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From "Ed Korthof">
Subject Re: what to do about CGI and chunked
Date Fri, 22 Nov 1996 02:49:04 GMT
I would prefer that Apache be designed so as to minimize that chance that it
will break old scripts.  Scripts are fast and easy to write -- but maintaining
is more trouble, especially as they proliforate.  Where I am, we have run an
Apache server for a number of companies; we have well over 400 CGIs.  Having to
go back and fix all of the ones which get POST data would not be fun (doable
but unpleasant; I'm sure there are other users & administrators who'd agree).

I went and checked the HTTP/1.1 spec to see what it says, and it does say to
use Content-Length except where absolutely unavoidable, so my worrying here may
be unnecessary -- it just seems strange that right after saying clients should
always send Content-Length, the spec gives instructions on how to determine the
Content-Length if the client didn't send it (the client may, after all, not
know the Content-Length when the connection starts).

Anyway, I think it'd be better to separate scripts designed to take full
advantage of HTTP/1.1 from those which assume an older standard -- to treat
scripts which expect different environments differently.

Reintroducing Content-Length by getting all of the data and storing it
somewhere (eg. a temporary file) seems a reasonable thing to do, but it's
unnecessary and perhaps even unwise for scripts designed for HTTP/1.1.  That's
why I'm in favor of adding a new module (option (a))-- or even a new behavior
type for the current module -- with clear distinctions between old and new CGI
scripts.  This could be configurable, and new scripts could use a different
directory or extention -- whatever the server administrator wanted.

In the 1.2 timeframe, probably this isn't that big of a deal, and it's unlikely
that too many browsers are going to go to for full HTTP/1.1 compliance for a
while, let alone to do so in such a way that old scripts will be broken.

Ed Korthof

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