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Versions: 00 01 draft-ietf-http-v10-spec

Network Working Group                                     T. Berners-Lee
INTERNET-DRAFT                                            R. T. Fielding
<draft-fielding-http-spec-00.txt>                     H. Frystyk Nielsen
Expires May 28, 1995                                   November 28, 1994

                 Hypertext Transfer Protocol -- HTTP/1.0

Status of this Memo

   This document is an Internet-Draft. Internet-Drafts are working
   documents of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), its areas,
   and its working groups. Note that other groups may also distribute
   working documents as Internet-Drafts.

   Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six
   months and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other
   documents at any time. It is inappropriate to use Internet-
   Drafts as reference material or to cite them other than as
   "work in progress."

   To learn the current status of any Internet-Draft, please check
   the "1id-abstracts.txt" listing contained in the Internet-Drafts
   Shadow Directories on ds.internic.net (US East Coast),
   nic.nordu.net (Europe), ftp.isi.edu (US West Coast), or
   munnari.oz.au (Pacific Rim).

   Distribution of this document is unlimited. Please send comments
   to the proposed HTTP working group at <http-wg@cuckoo.hpl.hp.com>.
   Discussions of the working group are archived at
   <URL:http://www.ics.uci.edu/pub/ietf/http/>. General discussions
   about HTTP and the applications which use HTTP should take place
   on the <www-talk@info.cern.ch> mailing list.


   The Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is an application-level
   protocol with the lightness and speed necessary for distributed,
   collaborative, hypermedia information systems. It is a generic,
   stateless, object-oriented protocol which can be used for many
   tasks, such as name servers and distributed object management
   systems, through extension of its request methods (commands).
   A feature of HTTP is the typing and negotiation of data
   representation, allowing systems to be built independently of the
   data being transferred.

   HTTP has been in use by the World-Wide Web global information
   initiative since 1990. This specification reflects preferred usage
   of the protocol referred to as "HTTP/1.0", and is compatible with
   the most commonly used HTTP server and client programs implemented
   prior to November 1994.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction
       1.1  Purpose
       1.2  Overall Operation
       1.3  Terminology
   2.  Notational Conventions and Generic Grammar
       2.1  Augmented BNF
       2.2  Basic Rules
   3.  HTTP Message
       3.1  Header Fields
       3.2  Object Body
   4.  Usage of RFC 822 and MIME Constructs
       4.1  Date/Time Format
       4.2  Content Types
            4.2.1    Multipart Types
            Other Multipart Types
       4.3  General Message Header Fields
            4.3.1  Date
            4.3.2  Forwarded
            4.3.3  Message-ID
            4.3.4  MIME-Version
   5.  Request
       5.1  Request-Line
       5.2  Method
            5.2.1  GET
            5.2.2  HEAD
            5.2.3  POST
            Returned Object Headers
            Link Type
            5.2.4  PUT
            5.2.5  DELETE
       5.3  HTTP-Version
       5.4  Universal Resource Identifier
       5.5  Request Header Fields
            5.5.1  User-Agent
            5.5.2  If-Modified-Since
            5.5.3  Pragma
            5.5.4  Authorization
            5.5.5  Proxy-Authorization
            5.5.6  Referer
            5.5.7  From
            5.5.8  Accept
            5.5.9  Accept-Encoding
            5.5.10 Accept-Language
   6.  Response
       6.1  Status-Line
       6.2  HTTP Version
       6.3  Status Codes and Reason Phrases
            6.3.1  Successful 2xx
            6.3.2  Redirection 3xx
            6.3.3  Client Error 4xx
            6.3.4  Server Errors 5xx
       6.4    Response Header Fields
            6.4.1  Server
            6.4.2  WWW-Authenticate
            6.4.3  Proxy-Authenticate
   7.  Object Header Fields
       7.1  Allow
       7.2  Content-Length
       7.3  Content-Type
       7.4  Content-Encoding
       7.5  Content-Transfer-Encoding
       7.6  Content-Language
       7.7  Expires
       7.8  Last-Modified
       7.9  URI Header
       7.10 Location
       7.11 Version
       7.12 Derived-From
       7.13 Release
       7.14 Title
       7.15 Link
   8.  HTTP Negotiation Algorithm
   9.  Basic Access Authentication Scheme
   10. Registration Authority
   11. Security Considerations
       11.1 Authentication of Clients
       11.2 Idempotent Methods
       11.3 Abuse of Server Log Information
   12. Acknowledgments
   13. References
   14. Authors Addresses
   Appendix A. Format of a uuencoded file
   Appendix B. Server tolerance of bad clients
   Appendix C. Client tolerance of bad servers
               C.1  Back compatibility
               C.2  White space

1.  Introduction

1.1  Purpose

   The Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is an application-level
   protocol with the lightness and speed necessary for distributed,
   collaborative, hypermedia information systems. HTTP has been in use
   by the World-Wide Web global information initiative since 1990.
   This specification reflects preferred usage of the protocol
   referred to as "HTTP/1.0". This specification does not necessarily
   reflect the "current practice" of any single HTTP server or client
   implementation. It does, however, seek to remain compatible with
   existing implementations wherever possible, and should be
   considered the reference for future implementations of HTTP/1.0.

   Practical information systems require more functionality than
   simple retrieval, including search, front-end update, and
   annotation. HTTP/1.0 allows an open-ended set of methods to be used
   to indicate the purpose of a request. It builds on the discipline
   of reference provided by the Universal Resource Identifier (URI)
   [2], as a location (URL) [3, 8] or name (URN), for indicating the
   object on which a method is to be applied. In addition, messages
   are passed in a format similar to that used by Internet Mail [6]
   and the Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME) [4].

   HTTP/1.0 is also used for communication between user agents and
   various gateways, allowing hypermedia access to existing Internet
   protocols like SMTP [11], NNTP [10], FTP [13], Gopher [1], and WAIS
   [7]. HTTP/1.0 is designed to allow such gateways, via proxy agents,
   without any loss of the data conveyed by those earlier protocols.

1.2  Overall Operation

   The HTTP protocol is based on a request/response paradigm. A
   requesting program (termed a client) establishes a connection with
   a receiving program (termed a server) and sends a request to the
   server in the form of a request method, URI, and protocol version,
   followed by a MIME-like message containing request modifiers,
   client information, and possible body content. The server responds
   with a status line (including its protocol version and a success or
   error code), followed by a MIME-like message containing server
   information, object metainformation, and possible body content. It
   should be noted that a given program may be capable of being both a
   client and a server; our use of those terms refers only to the role
   being performed by the program during a particular connection,
   rather than to the program's purpose in general.

   On the Internet, the communication generally takes place over a
   TCP/IP connection. The default port is TCP 80 [14], but other ports
   can be used. This does not preclude the HTTP/1.0 protocol from
   being implemented on top of any other protocol on the Internet, or
   on other networks. The mapping of the HTTP/1.0 request and response
   structures onto the transport data units of the protocol in
   question is outside the scope of this specification.

   For most current implementations, the connection is established by
   the client prior to each request and closed by the server after
   sending the response. However, this is not a feature of the
   protocol and is not required by this specification. Both clients
   and servers must be capable of handling cases where either party
   closes the connection prematurely, due to user action, automated
   time-out, or program failure. In any case, the closing of the
   connection by either or both parties always terminates the current
   request, regardless of its status.

1.3  Terminology

   This specification uses a number of terms to refer to the roles
   played by participants in, and objects of, the HTTP communication.

       A virtual circuit connecting two parties for the purpose of

       An HTTP request message (as defined in Section 5).

       An HTTP response message (as defined in Section 6).

       A network data object or service, identified by a URI

       A program that establishes connections for the purpose of
       sending requests.

   user agent
       The client program which is closest to the user and which
       initiates requests at their behest.

       A program that accepts connections in order to service requests
       by sending back responses

   origin server
       The server from which a given resource originates.

       An intermediary program which acts as both a server and a client
       for the purpose of forwarding requests. Proxies are often used
       to act as a portal through a network firewall. A proxy agent
       accepts requests from other clients and services them either
       internally or by passing them (with possible translation) on to
       other servers. A caching proxy is a proxy agent with a local
       cache of server responses -- frequently requested objects can be
       serviced from the cache rather than from the origin server. A
       proxy server is a proxy agent that also acts as an origin server.

       A proxy agent which services HTTP requests by translation into
       protocols other than HTTP. The reply sent from the remote server
       to the gateway is likewise translated into HTTP before being
       forwarded to the user agent.

2.  Notational Conventions and Generic Grammar

2.1  Augmented BNF

   All of the mechanisms specified in this document are described in
   both prose and the augmented Backus-Naur Form (BNF) of RFC 822 [6].
   Implementors will need to be familiar with the notation in order to
   understand this specification. The augmented BNF includes the
   following constructs:

   name = definition

       The name of a rule is simply the name itself (without any
       enclosing "<" and ">") and is separated from its definition by
       the equal character "=". Whitespace is only significant in that
       indentation of continuation lines is used to indicate a rule
       definition that spans more than one line. Certain basic rules
       are in uppercase, such as SP, TAB, CRLF, DIGIT, ALPHA, etc.
       Angle brackets are used within definitions whenever their
       presence will facilitate discerning the use of rule names.


       Quotation marks surround literal text. Unless stated otherwise,
       the text is case-insensitive.

   rule1 / rule2

       Elements separated by a slash ("/") are alternatives, e.g. "foo
       / bar" will accept foo or bar.

   (rule1 rule2)

       Elements enclosed in parentheses are treated as a single
       element. Thus,
       "(elem (foo / bar) elem)" allows the token sequences "elem foo
       elem" and "elem bar elem".


       The character "*" preceding an element indicates repetition. The
       full form is "<n>*<m>element" indicating at least <n> and at
       most <m> occurrences of element. Default values are 0 and
       infinity so that "*(element)" allows any number, including zero;
       "1*element" requires at least one; and "1*2element" allows one
       or two.


       Square brackets enclose optional elements; "[foo bar]" is
       equivalent to "*1(foo bar)".

   N rule

       Specific repetition: "<n>(element)" is equivalent to
       "<n>*<n>(element)"; that is, exactly <n> occurrences of
       (element). Thus 2DIGIT is a 2-digit number, and 3ALPHA is a
       string of three alphabetic characters.


       A construct "#" is defined, similar to "*", for defining lists
       of elements. The full form is "<n>#<m>element" indicating at
       least <n> and at most <m> elements, each separated by one or
       more commas (","). This makes the usual form of lists very easy;
       a rule such as
       "(element *("," element))" can be shown as "1#element". Wherever
       this construct is used, null elements are allowed, but do not
       contribute to the count of elements present. That is,
       "(element),,(element)" is permitted, but counts as only two
       elements. Therefore, where at least one element is required, at
       least one non-null element must be present. Default values are 0
       and infinity so that "#(element)" allows any number, including
       zero; "1#element" requires at least one; and "1#2element" allows
       one or two.

   ; comment

       A semi-colon, set off some distance to the right of rule text,
       starts a comment that continues to the end of line. This is a
       simple way of including useful notes in parallel with the

2.2  Basic Rules

                                                       ; (Dec. Octet)
       OCTET            = <any 8-bit character>        ; ( 0-255 )
       CHAR             = <any US-ASCII character>     ; (0 - 127) [16]
       HIGHALPHA        = <any US-ASCII uppercase      ; ( 65 - 90 )
       LOWALPHA         = <any US-ASCII lowercase      ; ( 97 -122 )
       ALPHA            = HIGHALPHA / LOWALPHA
       DIGIT            = <any US-ASCII digit
                          "0" through "9">             ; ( 48 - 57 )
       CTL              = <any US-ASCII control        ; ( 0 - 31 )
                          and DEL>                     ; ( 127 )
       CR               = <US-ASCII CR,
                          carriage return>             ; ( 13 )
       LF               = <US-ASCII LF, linefeed>      ; ( 10 )
       SP               = <US-ASCII SP, space>         ; ( 32 )
       HTAB             = <US-ASCII HT,
                          horizontal-tab>              ; ( 9 )
       <">              = <US-ASCII quote mark>        ; ( 34 )
       CRLF             = CR LF
       LWSP-char        = SP / HTAB                    ; semantics = SP
       linear-white-space                              ; semantics = SP
                        = 1*( [CRLF] LWSP-char)        ; CRLF => folding

       tspecials        = "(" / ")" / "<" / ">" / "@"
                        / "," / ";" / ":" / "\" / <">
                        / "/" / "[" / "]" / "?" / "="

       ; tspecials must be in quoted-string to use within
       ; parameter values

       token            = 1*<any CHAR except SP,
                          CTLs, or tspecials>

       quoted-string    = <"> *(qtext) <">
       qtext            = <any CHAR excepting <">, "'" & CR,
                          & including linear-white-space>

       phrase           = 1*word
       word             = token / quoted-string
       delimiters       = tspecials / linear-white-space

       text             = <any CHAR,                   ; for generic
                          including bare CR,           ; field contents
                          but NOT including CRLF>

3.  HTTP Message

   HTTP messages consist of requests from client to server and
   responses from server to client.

       HTTP-message     = Simple-Request       ; HTTP/0.9 messages
                        / Simple-Response
                        / Full-Request         ; HTTP/1.0 messages
                        / Full-Response

   Full-Request and Full-Response use the generic message format of
   RFC 822 [6] for transferring data objects. Both messages may
   include optional header fields (a.k.a. "headers") and an object
   body. The object body is separated from the headers by a null line
   (i.e., a line with nothing preceding the CRLF).

       Full-Request     = Request-Line         ; see Section 5.1
                          *General-Header      ; see Section 4.3
                          *Request-Header      ; see Section 5.5
                          *Object-Header       ; see Section 7
                          [ Object-Body ]

       Full-Response    = Status-Line          ; see Section 6.1
                          *General-Header      ; see Section 4.3
                          *Response-Header     ; see Section 6.4
                          *Object-Header       ; see Section 7
                          [ Object-Body ]

3.1  Header Fields

   HTTP header fields, which include Request-Header, Response-Header,
   General-Header, Object-Header, and extension fields, follow the
   same generic format as that given in Section 3.1 of RFC 822 [6].
   Each header field consists of a name followed by a colon (":") and
   the field value. The field value may be preceded by any amount of
   linear-white-space, though a single SP is preferred. Header fields
   can be extended over multiple lines by preceding each extra line
   with one or more linear white-space characters.

       HTTP-header      = field-name ":" [ field-value ] CRLF

       field-name       = 1*<any CHAR, excluding CTLs, SP, and ":">

       field-value      = *( field-content / comment )
                          [ CRLF 1*LWSP-char field-value ]

       field-content    = <the US-ASCII characters making up the
                          field-value and consisting of combinations
                          of token, tspecials, and quoted-string,
                          or else consisting of text>

   The order in which header fields are received is not significant.
   However, it is considered "good practice" to send General-Header
   fields first, followed by Request-Header or Response-Header fields
   prior to the Object-Header fields. Comments can be included in HTTP
   header fields by surrounding the comment text with parentheses.
   However, because HTTP is rarely seen by human eyes, use of comments
   is discouraged.

       comment          = "(" *(ctext / comment) ")"
       ctext            = <any CHAR excluding "(", ")", "` & CR,
                          & including linear-white-space>

3.2  Object Body

   The data object (if any) sent with an HTTP/1.0 request or response
   is in a format and encoding defined by the Object-Header fields,
   the default being of type "plain/text" with "binary" encoding. Note
   that, while all other information in the request or response is in
   US-ASCII with lines delimited by CRLF, the Object-Body may contain
   8-bit binary data.

       Object-Body      = *OCTET

   The actual length, encoding, and data type of the Object-Body is
   determined via the header fields Content-Length, Content-Encoding,
   Content-Transfer-Encoding, and Content-Type, similar to those
   defined by MIME [4]. If the Content-Length header field is present,
   its value in bytes (number of octets) represents the length of the
   Object-Body. Otherwise, the body length is determined either by a
   heuristic function of the Content-Type and Content-Encoding, or by
   the closing of the connection by the server.

   Note:  Closing the connection cannot be used to indicate content-
          length when the data object is part of a request message,
          as it leaves no possibility for the server to send back a

4.  Usage of RFC 822 and MIME Constructs

   HTTP/1.0 reuses many of the constructs defined for Internet Mail
   (RFC 822, [6]) and the Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME,
   [4]) to allow objects to be transmitted in an open variety of
   representations. However, because it is not limited by the
   restrictions of existing mail protocols and gateways, HTTP does not
   obey some of the constraints imposed by RFC 822 and MIME for mail
   transport. This section describes how these common constructs are
   defined within HTTP.

4.1  Date/Time Format

   For historical reasons, HTTP/1.0 allows three different formats for
   the representation of date/time stamps:

       Sun, 06 Nov 1994 08:49:37 GMT    ; RFC 822, updated by RFC 1123
       Sunday, 06-Nov-94 08:49:37 GMT   ; RFC 850, obsoleted by RFC 1036
       Sun Nov  6 08:49:37 1994         ; ANSI C's asctime() format

   The first format is preferred as an Internet standard and
   represents a fixed-length subset of that defined by RFC 1123 [5]
   (an update to RFC 822 [6]). The second format is in common use
   today, but is based on the obsolete RFC 850 [9] date format and
   lacks a four-digit year. HTTP/1.0 clients and servers must accept
   all three formats, though they should never generate the third
   (asctime) format. It is strongly recommended that future clients
   and servers only generate the RFC 1123 format for representing
   date/time stamps in HTTP/1.0 requests and responses.

   All HTTP/1.0 date/time stamps must be represented in Universal Time
   (UT), also known as Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), without exception.
   This is indicated in the first two formats by the inclusion of
   "GMT" as the three-letter abbreviation for time zone, and should be
   assumed when reading the asctime format.

       HTTP-date        = rfc1123-date / rfc850-date / asctime-date

       rfc1123-date     = wkday "," SP date1 SP time SP "GMT"
       rfc850-date      = weekday "," SP date2 SP time SP "GMT"
       asctime-date     = wkday SP date3 SP time SP 4DIGIT

       date1            = 2DIGIT SP month SP 4DIGIT
                          ; day month year (e.g. 02 Jun 1982)
       date2            = 2DIGIT "-" month "-" 2DIGIT
                          ; day-month-year (e.g. 02-Jun-82)
       date3            = month SP ( 2DIGIT / ( SP 1DIGIT ))
                          ; month day (e.g. Jun  2)

       time             = 2DIGIT ":" 2DIGIT ":" 2DIGIT
                          ; 00:00:00 - 23:59:59

       wkday            = "Mon" / "Tue" / "Wed"
                        / "Thu" / "Fri" / "Sat" / "Sun"

       weekday          = "Monday" / "Tuesday" / "Wednesday"
                        / "Thursday" / "Friday" / "Saturday" / "Sunday"

       month            = "Jan" / "Feb" / "Mar" / "Apr"
                        / "May" / "Jun" / "Jul" / "Aug"
                        / "Sep" / "Oct" / "Nov" / "Dec"

   It should be noted that the HTTP/1.0 requirements for the date/time
   stamp format apply only to their usage within the protocol stream.
   Clients and servers are not required to use these formats for user
   presentation, request logging, etc.

4.2  Content Types

   HTTP uses Internet Media Types [12], formerly referred to as MIME
   Content-Types [4], in order to provide open and extensible data
   typing and type negotiation. For mail applications, where there is
   no type negotiation between sender and receiver, it is reasonable
   to put strict limits on the set of allowed content types. With
   HTTP, however, user agents can identify acceptable media types as
   part of the connection, and thus are allowed more freedom in the
   use of non-registered types. The following grammar for media types
   is a superset of that for MIME.

       media-type       = type "/" subtype *( ";" parameter)
       type             = token                      ; case-insensitive
       subtype          = token                      ; case-insensitive

       parameter        = attribute "=" value
       attribute        = token                      ; case-insensitive
       value            = token / quoted-string      ; sometimes
                                                     ; case-sensitive

4.2.1 Multipart Types

   HTTP provides for a number of "multipart" types -- encapsulations of
   several object body parts within a single message's Object-Body.
   Multipart responses should only be used when the user agent has
   indicated acceptability of the multipart type in addition to the
   content types of each constituent body part.

   As in MIME [4], all multipart types share a common syntax and must
   include a boundary parameter as part of the media-type. Unlike in
   MIME, the boundary parameter must always be enclosed in quotes
   (<">) and multipart body parts may contain HTTP header fields which
   are significant to the meaning of that part.

       boundary         = 0*69( bchar / SP ) bchar
       bchar            = DIGIT / ALPHA / "'" / "(" / ")" / "+"
                        / "_" / "," / "-" / "." / "/" / ":" / "=" / "?"

   The Object-Body of a multipart message is specified as follows:

       multipart-body   = discard-text 1*encapsulation
                          close-delimiter discard-text

       encapsulation    = delimiter body-part CRLF

       delimiter        = "--" boundary CRLF
                          ; taken from Content-type field.  There must
                          ; be no space between "--" and boundary.

       close-delimiter  = "--" boundary "--" CRLF
                          ; Again, no space by "--"

       discard-text     = *(*text CRLF)
                          ; to be ignored upon receipt

       body-part        = *Object-Header
                          [ Object-Body ]      ; May be recursive
                                               ; if boundary differs

   A URI-header field (Section 7.9) should be included in the body-
   part for each enclosed object which can be identified by a URI.  Multipart/alternative

   The "multipart/alternative" content-type is used in MIME to send
   content-type variants of a single entity when the receiver's
   capabilities are not known. This is not the case with HTTP.
   Multipart/alternative can be used to provide metainformation of
   many instances of an object, as in the case of a redirection
   response. This allows, for example, URIs of a set of instances of
   an object to be returned by a name server.  Multipart/mixed

   The "multipart/mixed" media type can be used when the first body-
   part contains references to other parts which the server wishes to
   send at the same time. For example, the first body-part could be an
   HTML document and the following body-parts could be annotations
   upon that document. However, the use of multipart/mixed is strongly
   discouraged in cases where the related objects are likely to have
   already been retrieved and cached by the user agent or a caching
   proxy.  Multipart/parallel

   The "multipart/parallel" media type is identical to
   multipart/mixed, but with the additional semantics that the parts
   should be presented simultaneously by the user agent. This type
   would be appropriate for situations where simultaneous presentation
   is an important aspect of the information, such as for audio-
   annotated slides and movies.  Other Multipart Types

   The other multipart types defined by IANA [14] do not have any
   special meaning for HTTP/1.0, though user agents may need to
   understand each type in order to correctly interpret the purpose of
   each body-part.

4.3  General Message Header Fields

   There are a few header fields which have general applicability for
   both request and response messages, but which do not apply to the
   communicating parties or the object being transferred. Although
   none of the General-Header fields are required, they are all
   strongly recommended (where appropriate) and should be implemented
   by future HTTP/1.0 clients and servers. These headers apply only to
   the message being transmitted.

       General-Header   = Date
                        / Forwarded
                        / Message-ID
                        / MIME-Version

4.3.1 Date

   The Date header represents the date and time at which the message
   was originated, having the same semantics as orig-date in RFC 822.
   Note that only user agents and origin servers can originate a
   message. However, if a message is received via direct connection
   with the user agent (in the case of requests) or the origin server
   (in the case of responses), then the default date can be assumed to
   be the current date at the receiving end. However, since the date--
   as it is believed by the origin--is important for evaluating cached
   responses, origin servers should always include a Date header. A
   received message which does not have a Date header field should be
   assigned one by the receiver if and only if the message will be
   cached by that receiver or gatewayed via a protocol which requires
   a Date. The field value is an HTTP-date, as described in Section

       Date             = "Date" ":" HTTP-date

   An example is

       Date: Tue, 15 Nov 1994 08:12:31 GMT

   Only one Date header field is allowed per message.

   Note:   An earlier version of this document incorrectly specified
          that this field should contain the creation date of the
          enclosed data object. This has been changed to reflect
          actual (and proper) usage.

4.3.2 Forwarded

   The Forwarded header is to be used by gateways and proxy agents to
   indicate the intermediate steps between the user agent and the
   server (on requests) and between the origin server and the client
   (on responses). It is analogous to the "Received" field of RFC 822
   and is intended to be used for tracing transport problems and
   avoiding request loops.

       Forwarded        = "Forwarded" ":" "by" URI [ "(" product ")" ]
                          [ "for" FQDN ]

       FQDN             = <Fully-Qualified Domain Name>

   In the following example, a message is sent from a client on
   ptsun00.cern.ch to a server at www.ics.uci.edu port 80 via an
   intermediate HTTP proxy agent at info.cern.ch port 8000. The
   request received by the server at www.ics.uci.edu will then have
   the following Forwarded header field:

       Forwarded: by http://info.cern.ch:8000/ for ptsun00.cern.ch

   Multiple Forwarded header fields are allowed and should represent
   each gateway or proxy agent that has forwarded the message. It is
   strongly recommended that proxy agents used as a portal through a
   network firewall do not, by default, send out information about the
   internal hosts within the firewall region. This information should
   only be propagated if explicitly enabled. If not enabled, the for
   token and FQDN should not be included in the field value.

4.3.3 Message-ID

   The Message-ID field in HTTP is identical to that used by Internet
   Mail and USENET messages, as defined in [9]. That is, it gives the
   message a single, unique identifier which can be used for
   identifying the message (not its contents) for "much longer" than
   the expected lifetime of that message.

       Message-ID       = "Message-ID" ":" "<" addr-spec ">"
       addr-spec        = unique-string "@" FQDN
       unique-string    = <1*CHAR, not including whitespace or ">">

   where unique-string must be unique within the host specified by
   FQDN. An example is

       Message-ID: <9411151630.4256@info.cern.ch>

   which is composed using the time, date and process-ID on the host

   Note:  Unlike the URI-header field, the Message-ID does not give
          a way of accessing the resource, so the Message-ID cannot
          be used to refer to that resource. However, in the case
          of USENET news articles, the Message-ID may in fact be
          used within a URI for retrieval of the message via NNTP.

4.3.4 MIME-Version

   HTTP/1.0 messages may include a single MIME-Version header field to
   indicate what version of the MIME protocol was used to construct
   the message. It is important to note, however, that this should not
   be considered as an indication of full compliance with MIME as it
   has been defined in [4]. Gateways are responsible for ensuring this
   compliance (where possible) when exporting HTTP messages to strict
   MIME environments.

       MIME-Version     = "MIME-Version" ":" 1*DIGIT "." 1*DIGIT

   MIME version "1.0" is the default for use in HTTP/1.0.

5. Request

   A request message from a client to a server includes, within the
   first line of that message, the method to be applied to the object
   requested, the identifier of the object, and the protocol version
   in use. For backwards compatibility with the more limited HTTP/0.9
   protocol, there are two valid formats for an HTTP request. However,
   applications using HTTP/0.9 should be upgraded to HTTP/1.0.

       Request          = Simple-Request / Full-Request

       Simple-Request   = "GET" URI CRLF          ; HTTP/0.9 request

       Full-Request     = Request-Line            ; see Section 5.1
                          *General-Header         ; see Section 4.3
                          *Request-Header         ; see Section 5.5
                          *Object-Header          ; see Section 7
                          [ Object-Body ]         ; see Section 3.2

   If an HTTP/1.0 server receives a Simple-Request, it must respond
   with an HTTP/0.9 Simple-Response. Similarly, if a client receives a
   response that does not begin with a Status-Line, it should assume
   that the response is a Simple-Response and parse it accordingly.

5.1  Request-Line

   The Request-Line begins with a method token, followed by the URI
   and the protocol version, and ending with CRLF. The elements are
   separated by LWSP-chars. No CR or LF are allowed except in the
   final CRLF sequence.

       Request-Line     = Method URI HTTP-Version CRLF

5.2  Method

   The Method token indicates the method to be performed on the object
   identified by the URI. The method is case-sensitive and extensible.

       Method           = "GET" / "HEAD"          ; case-sensitive
                        / "PUT" / "POST"
                        / "DELETE" / extension-method

       extension-method = token

   The methods GET and HEAD must be supported by all conforming
   HTTP/1.0 servers. The list of methods acceptable by a specific
   object can be specified in an "Allow" Object-Header (Section 7.1).
   However, the client is always notified through the return code of
   the response whether a method is currently allowed on a specific
   URI, as this can change dynamically. The set of common methods for
   HTTP/1.0 are specified below. Although this set can be easily
   expanded, additional methods cannot be assumed to share the same
   semantics for separately extended clients and servers. In order to
   maintain compatibility, the semantic definition for extension
   methods should be registered with the HTTP registration authority
   (Section 10). Servers should return the Status-Code "501 Not
   Implemented" if the method is unknown.

5.2.1 GET

   The GET method means retrieve whatever data is identified by the
   URI. In the case where the URI refers to a data-producing process,
   or a script which can be run by such a process, it is the produced
   data which shall be returned as the Object-Body in the response and
   not the source text of the script or process.

   If supported by the server, the GET method can be used for text
   searches. The URI used in the request is the URI identifying the
   object, suffixed by a "?" character and the text to be searched as
   specified by RFC 1630 [2]. If the object being searched is in fact
   itself the result of a search (i.e. the URI contains a "?"), then
   those search terms are first stripped off, so the search is
   performed on the original object. The body part of the response
   shall, except in the case of error situations, always be the result
   of the search.

5.2.2 HEAD

   The HEAD method is similar to GET but the server may not return any
   Object-Body in the response. This method can be used for obtaining
   metainformation about the object identified by the URI such as the
   last-modified date for use in caching schemes etc.

5.2.3 POST

   The POST method is used to request that the origin server accept
   the enclosed object as a new subordinate of the object given by the
   request URI. Depending upon the URI in question, this new object
   may be a document annotation, a message intended for a bulletin
   board or newsgroup, an additional item to be appended to a list, or
   a block of data (usually a form) to be processed via a gateway

   The POST method is designed as a generic way to allow a user agent
   to add more information to a server without insisting that it be
   stored under a specific URI. Where possible and appropriate, a new
   URI will be allocated by the origin server and returned to the
   client for future reference to that object. Note that this is not
   the case when the HTTP protocol is used by user agent posting a
   SMTP mail message through a proxy agent. The posted object is
   considered to be subordinate to the specified URI, in the way that
   a file is subordinate to a directory containing it, or a news
   article is subordinate to a newsgroup to which it is posted.

   The POST method is designed to allow a uniform function to cover

       o  Annotation of existing documents;

       o  Posting a message to a bulletin board topic, newsgroup,
          mailing list, or similar group of articles;

       o  Providing form data to a gateway program;

       o  Extending a document during authorship.

   The user agent may not assume any postconditions of the method in
   terms of web topology. For example, if a POST is accepted, the
   effect may be delayed or overruled by human moderation, batch
   processing, etc. The user agent should not be surprised if a link
   is not immediately (or never) created.

   If the URI does not refer to a gateway, the origin server is
   requested to see to the storage of the new object. That is, the
   origin server does not have to store it permanently, but should (if
   the method was successful) return a URI by which the object can be
   referenced and later retrieved. The semantics of this method imply
   nothing of any undertakings by the origin server to maintain the
   availability of the object.

   If the user agent includes a URI-header in the request, the server
   should treat that URI as advisory only. It may store the object
   under a different URI, in which case the origin server must inform
   the user agent of the new URI via a URI-header in the response.  Returned Object Headers

   The POST method shall return a set (possibly empty) of object
   headers for the newly posted object. The server may return the
   entire metainformation for the object (as in the HEAD method), or a
   subset of it. The posted object should not be returned in the
   response, though the response Object-Body may include a status or
   error message which references the new object.  Link Type

   The Link header field described in Section 7.15 may be specified by
   explicitly giving a (possibly reverse) link in the Object-Header of
   the linked object. If one or more Link's are contained in the
   Object-Header, then this information should be used. If no such
   link or links are specified, then the server should generate a
   link. The link type in this case is determined by the server.

   Note:  The server may perform other operations as a result of
          the new object being added: lists and indexes might be
          updated, for example. However, no mandatory operation is
          imposed on the origin server.  Submission

   When articles are submitted, the analogy of being added to a body
   of knowledge by being linked is close. When a form is submitted,
   this can be done with POST, though in this case side-effects will
   be expected.

5.2.4 PUT

   The PUT method specifies that the data in the Object-Body of the
   request is to be stored under the supplied URI. If the URI points
   to an already existing object, the enclosed object should be
   considered a modified version of the one residing on the origin
   server. If the URI does not point to an existing object, and that
   URI is capable of being defined as a new object from the requesting
   user agent, the origin server can place the object at that URI.

   The actual method for determining how the object is placed, and
   what happens to its predecessor, is defined entirely by the
   individual origin server. If version control is implemented by the
   origin server, the Version, Derived-From, and Release header fields
   should be used to help identify and control revisions to an object.

5.2.5 DELETE

   The DELETE method requests that the server delete the object
   corresponding to the given URI. After a successful DELETE request,
   the URI becomes invalid for any future references. This method can
   at all times be overridden by human interaction or other means on
   the remote server, so the client cannot be guaranteed that the
   operation has been carried out, even if the status code returned
   from the server indicates that the action has been completed

5.3  HTTP-Version

   The HTTP-Version element defines the version of the HTTP protocol
   being used for the request. If the protocol version is not
   specified, the server shall assume that the client uses HTTP
   version 0.9 and the response should be formatted as a Simple-

       HTTP-Version     = "HTTP" "/" 1*DIGIT "." 1*DIGIT

   Full-Request messages which obey the protocol defined by this
   document should use an HTTP-Version of "HTTP/1.0".

5.4  Universal Resource Identifier

   The URI is a Universal Resource Identifier, as defined in RFC 1630
   [2], and identifies the object upon which to apply the request. It
   can either be a URL (Uniform Resource Locator [3]) or a URN
   (Uniform Resource Name). At the time of this writing, no suitable
   naming system exists for URNs, but this protocol will accept such
   names so long as they do not include whitespace and are
   distinguishable from the existing URL name space.

       URI              = <As defined in RFC 1630>

   Unless the server is being used as a proxy, a partial URI shall be
   given with the assumptions of the protocol (http) and host name
   (the server's address) being obvious. That is, if the full URI
   looks like


   then the corresponding partial URI in the Simple-Request or Full-
   Request is


   In the case of a client sending a request through a proxy or
   gateway, the protocol and host name must be explicitly declared.

   Note:  The URI should be encoded using the escaping scheme
          described in [2]. Note that escaping is permitted for any
          character but the default escaping should be limited to
          reserved characters and characters which are considered

   Note:  The part of an URL after the host name and optional port
          number is completely opaque to the client: The client may
          make no deductions, such as the file type, about the
          object based on the URL pointing to it.

5.5  Request Header Fields

   The request header fields provide the possibility for the client to
   pass additional information about the request and the client itself
   to the server. All header fields are RFC 822 conforming and are
   optional for the client to transmit. However, the client is
   strongly encouraged to specify as many as possible.

       Request-Header   = User-Agent
                        / If-Modified-Since
                        / Pragma
                        / Authorization
                        / Proxy-Authorization
                        / Referer
                        / From
                        / Accept
                        / Accept-Encoding
                        / Accept-Language

   These header fields are explained in the following subsections.
   Unknown header fields should be considered Object-Header fields.

5.5.1 User-Agent

   The User-Agent field contains information about the user agent
   originating the request. This is for statistical purposes, the
   tracing of protocol violations, and automated recognition of user
   agents for the sake of tailoring responses to avoid particular user
   agent limitations or features. Although it is not required, user
   agents should always include this field with requests. The field
   can contain multiple tokens specifying the product name, with an
   optional slash and version designator, and other products which
   form a significant part of the user agent. By convention, the
   products are listed in order of their significance for identifying
   the application.

       User-Agent       = "User-Agent" ":" 1*product

       product          = token ["/" product-version]
       product-version  = 1*DIGIT "." 1*DIGIT


       User-Agent: CERN-LineMode/2.15 libwww/2.17

   Product tokens should be short and to the point -- use of this field
   for advertizing or other non-essential information is explicitly
   deprecated and will be considered as non-cormance to the protocol.
   See Section 6.4.1 for a description of what should be done for
   requests passed through a gateway or proxy.

   Note:  Some current proxiy applications append their product
          information to the list in the User-Agent field. This is
          no longer recommended, since it makes machine
          interpretation of these fields ambiguous.

5.5.2 If-Modified-Since

   The If-Modified-Since header field is used with the GET method to
   make it conditional: if the requested document has not been
   modified since the time specified in this field, the document will
   not be returned from the server; instead, a "304 Not Modified"
   response will be returned without any Object-Body. The format of
   this field is an absolute date and time in the HTTP-date format of
   Section 4.1:

       If-Modified-Since = "If-Modified-Since" ":" HTTP-date

   An example of the field is:

       If-Modified-Since: Sat, 29 Oct 1994 19:43:31 GMT

   The purpose of this feature is to allow efficient updates of local
   cache information with a minimum amount of transaction overhead.
   The same functionality can be obtained, though with much greater
   overhead, by issuing a HEAD request possibly followed by a GET

5.5.3 Pragma

   Pragma directives should be understood by servers to which they are
   relevant, e.g. a proxy. They give the client the possibility of
   affecting the default behavior of the server. The syntax is the
   same as for other multiple-value fields in HTTP, however the
   current specification only contains one valid parameter:

       Pragma           = "Pragma" ":" 1*#pragma-param

       pragma-param     = "no-cache" / extension-pragma
       extension-pragma = token

   When the "no-cache" parameter is present, a caching proxy should
   not return a document from the cache even though it has not
   expired, but it should always request the document from the actual

   Note:  Pragmas should be passed through by proxies even though
          they might have significance to the proxy itself. This is
          necessary in cases when the request has to go through
          many proxies, and the pragma may affect all of them. It
          is not possible to specify a pragma for a specific proxy;
          however, any pragma-param not relevant to a gateway or
          proxy should be ignored.

5.5.4 Authorization

   This version of the HTTP protocol contains a simple access
   authentication scheme which is explained in Section 9. The
   Authorization header field identifies the user requesting a URI on
   an HTTP server.

       Authorization        = "Authorization" ":" (("Basic" uu-encoded)
                            / (extension-scheme extension-encrypted))

       uu-encoded           = <UU encoding of userid-password>
       userid-password      = [word] ":" [word]

       extension-scheme     = token
       extension-encrypted  = token

   The format of this field is in extensible form so that it can
   handle other and more advanced encryption schemes. The first word
   is a specification of the authorization system in use followed by
   the encrypted version of the User-ID and the password separated by
   a ":" in clear text. It is important to note that the Basic scheme
   only provides a low-level security similar to the methods used by
   unmodified FTP, Telnet, etc.

   Note:  The specification indicates that the userid-password can
          be the sequence ":" as both the User-ID and the password
          are optional, however it is not the recommended usage.

5.5.5 Proxy-Authorization

   The Proxy-Authorization header field allows the client to identify
   itself (or its user) to a proxy agent which requires
   authentication. The format is the same as for Authorization.

       Proxy-Authorization = "Proxy-Authorization" ":"
                             (("Basic" uu-encoded)
                             /(extension-scheme extension-encrypted))

   Unlike Authorization, the Proxy-Authorization applies only to the
   current connection and must not be passed on to higher-level
   servers or proxies.

5.5.6 Referer

   The Referer field allows the client to specify, for the server's
   benefit, the address (URI) of the document (or element within the
   document) from which the URI in the request was obtained. This
   allows a server to generate lists of back-links to documents, for
   interest, logging, optimized caching etc. It also allows bad links
   to be traced for maintenance. The format of the field is:

       Referer          = "Referer" ":" URI


       Referer: http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/DataSources/Overview.html

   If a partial URI is given, then it should be parsed relative to the
   URI of the object of the request.

   Note:  The Referer field allows reading patterns to be studied,
          and reverse links drawn, however, the field may in fact
          contain a secure URI, whose revelation itself can be
          considered as a breach of security. It is therefore
          strongly recommended that the user be able to disable and
          enable this field prior to a request.

5.5.7 From

   The From header field, if given, should contain an Internet e-mail
   address for the human user who controls the requesting user agent.
   It should contain a machine-usable address as defined by addr-spec
   in RFC 822:

       From             = "From" ":" addr-spec

   An example is:

       From: webmaster@w3.org

   This header field may be used for logging purposes and as a means
   for identifying the source of invalid or unwanted requests. It
   should not be used as an insecure form of access protection. The
   interpretation of this field is that the request is being performed
   on behalf of the person given, who accepts responsibility for the
   method performed. In particular, robot agents should include this
   header so that the person responsible for running the robot can be
   contacted if problems occur on the receiving end.

   The Internet e-mail address in this field does not have to
   correspond to the Internet host which issued the request. (For
   example, when a request is passed through a gateway or proxy agent,
   then the original issuer's address should be used). The address
   should, if possible, be a valid Internet e-mail address, whether or
   not it is in fact an Internet e-mail address or the Internet e-mail
   representation of an address on some other mail system.

   Note:  The client should not send the From header field without
          the user's approval, as it may conflict with the user's
          privacy interests or their site's security policy. It is
          strongly recommended that the user be able to disable,
          enable, and modify the value of this field at any time
          prior to a request.

5.5.8 Accept

   This field contains a list of representation schemes (Content-Type
   metainformation tokens) which are accepted in the response to the
   request. The set given may of course vary from request to request
   from the same client.

   The field may be wrapped onto several lines according to RFC 822,
   and also more than one occurrence of the field is allowed with the
   significance being the same as if all the entries has been in one
   field. The format of each entry in the list is:

       Accept           = "Accept" ":"
                          1#( ("*" / type) "/" ("*" / subtype)
                             *(";" accept-param) )

       accept-param     = ("q" "=" ( "0" / "1" / float) )
                        / ("mxb" "=" 1*DIGIT)

       float            = < ANSI-C floating point text representation,
                            where (0.0 < float < 1.0) >

   q is the quality factor of how well the client can handle the
   content type and mxb is the maximum accepted size of the Object-
   Body in number of octets. The definition does not prohibit
   duplicate accept-param's, but leaves the interpretation undefined.
   See Section 8 for a description of the negotiation algorithm and
   penalty model. A quality factor of 0 is equivalent to not sending
   an accept header field containing the actual content-type. The
   default values are: q=1 and mxb=infinity.

   In order to save time, and also allow clients to receive content
   types of which they may not be aware, an asterisk "*" may be used
   in place of either the type token and/or the subtype token. The

       Accept: audio/*; q=0.2, audio/basic

   should verbally be interpreted as "if you have audio/basic, send
   it; otherwise send me some other audio".

   If no accept field is present, then it is assumed that the client
   accepts all formats with quality factor 1. This is equivalent to
   the client sending the following accept header field:

       Accept: */*; q=1
       Accept: */*

   A more elaborate example is

       Accept: text/plain; q=0.5, text/html,
               text/x-dvi; q=0.8; mxb=100000, text/x-c

   Verbally, this should be interpreted as "text/html and text/x-c are
   the preferred content types, but if they do not exist then send the
   Object-Body in text/x-dvi if the object is less than 100000 bytes.
   If this is not the case then send text/plain".

   Note:  The client should not try to divine which content types
          are relevant to send in the request header on behalf of
          the information given in the URI, for example by looking
          at the file suffix in a URL. This information is
          completely opaque to the client.

   Note:  In earlier versions of this document, the mxs parameter
          defined the maximum acceptable delay in seconds before
          the response would arrive. This has been removed as the
          server has no means of obtaining a usable reference
          value. However, this does not prevent the client from
          internally measuring the response time and optimize the
          accept header field accordingly by using the quality

5.5.9 Accept-Encoding

   This header field is similar to the Accept header field, but lists
   the Content-Encoding types which are acceptable in the response.
   The Content-Encoding field is described in Section 7.4. The formal
   definition is:

       Accept-Encoding    = "Accept-Encoding" ":" 1#encoding-mechanism

       encoding-mechanism = "x-compress" / "x-gzip" / extension-encoding
       extension-encoding = token


       Accept-Encoding: x-compress

5.5.10 Accept-Language

   The "Accept-Language" field is similar to the accept header field,
   but it lists the set of natural languages accepted in the response.
   The language-encoding field is described in Section 7.6. The format
   of the field is defined as:

       Accept-Language  = "Accept-Language" ":"
                          1#(language-dialect *1(";" language-param) )

       language-dialect = ("*" / language) ["/" ("*" / dialect) ]

       language-param   = "q" "=" ( "0" / "1" / float)

       language         = <As defined in ISO 639 but case-insensitive>

       dialect          = <As defined in ISO 3166 but case-insensitive>

   As with the Accept field, a quality factor q can be specified which
   in this case describe the level of intelligibility to the user. The
   default value is q=1. The definition does not prohibit duplicate
   language-param's, but leaves the interpretation undefined. An
   example of it's use is

       Accept-Language: dk, en/gb; q=0.5

   meaning: "If you have a Danish version, send it; else if you have
   an British English version, send it".

   Note:  If the server can not serve the request with the language
          specified or if the languages specified only represent a
          subset in case of a multi-linguistic data object, it is
          not illegal to serve the request in an unspecified
          language. The character "*" can be used to indicate "any
          language" and/or "any dialect".

   Note:  As intelligibility is highly dependent on the individual
          user, it is recommended that any client applications
          makes the choice of linguistic preferences available to
          the user.

6.  Response

   If the client has issued an HTTP request, the response from the
   server shall consist of the following:

       Response         = Simple-Response / Full-Response

       Simple-Response  = [Object-Body]

       Full-Response    = Status-Line              ; see Section 6.1
                          *General-Header          ; see Section 4.3
                          *Response-Header         ; see Section 6.4
                          *Object-Header           ; see Section 7
                          [ Object-Body ]          ; see Section 3.2

   A Simple-Response should only be sent in response to an HTTP/0.9
   Simple-Request. Note that the Simple-Response consists only of the
   object that was requested and is terminated by the server closing
   the connection.

6.1  Status-Line

   The Status-Line should, like the Request-Line, consist only of the
   elements specified separated by LWSP-chars. That is, no CR or LF
   are allowed except in the final CRLF sequence.

       Status-Line      = HTTP-Version Status-Code Reason-Phrase CRLF

6.2  HTTP Version

   The HTTP-Version field identifies the protocol version being used
   by the server. The format of this field is identical to the
   corresponding HTTP-Version field in the Request-Line described in
   Section 5.3.

6.3  Status Codes and Reason Phrases

   The Status-Code field contains an integer result code of the
   attempt to understand and satisfy the request. The Reason-Phrase is
   intended to give a short textual description of the Status-Code.
   The Status-Code is intended for use by automata and the Reason-
   Phrase is intended for the human user. The client is not required
   to examine the Reason-Phrase or to pass it on to the human user.

       Status-Code      = 3DIGIT

       Reason-Phrase    = *token

   All responses, regardless of the Status-Code, may contain an Object-
   Header and/or an Object-Body. This can either be the object pointed
   to by the requested URI or an object containing further explanation
   of the Status-Code. In the latter case, the preferred content-type
   is "text/html", but "text/plain" is also accepted. As for the
   Reason-Phrase, it is not mandatory for the client to pass any
   explanation information in the Object-Body to the user.

   The first digit of the Status-Code defines the class of responses
   known to HTTP. The last two digits do not have any categorization
   role. There are 5 values for the first digit:

       o  1xx: Not used, but reserved for future use

       o  2xx: Success - The requested action was successfully received
               and understood

       o  3xx: Redirection - Further action must be taken in order to
               complete the request

       o  4xx: Client Error - The request contains bad syntax or is
               inherently impossible to fulfill

       o  5xx: Server Error - The server could not fulfill the request

   The values of the numeric status codes, and a default set of
   corresponding Reason-Phrase's, are presented below. Every Status-
   Code has a description of which method it can follow and any
   metainformation required in the HTTP-header. The Status-Code of any
   extension-method is not defined in this document, and no rules are
   given for introducing additional codes.

6.3.1 Successful 2xx

   This class of status codes indicates that the client's request was
   successfully received and understood.

   200 OK

       o  Following:                 GET, HEAD, POST
       o  Required metainformation:  none

   The request could be fulfilled and an Object-Header should be
   returned to the client in the response. In the case of GET, the
   response should also contain an Object-Body.

   201 Created

       o  Following:                 POST, PUT
       o  Required metainformation:  URI-header

   This indicates that the POST has been successful or that the PUT
   resulted in a new object. The newly created object can be
   referenced by the URI returned in the URI-header field in the
   response. This action can, at any time, be overridden at the origin
   server (possibly by human intervention), so this status code is no
   guarantee that the object continue to be available at teh given URI.

   202 Accepted

       o  Following:                 GET, HEAD, PUT, POST, DELETE
       o  Required metainformation:  none

   The request has been accepted for processing, but the processing
   has not been completed. The request may or may not eventually be
   acted upon, as it may be disallowed when processing actually takes
   place. There is no facility for resending a status code from an
   asynchronous operations such as this.

   203 Provisional Information

       o  Following:                 GET, HEAD, POST
       o  Required metainformation:  none

   When received in the response, this indicates that the returned
   metainformation in the HTTP-header is not the definitive set as
   available from the origin server, but is gathered from a local or a
   third party copy. The set presented can either be a subset or a
   superset of the original version, for example including annotation
   information about the data object.

   204 No Response

       o  Following:                 GET, HEAD, POST
       o  Required metainformation:  none

   The server has received the request but there is no information to
   send back, and the client should stay in the same document view.
   This is mainly to allow input for scripts without changing the
   document at the same time.

   205 Deleted

       o  Following:                 DELETE
       o  Required metainformation:  none

   The DELETE method was successful and the object has been removed by
   the requested server. This action can at any time be overridden by
   the origin server, for example by human interaction, so this status
   code is no guarantee that the operation has in fact been carried

   206 Modified

       o  Following:                 PUT
       o  Required metainformation:  none

   The PUT method was successful and the object has been modified on
   the requested server. This action can at any time be overridden at
   the origin server, for example by human interaction so this status
   code is no guarantee that the operation has in fact been carried

6.3.2 Redirection 3xx

   This class of status codes indicates that further action needs to
   be taken by the client in order to fulfill the request. The action
   required can normally be carried out by the client without
   interaction with the user, but it is strongly recommended that this
   only takes place if the method used in the request is either GET or

   301 Moved Permanently

       o  Following:                 GET, HEAD, POST, PUT
       o  Required metainformation:  URI-header, Location

   The object requested has been assigned a new permanent URI, and any
   future references to this object must be done using the returned

   Note:  It is possible for the server to send back this status
          code in response to a request using the PUT and POST
          methods. However, as this might change the conditions
          under which the request was issued, the user agent should
          not automatically redirect the request unless it can be
          confirmed by the user.

   Note:  Clients with link editing capabilities are encouraged to
          automatically relink references to the URI requested to
          the new reference returned by the server, where possible.

   302 Moved Temporarily

       o  Following:                 GET, HEAD, POST, PUT
       o  Required metainformation:  URI-header, Location

   The data requested resides temporarily under a different URI. As
   the redirection may be altered on occasion, the client should on
   future requests from the user continue to use the original URI used
   for this request and not the URI returned in the URI-header field.

   Note:  It is possible for the server to send back this status
          code in response to a request using the PUT and POST
          methods. However, as this might change the conditions
          under which the request was issued, the user agent should
          not automatically redirect the request unless it can be
          confirmed by the user.

   303 Method

       o  Required metainformation:  none

   This code is obsolete.

   304 Not Modified

       o  Following:                 conditional GET
       o  Required metainformation:  none

   If the client has performed a conditional GET request and access is
   allowed, but the document has not been modified since the date and
   time specified in the If-Modified-Since field, the server shall
   respond with this status code and must not send the Object-Body to
   the client. Metainformation contained in the response should only
   contain information relevant to cache managers and which may have
   changed independently of the object's Last-Modified date. Examples
   of relevant header fields are: Date, Server, and Expires, however
   none of them are mandatory.

6.3.3 Client Error 4xx

   The 4xx class of status codes is intended for cases in which the
   client seems to have erred. The codes can follow any method
   described in Section 5.2, and the set consists of:

   400 Bad Request

       o  Required metainformation:  none

   The request had bad syntax or was inherently impossible to be
   satisfied. The client is discouraged from repeating the request
   without modifications.

   401 Unauthorized

       o  Required metainformation:  WWW-Authenticate

   The server must return a WWW-Authenticate header field as described
   in Section 6.4.2 containing a list of authorization schemes in
   which at least one must be fulfilled in order for the client to
   obtain the Object-Body. The client should then retry the request
   with a suitable Authorization header field. The HTTP access
   authentication scheme is explained in Section 9.

   402 Payment Required

       o  Required metainformation:  none

   This code is not currently supported, but is reserved for future

   403 Forbidden

       o  Required metainformation:  none

   The request is, for some reason unknown to the client, forbidden.
   Authorization will not help and the request should not be repeated.
   This status code can also be used if the server does not want to
   make public whether the request can not be fulfilled due to
   insufficient authorization from the client or because the object
   does not exist.

   404 Not Found

       o  Required metainformation:  none

   The server has not found anything matching the URI given. No
   indication is given whether the condition is temporary or permanent.

   405 Method Not Allowed

       o  Required metainformation:  Allow

   The method specified in the Request-Line is not allowed for the
   object identified by the URI. The server should send back an Allow
   header containing a list of valid method's as explained in Section

   406 None Acceptable

       o  Required metainformation:  Content-Type, Content-Encoding,

   The server has found an object matching the URI given, but not one
   that matches all of the conditions identified in the Accept, Accept-
   Encoding, and Accept-Language request headers. The response should
   include at least the Content-Type, the Content-Encoding, and the
   Content-Language, but is encouraged to include the object's
   complete metainformation. No Object-Body can be included in the

   407 Proxy Authentication Required

       o  Required metainformation:  Proxy-Authenticate

   This code is similar to "401 Unauthorized" but it indicates that
   the user agent must first authenticate itself with the proxy. The
   proxy must return a Proxy-Authenticate header field as described in
   Section 6.4.3 containing a list of authorization schemes in which
   at least one must be fulfilled in order for the client to use the
   proxy. The client should then create a new request with the proxy
   as the server destination and with a suitable Proxy-Authorization
   header field. The HTTP access authentication scheme is explained in
   Section 9.

   408 Request Timeout

       o  Required metainformation:  none

   This code indicates that the client did not produce a request
   within a time that the server was prepared to wait. If the client
   is still actively generating the request, it should immediately
   stop sending further information to the server.

6.3.4 Server Errors 5xx

   Response status codes beginning with the digit "5" indicate cases
   in which the server is aware that it has erred or is incapable of
   performing the request. These codes can follow any method at any

   Note:  For all of the 5xx codes, the server is encouraged to
          send back an HTTP-header and an Object-Body containing an
          explanation of the error situation, and whether it is a
          temporary or permanent condition.

   500 Server Error

   The server encountered an unexpected condition which prevented it
   from fulfilling the request.

   501 Not Implemented

   The server does not support the functionality required to fulfil
   the request.

   502 Bad Gateway

   This is equivalent to "500 Internal Error", but for the case of a
   gateway or proxy accessing some other service, this indicates that
   the response from the other service was invalid. As from the point
   of view of the client and the HTTP transaction, the other service
   is hidden within the gateway or proxy, this may be treated
   identically to "500 Internal Error", but has more diagnostic value.

   503 Service Unavailable

   The server is currently unable to handle the request. This can
   either be due to overload of the server or servicing of the server.
   The implication is that this is a temporary condition which may be
   alleviated at other times.

   504 Gateway Timeout

   This is equivalent to "500 Internal Error", but for the case of a
   gateway or proxy accessing some other service, this indicates that
   the response from the other service did not return within a time
   that the gateway was prepared to wait. As from the point of view of
   the client and the HTTP transaction, the other service is hidden
   within the gateway or proxy, this may be treated identically to
   "500 Internal Error", but has more diagnostic value.

6.4  Response Header Fields

   The response header fields provide the server the possibility to
   pass additional information about the response which can not be
   placed in the Status-Line. These header fields are not intended to
   give information about an Object-Body returned in the response but
   uniquely about the server itself. The Object-Header fields which
   should be used for the latter purpose are described in Section 7.
   The response header fields specified in this document are:

       Response-Header  = Server
                        / WWW-Authenticate
                        / Proxy-Authenticate

   Unknown header fields should be considered Object-Header fields.

6.4.1 Server

   This field contains information about the server software program
   used for handling the request. The field is equivalent to the User-
   Agent field in the request and has the following format:

       Server           = "Server" ":" 1*product


       Server: CERN/3.0 libwww/2.17

   If the request is going through a gateway or proxy, then these
   applications must not add their data to the list received. Instead,
   they should use the Forwarded field described in Section 4.3.1.

6.4.2 WWW-Authenticate

   The WWW-Authenticate header field must be included as part of the
   response if the server sends back a "401 Unauthorized" Status-Code
   on a request from the client as part of the Basic Authentication
   Scheme described in Section 9. This header field indicates the
   authentication scheme used and the realm in which the requested URI
   belongs. The syntax is defined as:

       WWW-Authenticate = "WWW-Authenticate" ":" ("Basic" realm)
                        / (extension-scheme realm)

       realm            = token

   The contents of this field is extensible as is the case for the
   Authorization field in the request header. The first word is a
   specification of the authorization system in use followed by the
   realm of the protected URI requested.

6.4.3 Proxy-Authenticate

   The Proxy-Authenticate header field must be included as part of the
   response if the proxy sends back a "407 Proxy Authentication
   Required" Status-Code on a request from the client. This header
   field indicates the authentication scheme used and the realm in
   which the requested URI belongs. The syntax is defined as:

       Proxy-Authenticate = "Proxy-Authenticate" ":" ("Basic" realm)
                          / (extension-scheme realm)

       realm              = token

   Unlike WWW-Authenticate, the Proxy-Authenticate applies only to the
   current connection and must not be passed on to lower-level user
   agents or proxies.

7.  Object Header Fields

   Any Full-Request or Full-Response message can contain Object-Header
   fields and an Object-Body as defined in Section 3. This section
   specifies the format and contents of the Object-Header fields.

   Object-Header fields define metainformation about the Object-Body.
   All are optional, but applications are strongly encouraged to
   specify as many as possible. This document defines the following
   header fields:

       Object-Header    = Allow
                        / Content-Length
                        / Content-Type
                        / Content-Encoding
                        / Content-Transfer-Encoding
                        / Content-Language
                        / Expires
                        / Last-Modified
                        / URI-header
                        / Location
                        / Version
                        / Derived-From
                        / Release
                        / Title
                        / Link
                        / extension-header

       extension-header = HTTP-header

   In this section, recipient refers to either the client or the
   server, depending on who receives the object. Each object header
   field is explained in the subsections below. Other header fields
   are allowed but cannot be assumed to be recognizable by the
   recipient. Unknown header fields should be ignored by the
   recipient, but passed on to downstream recipients (if any).

7.1  Allow

   The "Allow" header field lists the set of methods supported by the
   object identified by the requested URI. The purpose of this field
   is strictly to inform the recipient of valid methods associated
   with the object. This does not prevent the client from trying other
   methods. However, it is recommended to follow the indications given
   in this field. If not specified, the default value of the allowed
   methods equals the total set of methods described in Section 5.2.
   The format of the field is:

       Allow            = "Allow" ":" 1#method

    Example of use:

       Allow: GET, HEAD, PUT

7.2  Content-Length

   This field indicates in number of octets the size of the Object-
   Body sent to the recipient. The format of the field is

       Content-Length   = "Content-Length" ":" 1*DIGIT

   An example is

       Content-Length: 3495

   Even though it is not mandatory, applications are strongly
   encouraged to use this field to indicated the size of the Object-
   Body to be transferred no matter of the content-type of the object.

   Note:  Any Content-Length of size greater than or equal to zero
          is a valid value. The field has no default value.

   Note:  The meaning of this field is significantly different from
          the corresponding specification in the MIME
          specifications where it is an optional field used within
          the "message/external-body" Content-Type. In HTTP, it
          should be used whereever possible.

7.3  Content-Type

   The format of this field which is also described in Section 4.2 is
   defined as:

       Content-Type     = "Content-Type" ":" media-type

   An example of the field is

       Content-Type: text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1

   Note:  All content types defined by MIME including extension
          tokens are of course valid tokens. The field has no
          default value.

7.4  Content-Encoding

   The Content-Encoding header field, unique to HTTP, is used as a
   modifier to the content-type. When present, its value indicates the
   encoding mechanism applied to the associated Object-Body prior to
   it being enclosed in the message, and thus what decoding mechanism
   must be applied in order to obtain the media type referenced by the
   Content-Type header field. This is primarily used to allow object
   compression without losing the identity of the underlying media
   type. It has the following format:

       Content-Encoding = "Content-Encoding" ":" encoding-mechanism

   An example of its use is

       Content-Encoding: x-gzip

   Note:  The Content-Encoding field differs from the "Content-
          Transfer-Encoding" field defined as encoding in the MIME
          specifications. The purpose of the "Content-Transfer-
          Encoding" field is "to indicate the type of
          transformation that has been used in order to represent
          the object in an acceptable manner for transport". The
          Content-Encoding field is used to indicate any form of
          compression mechanism used to decrease the amount of data
          to be transported. The result after encoding can still be
          any type defined by the Content-Transfer-Encoding field.

7.5  Content-Transfer-Encoding

   Because all HTTP communication takes place on an 8-bit clean
   connection, the default content-transfer-encoding for all messages
   is "binary". Note that this differs from the required default in
   MIME [4], so gateways between HTTP and MIME-compliant protocols
   should add an explicit "Content-Transfer-Encoding: binary" to the
   message header if one is not already present.

                        = type [ "/" subtype ] *( ";" parameter )

7.6  Content-Language

   The Content-Language field describes the natural language of the
   Object-Body. It is defined as:

       Content-Language =  "Content-Language" ":" 1#lang-dia

       lang-dia         = language ["/" dialect ]

   An example of its use is

       Content-Language: dk

   means that the content of the message is in Danish with no dialect
   specified. The example

       Content-Language: en/gb, dk

   means that the language is Danish and British English.

   Note:  Multi-linguistic data objects can be described using a
          list of lang-dia codes. This document does not specify
          any means to indicates the amount of different natural
          languages represented in the data object.

   Note:  This field can be defined, not only for textual documents
          but also for audio and possibly other media as well. It
          should not be considered limited to data objects of type

7.7  Expires

   The Expires field gives the date and time after which the
   information given ceases to be valid and should be retrieved again
   if it has been kept as a local copy. This allows control of caching
   mechanisms, but the date and time indicated does not necessarily
   imply that the original object will cease to exist. This is
   completely controlled by the server. The format is an absolute date
   and time as defined by HTTP-date in Section 4.1. The formal
   description is

       Expires          = "Expires" ":" HTTP-date

   and an example of the use is

       Expires: Thu, 01 Dec 1994 16:00:00 GMT

   Note:  This field can also be used for automatic refreshing of
          dynamic or volatile data. However, this is completely
          dependent on the implementation of the client application
          to automatically issue a new request when the object has

   Note:  Data objects generated by data-producing processes, or
          scripts which can be run by such processes, are often
          dynamic by nature. Therefore it is strongly recommended
          that such data objects do contain an Expires header field.

7.8  Last-Modified

   The Last-Modified field indicates the date and time of when the
   data object was last modified. The format is an HTTP-date, as
   described in Section 4.1, and the syntax is:

       Last-Modified    = "Last-Modified" ":" HTTP-date

   An example of its use is

       Last-Modified: Tue, 15 Nov 1994 12:45:26 GMT

   Note:  The definition of this header field does not specify what
          is meant by "modification", as this depends on the actual
          server implementation. In particular, the field is not
          connected to any date and time indications given by the
          operation system on which the server application is

   Note:  If the expires header field is not present in the Object-
          Header, then this field can be used by a cache mechanism
          to estimate when the object expires.

7.9  URI Header

   The URI-header field contains a URI by which the object may be
   found. It should not be confused with the token in the Request-Line
   described in Section 5.4. As for a normal request, there is no
   guarantee that the object can be retrieved using the URI specified.
   The field is normally a part of a response having Status-Code "301
   Moved Permanently" or "302 Moved Temporarily".

       URI-header       = "URI" ":" 1#( URI [";" vary] )

       vary             =  "vary" "=" <"> 1#vary-param <">
       vary-param       = "type" / "language" / "version" / "encoding"
                        / extension-vary

       extension-vary   = token

   If the URI is used to refer to a set of variants, then the
   dimensions in which the variants may differ must be given with the
   vary parameters.

   Multiple occurrences of vary-param in the vary field give
   alternative access names or addresses for the object. An example of
   the field is:

       URI: http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.multi;

   This indicates that the URI indicated covers a group of possible
   data objects which varies in content-type and in natural language.
   The client can specify which of these objects to be returned in the
   response to a request using the request header fields: Accept,
   Accept-Encoding, Accept-Language, and Version. Another example is:

       URI: http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.ps;

   This indicates that the data object pointed to by the URI exists in
   different encodings as defined by the Content-Encoding field.

7.10  Location

   The Location header field is an earlier form of the URI-header and
   is considered obsolete. However, HTTP/1.0 clients and servers
   should continue to support the Location header in order to properly
   interface with older applications. The purpose of Location is
   identical to that of the URI-header, except that no variants can be
   specified and only one location URI is allowed.

       URI-header       = "Location" ":" URI

7.11  Version

   The Version field defines a version number referring to the current
   contents of an evolving object resident on the origin server.
   Together with the Derived-From field described in Section 7.12, it
   allows groups of people to work simultaneously on the creation of a
   work as an iterative process. The field should be used to indicate
   evolution along a single path of a particular work. It should not
   be used to indicate derived works or renditions in different

       Version          = "Version" ":" 1*DIGIT *( "." 1*DIGIT )

   Note:  The field should be present in the response if PUT is an
          allowed method to perform on the object pointed to by the
          requested URI. However the presence of the field can not
          be taken as an indication whether PUT is allowed or not.

7.12  Derived-From

   The Derived-From field contains the most recent value of the
   Version field before any modifications local to the transmitting
   application have been carried out on an evolving data object. The
   definition of the field must therefore be similar to the Version
   field described in Section 7.11:

       Derived-From     = "Derived-From" ":" 1*DIGIT *( "." 1*DIGIT )

   The definition of this field allows both the server and the client
   to employ a code management system to merge different versions of
   an evolving data object. As for the Version field, the Derived-From
   may only be used to indicate evolution along a single path of a
   particular work. It should not be used to indicate derived works or
   renditions in different representations.

   Note:  The definition allows different code management systems
          to be employed by the involved parties. The only
          requirement is a conforming mapping between any internal
          versioning system and the one defined by Derived-From and

7.13  Release

   This field is a string oriented value containing a code
   representing the publisher's local versioning of the document, for
   example relative to a local code management system. The definition
   of this field contains no explicit semantics as publishers often
   will have quite complex version information containing hidden local

       Release          = "Release" ":" *text

   Note:  This field is significantly different from the Version
          field defined in Section 7.11 which should be used
          together with the PUT method. The Release does not have
          an implied interpretation and can be used freely as
          metainformation for any Object-Body. The value should be
          considered opaque.

7.14  Title

   This header field indicates the title of the document, which is not
   to be considered as part of the object. The definition of the field

       Title            = "Title" ":" *text

   The field differs from the "Subject" field described in RFC 822 in
   that title is defined by the creator/author of a data object, but
   the "Subject" field is defined by the originator. The field is to
   be considered isomorphic with the <TITLE> element in HTML [15].

7.15  Link

   The Link header provides a means for describing the relationship
   between HTTP-Object's. An object can have multiple Link elements
   and can typically indicate relationships like hierarchical
   structure. The field is semantically equivalent to the <LINK>
   element in an HTML document.

       Link             = "Link" ":" 1#(URI *1(";" "REL" "=" relation) )

       relation         = "UseIndex" / "UseGlossary" / "Contents"
                        / "Next" / "Previous" / "Parent"
                        / "BookMark" / "Made" / "Help"

   The reader is referred to the HTML specification [15] for a full
   explanation of the semantics for LINK relationships. Examples of
   usage include:

       Link: http://info.cern.ch/previous; REL="Previous"

       Link: mailto:timbl@info.cern.ch; REL="Made"

   The first example indicates that this object is logically a
   continuation of the previous object identified by the URI. The
   second indicates that the author of the object is identified by the
   given e-mail address.

   Note:  It has been proposed that any HTML metainformation
          element (allowed within the <HEAD> as opposed to <BODY>
          element of the document) be a valid candidate for an HTTP
          object header. This document defines the two header
          fields Link and Title which both are examples of this.

8.  HTTP Negotiation Algorithm

   The goal of the negotiation algorithm is to map a set of parameters
   into a one-dimensional space where the calculated weights represent
   the "degradation" figure of the data object. The maximum value of
   this set represents the Content-Type in which the Object-Body
   optimally should be returned to the client.

   It is assumed that it is possible to assign an absolute value
   representing the amount of loss of value when the data object is
   rendered into a specific content-type. Whilst this is a very
   subjective measurement, and in fact largely a function of the
   document in question, the approximation is made that one can define
   this degradation figure as a function of merely the representation

   It is furthermore assumed that the cost to the user of viewing a
   data object also is a function of the time taken for the
   presentation. We first assume that the cost is linear in time, and
   then assume that the time is linear in the size of the Object-Body.

   The calculated weights are normalized to a real number between 0
   and 1 where 0 is the minimum value and 1 is the maximum value. This
   document defines the following parameters to be included in the

   q    The quality factor representing the level of degradation when
        rendering the data object in a specific Content-Type in the
        client application. The value is normalized so that q OE[0;1],
        where the default value is q=1.

   qs   Equivalent to the q factor but for the server application in
        case it can perform Content-Type conversions. The default value
        is qs=1.

   mxb  The maximum number of bytes in the Object-Body accepted by the
        client. The default value is mxb=undefined (i.e. infinity).

   bs   The actual number of bytes of the Object-Body as a function of
        Content-Type and Content-Encoding. This value equals the value
        send in the Content-Length field. The default value is bs=0.

   The discrete mapping function is defined as:

                          { if mxb=undefined, then (qs * q) }
       Q(q,qs,mxb,bs)   = { if mxb >= bs,     then (qs * q) }
                          { if mxb <  bs,     then 0        }

   The maximum of the Q function represents the preferred content-type
   to be used for transmitting the Object-Body to the client.

   Note:  It is not mandatory for the server application to
          actually do the mapping and to determine the maximum
          value and hence the optimal Content-Type to return to the
          client. However, it is strongly recommended as it can
          save a significant amount of bandwidth. The hope is that
          fine decisions will not have to be made, as in most cases
          the results for different formats will be very different,
          and there will be a clear winner.

   Note:  The algorithm described does not take into account the
          cost of any conversion performed by a gateway or proxy.
          Although this is an important topic, it is considered
          more important to maintain any gateways or proxy as
          transparent parties in the transmission between the
          client and the server.

9. Basic Access Authentication Scheme

   The basic authentication scheme described here is to be considered
   as a non-secure way of filtering unauthorized access to resources
   on an HTTP server. It is based on the assumption that the
   connection between the client and the server can be regarded as a
   trusted carrier. As this it not generally true, the basic access
   authentication scheme should be used accordingly. However, it must
   be implemented in order for an application to be HTTP 1.0

   The basic authentication scheme is based on the model that the
   client must authenticate itself using a user-ID and a password. The
   server will serve the request only if the server can validate the
   authentication sent by the client, for example by using a password
   file. The protected resources on the server can be divided into a
   set of realms which can use different password files, so that
   different realms can be accessible by different users.

   A typical example of an authenticated request has one of the
   following two profiles:

       o  The client requests a document without sending an
          Authorization header field

       o  The server responds with a "401 Unauthorized" status code as
          described in Section 6.3.3 and an WWW-Authenticate header

       o  The client knows already a valid user-ID and a password for
          the realm indicated by the WWW-Authenticate header field or
          it prompts the user.

       o  The clients generates a new request with an Authorization
          header field

       o  The server replies with the requested data resource.

   In this example, the client has no authorization information prior
   to the initial request. In the next example, the client does have
   such information due to a previous request within the realm
   indicated by the server. The example would then look like:

       o  The client requests a document with an Authorization header

       o  The server replies with the requested data resource.

   This specification of the HTTP protocol allows other authentication
   schemes to be implemented using either the same frame as the basic
   scheme or additional header fields. However, these can not be
   assumed to be generally accepted by applications conforming to this

   Note:  The client is encouraged only to use the second approach
          after it has verified that the requested URI is pointing
          to a resource within the realm where the content of the
          authorization header field is valid for accessing the URI.

   Note:  As described in Section 1.2, this specification does not
          require that the connection be closed after each request.
          However, when HTTP is used on top of TCP, it is
          recommended that the connection be closed between the
          first and second client request in an authenticated

   Note:  Gateways and proxy agents shall be completely transparent
          in the basic access authentication scheme. That is, they
          must forward the WWW-Authenticate header and the
          Authorization header untouched. In case a gateway or a
          proxy wants to authenticate a client before a request is
          forwarded to the server, it can be done using the scheme
          presented above but not in the same authenticated request
          as the one that the gateway or proxy is forwarding. That
          is, it must be done using an explicit request from the
          client to the gateway or proxy.

10. Registration Authority

   The HTTP Registration Authority is responsible for maintaining
   lists of:

       o  Authorization schemes (see Authorization: field above)

       o  Common method semantics

       o  Data format names (as MIME Content-Types or Internet Media

       o  Data encoding names (as MIME Content-Encoding))

   It is proposed that the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority [14] or
   their successors take this role.

11. Security Considerations

   The following section reveals some of the security aspects of HTTP.
   They are meant to inform application providers of the security
   limitations in HTTP described by this document, but do not suggest
   definitive solutions to the problems discussed.

11.1  Authentication of Clients

   As mentioned in Section 9, the Basic Authentication scheme used in
   HTTP is not to be considered as a secure way of protecting
   information on servers, nor does it prevent the Object-Body from
   being transmitted in clear text across the physical network used as
   the carrier for HTTP. The protocol allows through the definition of
   the relevant header field additional authentication schemes to be
   employed to increase the security level.

11.2  Idempotent Methods

   The writers of client software should be aware that the software
   represents the user in their interactions over the net, and should
   be careful to allow the user to be aware of any actions they may
   take which may have an unexpected significance to themselves or

   In particular, the convention must be established that the GET and
   HEAD methods never have the significance of taking an action. The
   link "click here to subscribe"--causing the reading of a special
   "magic" document--is open to abuse by others making a link "click
   here to see a pretty picture". These methods should be considered
   "safe" and should not have side effects. This allows the client
   software to represent other methods (such as POST, PUT and DELETE)
   in a special way, so that the user is aware of the fact that an
   action is being requested.

11.3  Abuse of Server Log Information

   A server is in the position to save personal data about information
   requested by readers. This information is clearly confidential in
   nature and its handling may be constrained by law in certain
   countries. Server providers shall ensure that such material is not
   distributed without the permission of any individuals that are
   identifiable by the published results.

   Two header fields are worth special mention in this context:
   Referer and From. The Referer field allows reading patterns to be
   studied and reverse links drawn. Although it can be very useful,
   its power can be abused if user details are not separated from the
   information contained in the Referer. Even when the personal
   information has been removed, the Referer field may have indicated
   a secure document's URI, whose revelation would itself be a breach
   of security.

   The information sent in the From field might conflict with the
   user's privacy interests or their site's security policy, and hence
   it should not be transmitted without the user being able to
   disable, enable, and modify the contents of the field prior to a

12.  Acknowledgments

   This specification makes heavy use of the augmented BNF and generic
   constructs defined by David H. Crocker for RFC 822 [6]. Similarly,
   it reuses the content-type definitions provided by Nathaniel
   Borenstein and Ned Freed for MIME [4]. We hope that their inclusion
   in this specification will help reduce past confusion over the
   relationship between HTTP/1.0 and Internet mail.

   The HTTP protocol has evolved considerably over the past three
   years. It has benefited from a large and active developer community--
   the many people who have participated on the www-talk mailing list--
   and it is that community which has been most responsible for the
   success of HTTP and of the World-Wide Web in general. Ari Luotonen,
   Rob McCool, Tony Sanders, and Marc VanHeningen deserve special
   recognition for their efforts in defining aspects of the protocol
   for early versions of this specification. Bob Denny assisted in
   proof-reading the specification and performing sanity-checks as it
   was being rewritten.

13. References

   [1]  F. Anklesaria, M. McCahill, P. Lindner, D. Johnson, D. Torrey,
        and B. Alberti. "The Internet Gopher Protocol: A distributed
        document search and retrieval protocol." RFC 1436, University
        of Minnesota, <URL:http://ds.internic.net/rfc/rfc1436.txt>,
        March 1993.

   [2]  T. Berners-Lee. "Universal Resource Identifiers in WWW: A
        Unifying Syntax for the Expression of Names and Addresses of
        Objects on the Network as used in the World-Wide Web." RFC
        1630, CERN, <URL:http://ds.internic.net/rfc/rfc1630.txt>,
        June 1994.

   [3]  T. Berners-Lee, L. Masinter, and M. McCahill. "Uniform Resource
        Locators (URL)." Internet-Draft (work in progress), CERN, Xerox
        PARC, University of Minnesota, <URL:http://ds.internic.net/
        internet-drafts/draft-ietf-uri-url-08.txt>, October 1994.

   [4]  N. Borenstein and N. Freed. "MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail
        Extensions) Part One: Mechanisms for Specifying and Describing
        the Format of Internet Message Bodies." RFC 1521, Bellcore,
        Innosoft, <URL:http://ds.internic.net/rfc/rfc1521.ps>,
        September 1993.

   [5]  R. Braden. "Requirements for Internet hosts - application and
        support." STD 3, RFC 1123, IETF,
        <URL:http://ds.internic.net/rfc/rfc1123.txt>, October 1989.

   [6]  D. H. Crocker. "Standard for the Format of ARPA Internet Text
        Messages." STD 11, RFC 822, UDEL,
        <URL:http://ds.internic.net/rfc/rfc822.txt>, August 1982.

   [7]  F. Davis, B. Kahle, H. Morris, J. Salem, T. Shen, R. Wang,
        J. Sui, and M. Grinbaum. "WAIS Interface Protocol Prototype
        Functional Specification." (v1.5), Thinking Machines Corp.,
        April 1990.

   [8]  R. Fielding. "Relative Uniform Resource Locators."
        Internet-Draft (work in progress), UC Irvine,
        draft-ietf-uri-relative-url-01.txt>, October 1994.

   [9]  M. Horton and R. Adams. "Standard for interchange of USENET
        messages." RFC 1036 (Obsoletes RFC 850), AT&T Bell Labs,
        Center for Seismic Studies, <URL:http://ds.internic.net/rfc/
        rfc1036.txt>, December 1987.

   [10] B. Kantor and P. Lapsley. "Network News Transfer Protocol: A
        Proposed Standard for the Stream-Based Transmission of News."
        RFC 977, UC San Diego, UC Berkeley,
        <URL:http://ds.internic.net/rfc/rfc977.txt>, February 1986.

   [11] J. Postel. "Simple Mail Transfer Protocol." STD 10, RFC 821,
        USC/ISI, <URL:http://ds.internic.net/rfc/rfc821.txt>,
        August 1982.

   [12] J. Postel. "Media Type Registration Procedure." RFC 1590,
        USC/ISI, <URL:http://ds.internic.net/rfc/rfc1590.txt>,
        March 1994.

   [13] J. Postel and J. K. Reynolds. "File Transfer Protocol (FTP)."
        STD 9, RFC 959, USC/ISI,
        <URL:http://ds.internic.net/rfc/rfc959.txt>, October 1985.

   [14] J. Reynolds and J. Postel. "Assigned Numbers." STD 2, RFC 1700,
        USC/ISI, <URL:http://ds.internic.net/rfc/rfc1700.txt>,
        October 1994.

   [15] T. Berners-Lee, D. Connolly, et al. "HyperText Markup Language
        Specification - 2.0." Internet-Draft (work in progress), CERN,
        HaL Computer Systems,
        <URL:http://www.ics.uci.edu/pub/ietf/html/>, November 1994.

   [16] US-ASCII. "Coded Character Set - 7-Bit American Standard Code
        for Information Interchange." Standard ANSI X3.4-1986, ANSI,

14. Authors Addresses

   Tim Berners-Lee
   Director, W3 Consortium
   MIT Laboratory for Computer Science
   545 Technology Square
   Cambridge, MA 02139, U.S.A.
   Tel: +1 (617) 253 9670
   Fax: +1 (617) 258 8682
   Email: timbl@w3.org

   Roy T. Fielding
   Department of Information and Computer Science
   University of California
   Irvine, CA 92717-3425, U.S.A.
   Tel: +1 (714) 856-7308
   Fax: +1 (714) 856-4056
   Email: fielding@ics.uci.edu

   Henrik Frystyk Nielsen
   World-Wide Web Project
   1211 Geneva 23, Switzerland
   Tel: +41 (22) 767 8265
   Fax: +41 (22) 767 8730
   Email: frystyk@w3.org


   These appendices are provided for informational reasons only -- they
   do not form a part of the HTTP/1.0 specification.

A.  Format of a uuencoded file

   This section has been taken from the man page on uuencode on SunOS.

   Files output by uuencode consist of a header line, followed by a
   number of body lines, and a trailer line. uudecode will ignore any
   lines preceding the header or following the trailer. Lines
   preceding a header must not, of course, look like a header.

   The header line is distinguished by having the first 6 characters
   "begin ". The word begin is followed by a mode (in octal), and a
   string which names the remote file. SP characters separate the
   three items in the header line.

   The body consists of a number of lines, each at most 62 characters
   long (including the trailing LF). These consist of a character
   count, followed by encoded characters, followed by a LF. The
   character count is a single printing character, and represents an
   integer, the number of bytes the rest of the line represents. Such
   integers are always in the range from 0 to 63 and can be determined
   by subtracting the character SP (octal 40) from the character.

   Groups of 3 bytes are stored in 4 characters, 6 bits per character.
   All are offset by a SP to make the characters printing. The last
   line may be shorter than the normal 45 bytes. If the size is not a
   multiple of 3, this fact can be determined by the value of the
   count on the last line. Extra garbage will be included to make the
   character count a multiple of 4. The body is terminated by a line
   with a count of zero. This line consists of one ASCII SP.

   The trailer line consists of end on a line by itself.

B.  Server tolerance of bad clients

   Whilst it is seen appropriate for testing parsers to check full
   conformance to this specification, it is recommended that
   operational parsers be tolerant of deviations.

   In particular, lines should be regarded as terminated by the Line
   Feed, and the preceding Carriage Return character ignored.

   Any HTTP Header Field Name which is not recognized should be
   ignored in operational parsers.

   It is recommended that servers use URIs free of "variant"
   characters whose representation differs in some of the national
   variant character sets, punctuation characters, and spaces. This
   will make URIs easier to handle by humans when the need (such as
   debugging, or transmission through non hypertext systems) arises.

C.  Client tolerance of bad servers

   Servers not implementing the specification as written are not HTTP
   compliant. Servers should always be made completely compliant.
   However, clients should also tolerate deviant servers where

C.1  Back compatibility

   In order that clients using the HTTP protocol should be able to
   communicate with servers using the protocol originally implemented
   in the W3 data model, clients should tolerate responses which do
   not start with a numeric version number and response codes.

   In this case, they should assume that the rest of the response is a
   document body in type text/html.

C.2  White space

   Clients should be tolerant in parsing response status lines, in
   particular they should accept any sequence of white space (SP and
   HTAB) characters between fields.

   Lines should be regarded as terminated by a line feed (LF), and the
   preceding carriage return (CR) character ignored.

Html markup produced by rfcmarkup 1.129d, available from https://tools.ietf.org/tools/rfcmarkup/