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From Nathan Neulinger <>
Subject Re: HTTP/1.1 header problem (fwd)
Date Sat, 21 Dec 1996 01:51:17 GMT
Maybe I'm missing something, but it seems that they have a point. It's not
really reasonable to say that an http/1.1 server should respond to a 1.0
request with a 1.1 response, since that obviously is a major change in the
operating functionality according to the 1.0 spec.

Yes, according to the 1.1 spec, it should be able to respond with either,
but this seems like a change that should never have been made - since it
plainly goes against the statement about it being compatible with the other
versions of the same major version.

Granted, up till seeing this comment I was in agreement with everyone else
about this, but this throws a minor wrench in the works.

-- Nathan

At 1:30 AM +0000 12/21/96, Rob Hartill wrote:
>stuborn fools.
>----- Forwarded message from George Boyce -----
>Date: Fri, 20 Dec 1996 16:22:18 -0800
>From: George Boyce <>
>Message-Id: <>
>X-Mailer: Z-Mail-SGI (3.2S.3 08feb96 MediaMail)
>Subject: HTTP/1.1 header problem
>Mime-Version: 1.0
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
>I am responsible for the operation of the AOL web access service.
>Last week my development team gave me a new version of our system. Among the
>changes was a "fix" to allow connections only from HTTP/1.0 compliant servers.
>There are at least four issues with this fix...
>1. We should not have installed code which changes the behaviour of the
>without a discussion of the changes. We should have seen the other problems
>coming and taken responsible action to minimize the impact. I think
>agrees with me but only time will tell.
>2. We discovered a bug in this code which sometimes incorrectly identified the
>type of headers being returned. A fix for this will be installed as soon as
>3. We have not supported HTTP/0.9 for a while so that was no change.
>4. But a recent version of the apache server does send HTTP/1.1 headers even
>when contacted by a HTTP/1.0 browser and proxy. After careful thought and loud
>debate, I lost, and we consider this to be inconsistent with the HTTP/1.0
>We also consider our error message to be consistent with the HTTP/1.1 spec,
>though our service is certainly not HTTP/1.1 compliant, and of course it isn't
>very friendly to our members.
>The 1.0 spec doesn't allow the server to respond with a 1.1 response:
>HTTP/1.0 servers must:
>     respond appropriately with a message in the same protocol version used by
>the client.
>And our proxy is responding with an error as even the 1.1 spec allows.
>Since the protocol version indicates the protocol capability of the sender, a
>proxy/gateway MUST never send a message with a version indicator which is
>greater than its actual version; if a higher version request is received, the
>proxy/gateway MUST either downgrade the request version, respond with an
>or switch to tunnel behavior.
>In the spirit of making things work, our development team will work on a
>way to
>downgrade HTTP/1.1 requests and responses to HTTP/1.0. Until then, would you
>folks consider having your server respond to HTTP/1.0 requests with HTTP/1.0
>Looking forward to your reply. We certainly want the AOL web access service to
>work with the apache server. Please don't listen to those few who yell at AOL
>for all of our screwups in the past and future. We generally had a reason for
>most of them; it is really difficult to run a reliable service for this many
>George Boyce
>Director, AOL/GNN Internet Ops, 703.453.4152, Fax: 453.4013,
>----- End of forwarded message from George Boyce -----
>Rob Hartill.       Internet Movie Database Ltd.

Nathan Neulinger                  Univ. of Missouri - Rolla
EMail:                  Computing Services
WWW:      SysAdmin:

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