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From Roy T. Fielding <>
Subject Re: POST without Content-Length
Date Sun, 08 Aug 2004 00:24:19 GMT
> Since the Apache server can not know if CGI requires C-L, I conclude
> that CGI scripts are broken if they require C-L and do not return
> 411 Length Required when the CGI/1.1 CONTENT_LENGTH environment
> variable is not present.  It's too bad that and
> are both broken in this respect.  Fixing them would be simple and
> that would take care of the vast majority of legacy apps.

CGI was defined in 1993.  HTTP/1.0 in 1993-95.  HTTP/1.1 in 1995-97.
I think it is far-fetched to believe that CGI scripts are broken
because they don't understand a feature introduced three years
after CGI was done.  I certainly didn't expect CGI scripts to
change when I was editing HTTP.

I probably expected that someone would define a successor to CGI
that was closer in alignment to HTTP, but that never happened
(instead, servlets were defined as a copy of the already-obsolete
CGI interface rather than something sensible like an HTTP proxy
interface).  *shrug*

CGI is supposed to be a simple interface for web programming.
It is not supposed to be a fast interface, a robust interface,
or a long-term interface -- just a simple one that works on
multiple independent web server implementations.


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