Via: to the response headers, even
    though the origin server isn't a gateway or proxy [14.44]

3.  If Accept: is present but the server can find no acceptable
    variant, it SHOULD return 406 (not acceptable) [14.1]. Apache
    returns 404 (Not found)

4.  Apache has not charset facility, so ignores Accept-Charset: (it
    SHOULD find an acceptable representation, else return 406) [14.2]

5.  As for 3 for Accept-Encoding and Accept-Language [14.3, 14.4]

6.  All of 3,4 and 5 depend on mod_negotiation being compiled in
    and turned on. If it is not, Apache will _ignore_ Accept: and
    Accept-*: headers, and thus fail to implement the SHOULD requirements
    from [14.1] thru [14.4].

7.  Response code 503 has text "out of resources" but the spec uses
    "Service unavailable" (this only a comment text, but it would be
    nice to match exactly the spec since this message can be seen
    by users on errors). Also Apache doesn't list several new
    codes (eg 415, 505).

8.  Requests containing invalid Host: (e.g. Host: doesnt-exist) are
    accepted [14.23]

9.  Content-Types: of (say) text/html;qs=0.6 can confuse browsers.
    [3.7] says that servers "should" (lowercase) remove parameters
    that aren't required by the mime type. qs isn't a mime parameter
    for text/html [rfc1866] so "should" be removed.

10. Requires FORHTTP11 to be defined (should this be the default?)

Paul Sutton
UK Web

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