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From "Roy T. Fielding" <field...@kiwi.ICS.UCI.EDU>
Subject Re: MSIE + byteranges
Date Fri, 14 Feb 1997 07:41:23 GMT
>Basically, what I realized is regarding the HTTP/1.1 specification:
>Namely, that it's 161 pages long, and contains a *lot* of
>information. Microsoft claims to be compliant with standards, and
>their byterange implementation is not compatible with HTTP/1.1's, but
>I had an insight that it is actually standards-compliant: the
>later Luotenen/Franks byterange drafts, which were very similar to
>what ended up in HTTP/1.1, except that they used x- where HTTP/1.1
>does not, were IDs of the HTTP-WG, and were intended to be included in
>a standards-track document. Although you are not "supposed" to code
>from an ID (except for experimental purporses), the reality is that
>people do - the Apache Group has, a number of times.

I might think that too if it wasn't for the fact that I told both
Netscape and Microsoft developers/managers, in person and several
times on mailing lists, that using an "x-" prefix for anything other
than a not-intended-to-ever-be-a-standard experiment is stupid.
Their developers knew that the standard would have to be
multipart/byteranges; I talked to Ari Luotonen, Lou Montulli, Paul Leach
(the MS guy at IETF), and Steven Zilles (the Adobe guy promoting
byteranges) long before their respective products were deployed.

If the issue was just one of following a changing standard, I'd tell
them all to go cook their heads.

>In this light, I've decided I'm amenable to adding in a User-Agent
>check for MSIE (at least that doesn't catch any "clones", since there
>are none - which is the main problem with looking for Mozilla) into
>the byterange code, and sending multipart/x-byteranges to anything
>with the "MSIE" substring.

Please make it "MSIE 3".  I don't give a rat's ass if it breaks their 4beta.
Likewise, since you are now looking at the user agent anyway, it would
make more sense to look for "Mozilla/[23]" instead of Range-Request,
seeing as how Netscape may send it even after they fix the x-bug.
Ummm, and since that would cover MSIE as well, you can just test that
and not "MSIE" at all.

>Also, as I said before, I'd like to ditch the quotes from the boundary
>string in the Content-Type header.

That's okay.  You might want to add a comment where the boundary is
generated that it must be all token characters for this reason.

BTW, coding according to an example in the HTTP spec is no excuse.
If they haven't read the MIME spec (which was 1521 at that time),
then they can't do diddly with multiparts.  The problem was that they
didn't read anything at all -- they just hacked until it seemed to
work right on their own servers.

.....Roy

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