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From Brian Behlendorf <>
Date Mon, 16 Dec 1996 05:14:11 GMT

I was just alerted to a serious problem - AOL's web proxies appear to be
blocking access to web servers running Apache 1.2.  Apache 1.2 is an HTTP/1.1
compliant web server - this means when a request is made to an Apache 1.2
server, the very first line of the HTTP response back from the server is

  HTTP/1.1 200 OK

whereas most other servers today respond with

  HTTP/1.0 200 OK

Apparently, AOL's proxies interpret HTTP/1.1 to be a "new language" that it
does not understand, and returns this to clients accessing it:


  <H2>The Web address you requested is not available in a version supported
  by AOL.  This is an issue with the Web site, and not with AOL. The owner
  of this site is using an unsupported HTTP language. If you receive this
  message frequently, you may want to set your web graphics preferences to

This change must have happened on Saturday, as we had tested a couple of our
sites on AOL on Friday and all worked perfectly well.

AOL is completely incorrect in denying access to servers running HTTP/1.1, and
is standing in the way of evolving web standards.  By definition any
minor-number revision to HTTP (i.e., HTTP/1.0 --> HTTP/1.1) is backwards
compatible, in so far that HTTP browsers should have no trouble interpreting
the output of an HTTP/1.1 server, so long as the client identifies itself
correctly as an HTTP/1.0 client.  Many, many pains were taken to ensure this
semantic was preserved.  So, *any* HTTP 1.0 client (Netscape, MSIE, even
all of AOL's browsers) "support" this HTTP language.

There is no reason for AOL to be blocking these sites.  Despite what AOL is
telling you above, this is a problem with their proxies.  

Does someone want to double-check this in the morning (I'm leaving on a 3-day
biz trip and will be largely out of touch) and if it's still the case, forward
this along to the appropriate press and IETF working groups?

This can be tested on,,,, and many others, all running Apache 1.2b1 or higher.



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