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From Oliver Schoett <oliver.scho...@capgemini-sdm.com>
Subject Make ETags take gzip compression into account
Date Thu, 15 Jan 2009 11:05:18 GMT
The Apache folks are about to fix the problem that ETags are the same 
for compressed and uncompressed versions of a resource:

    https://issues.apache.org/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=39727

Tomcat 6.0.18 suffers from the same problem.

The effect is that if a caching proxy holds a gzipped version of a 
resource and is asked by a client for an unzipped version, it requests 
one from the server with the ETag of the cached version.  The server 
sees that the ETag of the version it would send out is the same as that 
of the version the cache already holds and tells the cache that its 
version is OK (response status code 304).  In the case of a Squid cache, 
this results in a gzipped version to be sent to the client, and this 
breaks in IE6 and IE7 when they are configured to use the HTTP 1.0 protocol.

Squid has been provided with a work-around option for this problem:

    http://www.squid-cache.org/Versions/v2/2.6/cfgman/broken_vary_encoding.html

but we should not rely on caches world-wide to provide a work-around for 
a Tomcat bug.

Regards,

Oliver Schoett


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