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Subject Re: meta-data
Date Wed, 11 Aug 2004 12:25:50 GMT
Who is the intended target group for this document?

My first idea was that this document would list each and every HTTP
response header Apache is able to send, and explain the situation
when this might happen (mostly by providing links to the appropriate
If so, a browser coder might get an impression which parts of
HTTP/1.1 are supported by Apache to which degree.
(Given the market share of the Apache HTTP server, this might be
quite a relevant information. ;-)

Actually, the HTTP request headers being accepted/evaluated and
the HTTP response headers sent by the Apache server are strongly
related, therefore a document limiting itself to only one half of them
has to be rather a link list than a How-To.

> mozilla seems to finally be doing a good job of rendering our
> xml/xslt.

Mozilla 1.4 renders the file nicely; currently the stable version is 
(Opera 7.52 still won't handle XML.)

> Anyone have suggestions on additions/changes?

I'd like the Content Encoding section to have some reference to
mod_deflate (probably as "Related Module").

What about explaining the function of the "Vary:" header in this file?
Having Content Encoding, Content Negotiation and Expiration/Caching
here, it seems the logical place for me to explain the nature of "Vary:"
as well, as this is related to all three mechanisms.
(The latest version of mod_deflate is sending this header IIRC because
compression is a negotiation about at least the "Accept-Encoding:"
header, and maybe more, depending on the granularity of configuration.)

I just made a quick walk though the HTTP/1.1 specification:

The "Expiration" section might at least mention the names of the "ETag"
and "LastModified"

I'd like to give the "Server:" header
its own section in this document; the link to the "ServerTokens" directive
is sufficient for explanation.

If the Apache configuration is using HTTP authentication
then the server will send a "WWW-Authenticate:" header
to the client, requesting the credentials.

In certain situations Apache may send a "Location:" header, indicating
redirections. (See the "Redirect" directive, for example; I guess certain
features of mod_rewrite would be relevant link targets as well.)

When Apache is acting as a proxy server
it may send a "Via:" header
to indicate this function to the browser if the "ProxyVia" directive
is set accordingly.

Another header being sent by Apache is the "Connection" header.
I looked for a HowTo about persistent connections (as a link target)
but all I found was some directive descriptions (KeepAlive,
KeepAliveTimeout, MaxKeepAliveRequests).

And then, the Apache Server is sending the "Range" header
allowing for partial requests to a ressource. Not an everyday feature
(HTML / XML files won't usually be accessed this way), yet downloads
of large files might be requested partially by browsers providing some
"download restart" feature (I guess Opera must be working this way).

> Can anyone suggest a title better than "Response Metadata", which
> could be kind of obscure to the new user?

What about explicitly naming the "HTTP response headers" for what
they are? After all, we are talking about a HTTP server...

Regards, Michael


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