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From "William A. Rowe, Jr." <>
Subject Re: cvs commit: httpd-2.0/docs STATUS
Date Fri, 11 Apr 2003 05:41:02 GMT

At 06:04 AM 4/10/2003, Ben Laurie wrote:
> wrote:
>>wrowe       2003/04/09 13:15:02
>>  Modified:    docs     STATUS
>>  Log:
>>    Please consider and vote - see what this choice has done to us
>>    r.e. .tar.gz.md5 files and so forth.
>This seems totally wrong-headed to me. The problem is that we are making the assumption
that file extensions indicate cascaded _reversible_ processes that have been applied to the
file. However, that is not always the case. It seems quite straightforward, in English at
least, to understand that:
>means we tarred some stuff then gzipped it, so to get the original stuff back we should
unzip then untar. Likewise:
>would mean to me we gzipped and then tarred something. However:
>clearly is a non-reversible transformation, so the only interesting thing about it is
the fact that its an MD5.
>or even:
>make sense to me - a gzipped MD5. It seems to me we need to improve our understanding
of file extensions, not kludge our way around them.

Again, you are falling into the trap of mixing content-type and content-encoding 
here.  About the only thing we could introduce is support for a directive;

  AddContentEncoding: identity

Which you could apply to the md5/asc tags.  Now that would be an absolute
determinant that the content is text-plain, not gzipped.  But this isn't the end
of the problem.  We would have to strip the content-encoding field entirely
if it devolves to identity; 'identity' is only supported in the Allow-encoding 
header, and RFC2616 clearly documents that the server should *NOT* 
send it to the client.

But the biggest issue is that we should never be sending those files as
gzip encoded.  You really want to have to re-gzip the file you just downloaded
in order to check it's pgp signature, because your browser automatically
un-gzips based on content-encoding?  (They generally will, by the rfc.)

my.log.gz - what headers should that have?

It must either be;

  Content-Type: text/plain
  Content-Encoding: x-gzip


  Content-Type: application/x-gzip

And of these two different responses to the browser, 98% of the world
is expecting the later.  For the other 2% - the former can be enabled
(and directives will be left, commented out) and is certainly very useful.

On we are always using the second case, AFAICT.


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