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From Paul Sutton <>
Subject Re: Compression via content negotiation
Date Wed, 02 Dec 1998 16:49:58 GMT
On Tue, 1 Dec 1998, Dean Gaudet wrote:
> On Tue, 1 Dec 1998, Paul Sutton wrote:
> > Yes, this is a problem with language negotiation also. There should be an
> > option to force negotiation even if the directly referenced filename
> > exists. However this itself may cause problems, for example, if the user
> > really did want that variant rather than server-based negotiation.
> Why is this a problem?  Didn't we just add the "default-handler" or
> something?  Just name the file foo.html.def rather than foo.html, and add
> a "AddHandler default .def" (check the code I may have this wrong). 
> There's no need to add more code.  This way you also get the advantage of
> having some semblance of speed for those files for which there is zero
> negotiation possible (i.e. foo.jpg,, yeehaw.mp3, whatever).

Yes, that should work. As does repeating the file type extension:
doc.html.html would force requests for doc.html to be negotiated. The
assumption of people doing this is that they *want* doc.html to be
negotiated on every request. Given that they want to do that (and there
are lots of reasons why you would want negotiation on every request to
certain URIs) then all the above change would do is allow them to force
negotiation without having to rename all their current *.html files to

> I didn't see either of you mention TE.  And I haven't seen Roy pipe up
> yet... last time this came up on the mozilla group the only conclusion
> that I saw which was obvious is that with just RFC2049 you cannot do
> transparent compression.  You need the draft update to HTTP/1.1 and the TE
> header.  Accept-Encoding is just broken when you consider bugs in existing
> clients.  Or something along those lines.  (And I'm also about 8 months
> out of date on this, so I could be wrong.) 

Yes, I guess TE support would be good, although I think it is rather less
supported at Accept-Encoding in browsers. I don't know what the state of
the browsers' support for Accept-Encoding is, in detail, but some of the
recent PR's point out bugs in the server negotiation code in Apache and I
think they should be fixed. Whether or not the fixed code then works
correctly with various browsers is a problem for people trying to use it.
But at the least we should fix the bugs in Apache's content negotiation.

Paul Sutton, C2Net Europe          
Editor, Apache Week .. the latest Apache news

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