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HTTP Working Group                              R. Fielding, UC Irvine
INTERNET-DRAFT                                      J. Gettys,  Compaq
<draft-ietf-http-v11-spec-rev-04>                 J. C. Mogul,  Compaq
                                                   H. Frystyk, MIT/LCS
                                                    L. Masinter, Xerox
                                                   P. Leach, Microsoft
                                               T. Berners-Lee, MIT/LCS
Expires February 1, 1999                                August 1, 1998

                Hypertext Transfer Protocol -- HTTP/1.1

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 made obsolete by other documents at any
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or to cite them other than as "work in progress".

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ftp.isi.edu (US West Coast).

Distribution of this document is unlimited. Please send comments to the
HTTP working group at <http-wg@cuckoo.hpl.hp.com>. Discussions of the
working group are archived at 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@w3.org> mailing list.

The IETF takes no position regarding the validity or scope of any
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users of this specification can be obtained from the IETF Secretariat.

Abstract

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

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HTTP has been in use by the World-Wide Web global information initiative
since 1990. This specification defines the protocol referred to as
"HTTP/1.1", and is an update to RFC2068 [33].

Copyright Notice

Copyright (C) The Internet Society (1998). All Rights Reserved. See
section 18 for the full copyright notice.
















































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Table of Contents



HYPERTEXT TRANSFER PROTOCOL -- HTTP/1.1...............................1

Status of this Memo...................................................1

Abstract..............................................................1

Copyright Notice......................................................2

Table of Contents.....................................................3

1   Introduction .....................................................8
 1.1  Purpose ........................................................8
 1.2  Requirements ...................................................9
 1.3  Terminology ....................................................9
 1.4  Overall Operation .............................................12

2   Notational Conventions and Generic Grammar ......................13
 2.1  Augmented BNF .................................................13
 2.2  Basic Rules ...................................................15

3   Protocol Parameters .............................................16
 3.1  HTTP Version ..................................................16
 3.2  Uniform Resource Identifiers ..................................17
  3.2.1  General Syntax .............................................17
  3.2.2  http URL ...................................................18
  3.2.3  URI Comparison .............................................18
 3.3  Date/Time Formats .............................................19
  3.3.1  Full Date ..................................................19
  3.3.2  Delta Seconds ..............................................20
 3.4  Character Sets ................................................20
  3.4.1  Missing Charset ............................................20
 3.5  Content Codings ...............................................21
 3.6  Transfer Codings ..............................................22
  3.6.1  Chunked Transfer Coding ....................................23
  3.6.2  Identity Transfer-Coding ...................................23
 3.7  Media Types ...................................................24
  3.7.1  Canonicalization and Text Defaults .........................24
  3.7.2  Multipart Types ............................................25
 3.8  Product Tokens ................................................25
 3.9  Quality Values ................................................26
 3.10 Language Tags .................................................26
 3.11 Entity Tags ...................................................27
 3.12 Range Units ...................................................27

4   HTTP Message ....................................................27
 4.1  Message Types .................................................27
 4.2  Message Headers ...............................................28
 4.3  Message Body ..................................................29
 4.4  Message Length ................................................29
 4.5  General Header Fields .........................................30

5   Request .........................................................31
 5.1  Request-Line ..................................................31
  5.1.1  Method .....................................................31
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  5.1.2  Request-URI ................................................32
 5.2  The Resource Identified by a Request ..........................33
 5.3  Request Header Fields .........................................33

6   Response ........................................................34
 6.1  Status-Line ...................................................34
  6.1.1  Status Code and Reason Phrase ..............................34
 6.2  Response Header Fields ........................................36

7   Entity ..........................................................36
 7.1  Entity Header Fields ..........................................37
 7.2  Entity Body ...................................................37
  7.2.1  Type .......................................................37
  7.2.2  Entity Length ..............................................38

8   Connections .....................................................38
 8.1  Persistent Connections ........................................38
  8.1.1  Purpose ....................................................38
  8.1.2  Overall Operation ..........................................39
  8.1.3  Proxy Servers ..............................................40
  8.1.4  Practical Considerations ...................................40
 8.2  Message Transmission Requirements .............................41
  8.2.1  Persistent Connections and Flow Control ....................41
  8.2.2  Monitoring Connections for Error Status Messages ...........41
  8.2.3  Automatic Retrying of Requests .............................41
  8.2.4  Use of the 100 (Continue) Status ...........................41
  8.2.5  Client Behavior if Server Prematurely Closes Connection ....43

9   Method Definitions ..............................................44
 9.1  Safe and Idempotent Methods ...................................44
  9.1.1  Safe Methods ...............................................44
  9.1.2  Idempotent Methods .........................................45
 9.2  OPTIONS .......................................................45
 9.3  GET ...........................................................46
 9.4  HEAD ..........................................................46
 9.5  POST ..........................................................47
 9.6  PUT ...........................................................48
 9.7  DELETE ........................................................48
 9.8  TRACE .........................................................49
 9.9  CONNECT .......................................................49

10   Status Code Definitions ........................................49
 10.1 Informational 1xx .............................................50
  10.1.1 100 Continue ...............................................50
  10.1.2 101 Switching Protocols ....................................50
 10.2 Successful 2xx ................................................50
  10.2.1 200 OK .....................................................51
  10.2.2 201 Created ................................................51
  10.2.3 202 Accepted ...............................................51
  10.2.4 203 Non-Authoritative Information ..........................51
  10.2.5 204 No Content .............................................52
  10.2.6 205 Reset Content ..........................................52
  10.2.7 206 Partial Content ........................................52
 10.3 Redirection 3xx ...............................................53
  10.3.1 300 Multiple Choices .......................................53
  10.3.2 301 Moved Permanently ......................................54
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  10.3.3 302 Found ..................................................54
  10.3.4 303 See Other ..............................................54
  10.3.5 304 Not Modified ...........................................55
  10.3.6 305 Use Proxy ..............................................55
  10.3.7 306 (Unused) ...............................................56
  10.3.8 307 Temporary Redirect .....................................56
 10.4 Client Error 4xx ..............................................56
  10.4.1 400 Bad Request ............................................57
  10.4.2 401 Unauthorized ...........................................57
  10.4.3 402 Payment Required .......................................57
  10.4.4 403 Forbidden ..............................................57
  10.4.5 404 Not Found ..............................................57
  10.4.6 405 Method Not Allowed .....................................57
  10.4.7 406 Not Acceptable .........................................58
  10.4.8 407 Proxy Authentication Required ..........................58
  10.4.9 408 Request Timeout ........................................58
  10.4.10 409 Conflict ..............................................58
  10.4.11 410 Gone ..................................................59
  10.4.12 411 Length Required .......................................59
  10.4.13 412 Precondition Failed ...................................59
  10.4.14 413 Request Entity Too Large ..............................59
  10.4.15 414 Request-URI Too Long ..................................60
  10.4.16 415 Unsupported Media Type ................................60
  10.4.17 416 Requested Range Not Satisfiable .......................60
  10.4.18 417 Expectation Failed ....................................60
 10.5 Server Error 5xx ..............................................60
  10.5.1 500 Internal Server Error ..................................61
  10.5.2 501 Not Implemented ........................................61
  10.5.3 502 Bad Gateway ............................................61
  10.5.4 503 Service Unavailable ....................................61
  10.5.5 504 Gateway Timeout ........................................61
  10.5.6 505 HTTP Version Not Supported .............................61

11   Access Authentication ..........................................62

12   Content Negotiation ............................................62
 12.1 Server-driven Negotiation .....................................62
 12.2 Agent-driven Negotiation ......................................63
 12.3 Transparent Negotiation .......................................64

13   Caching in HTTP ................................................64
  13.1.1 Cache Correctness ..........................................65
  13.1.2 Warnings ...................................................66
  13.1.3 Cache-control Mechanisms ...................................67
  13.1.4 Explicit User Agent Warnings ...............................67
  13.1.5 Exceptions to the Rules and Warnings .......................68
  13.1.6 Client-controlled Behavior .................................68
 13.2 Expiration Model ..............................................68
  13.2.1 Server-Specified Expiration ................................68
  13.2.2 Heuristic Expiration .......................................69
  13.2.3 Age Calculations ...........................................69
  13.2.4 Expiration Calculations ....................................71
  13.2.5 Disambiguating Expiration Values ...........................72
  13.2.6 Disambiguating Multiple Responses ..........................72
 13.3 Validation Model ..............................................73
  13.3.1 Last-modified Dates ........................................74
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  13.3.2 Entity Tag Cache Validators ................................74
  13.3.3 Weak and Strong Validators .................................74
  13.3.4 Rules for When to Use Entity Tags and Last-modified Dates ..76
  13.3.5 Non-validating Conditionals ................................77
 13.4 Response Cachability ..........................................78
 13.5 Constructing Responses From Caches ............................78
  13.5.1 End-to-end and Hop-by-hop Headers ..........................78
  13.5.2 Non-modifiable Headers .....................................79
  13.5.3 Combining Headers ..........................................80
  13.5.4 Combining Byte Ranges ......................................81
 13.6 Caching Negotiated Responses ..................................81
 13.7 Shared and Non-Shared Caches ..................................82
 13.8 Errors or Incomplete Response Cache Behavior ..................82
 13.9 Side Effects of GET and HEAD ..................................83
 13.10  Invalidation After Updates or Deletions .....................83
 13.11  Write-Through Mandatory .....................................84
 13.12  Cache Replacement ...........................................84
 13.13  History Lists ...............................................84

14   Header Field Definitions .......................................85
 14.1 Accept ........................................................85
 14.2 Accept-Charset ................................................86
 14.3 Accept-Encoding ...............................................87
 14.4 Accept-Language ...............................................88
 14.5 Accept-Ranges .................................................89
 14.6 Age ...........................................................90
 14.7 Allow .........................................................90
 14.8 Authorization .................................................90
 14.9 Cache-Control .................................................91
  14.9.1 What is Cachable ...........................................92
  14.9.2 What May be Stored by Caches ...............................93
  14.9.3 Modifications of the Basic Expiration Mechanism ............94
  14.9.4 Cache Revalidation and Reload Controls .....................95
  14.9.5 No-Transform Directive .....................................97
  14.9.6 Cache Control Extensions ...................................98
 14.10  Connection ..................................................99
 14.11  Content-Encoding ............................................99
 14.12  Content-Language ...........................................100
 14.13  Content-Length .............................................101
 14.14  Content-Location ...........................................101
 14.15  Content-MD5 ................................................102
 14.16  Content-Range ..............................................103
 14.17  Content-Type ...............................................104
 14.18  Date .......................................................105
  14.18.1 Clockless Origin Server Operation ........................106
 14.19  ETag .......................................................106
 14.20  Expect .....................................................106
  14.20.1 Expect 100-continue ......................................107
 14.21  Expires ....................................................107
 14.22  From .......................................................108
 14.23  Host .......................................................108
 14.24  If-Match ...................................................109
 14.25  If-Modified-Since ..........................................110
 14.26  If-None-Match ..............................................111
 14.27  If-Range ...................................................112
 14.28  If-Unmodified-Since ........................................113
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 14.29  Last-Modified ..............................................113
 14.30  Location ...................................................114
 14.31  Max-Forwards ...............................................114
 14.32  Pragma .....................................................115
 14.33  Proxy-Authenticate .........................................115
 14.34  Proxy-Authorization ........................................116
 14.35  Range ......................................................116
  14.35.1 Byte Ranges ..............................................116
  14.35.2 Range Retrieval Requests .................................117
 14.36  Referer ....................................................118
 14.37  Retry-After ................................................119
 14.38  Server .....................................................119
 14.39  TE .........................................................119
 14.40  Trailer ....................................................120
 14.41  Transfer-Encoding ..........................................121
 14.42  Upgrade ....................................................121
 14.43  User-Agent .................................................122
 14.44  Vary .......................................................122
 14.45  Via ........................................................123
 14.46  Warning ....................................................124
 14.47  WWW-Authenticate ...........................................127

15   Security Considerations .......................................127
 15.1 Personal Information .........................................127
  15.1.1 Abuse of Server Log Information ...........................127
  15.1.2 Transfer of Sensitive Information .........................127
  15.1.3 Encoding Sensitive Information in URI's ...................128
  15.1.4 Privacy Issues Connected to Accept Headers ................129
 15.2 Attacks Based On File and Path Names .........................129
 15.3 DNS Spoofing .................................................130
 15.4 Location Headers and Spoofing ................................130
 15.5 Content-Disposition Issues ...................................130
 15.6 Authentication Credentials and Idle Clients ..................130
 15.7 Proxies and Caching ..........................................131

16   Acknowledgments ...............................................132

17   References ....................................................133

18   Authors' Addresses ............................................137

19   Appendices ....................................................138
 19.1 Internet Media Type message/http and application/http ........138
 19.2 Internet Media Type multipart/byteranges .....................138
 19.3 Tolerant Applications ........................................139
 19.4 Differences Between HTTP Entities and RFC 2045 Entities ......140
  19.4.1 MIME-Version ..............................................140
  19.4.2 Conversion to Canonical Form ..............................141
  19.4.3 Conversion of Date Formats ................................141
  19.4.4 Introduction of Content-Encoding ..........................141
  19.4.5 No Content-Transfer-Encoding ..............................142
  19.4.6 Introduction of Transfer-Encoding .........................142
  19.4.7 MHTML and Line Length Limitations .........................142
 19.5 Additional Features ..........................................143
  19.5.1 Content-Disposition .......................................143
  19.5.2 Additional Request Methods and Headers ....................143
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 19.6 Compatibility with Previous Versions .........................144
  19.6.1 Changes from HTTP/1.0 .....................................144
  19.6.2 Compatibility with HTTP/1.0 Persistent Connections ........145
  19.6.3 Changes from RFC 2068 .....................................145
 19.7 Notes to the RFC Editor and IANA .............................147
  19.7.1 Transfer-coding Values ....................................148
  19.7.2 Definition of application/http ............................148

20   Full Copyright Statement ......................................148

21   Index .........................................................149


1 Introduction

1.1 Purpose

The Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is an application-level protocol
for distributed, collaborative, hypermedia information systems. HTTP has
been in use by the World-Wide Web global information initiative since
1990. The first version of HTTP, referred to as HTTP/0.9, was a simple
protocol for raw data transfer across the Internet. HTTP/1.0, as defined
by RFC 1945 [6], improved the protocol by allowing messages to be in the
format of MIME-like messages, containing metainformation about the data
transferred and modifiers on the request/response semantics. However,
HTTP/1.0 does not sufficiently take into consideration the effects of
hierarchical proxies, caching, the need for persistent connections, or
virtual hosts. In addition, the proliferation of incompletely-
implemented applications calling themselves "HTTP/1.0" has necessitated
a protocol version change in order for two communicating applications to
determine each other's true capabilities.

This specification defines the protocol referred to as "HTTP/1.1". This
protocol includes more stringent requirements than HTTP/1.0 in order to
ensure reliable implementation of its features.

Practical information systems require more functionality than simple
retrieval, including search, front-end update, and annotation. HTTP
allows an open-ended set of methods that indicate the purpose of a
request. It builds on the discipline of reference provided by the
Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) [3], as a location (URL) [4] or name
(URN) [20], for indicating the resource to which a method is to be
applied. Messages are passed in a format similar to that used by
Internet mail [9] as defined by the Multipurpose Internet Mail
Extensions (MIME) [7].

HTTP is also used as a generic protocol for communication between user
agents and proxies/gateways to other Internet systems, including those
supported by the SMTP [16], NNTP [13], FTP [18], Gopher [2], and WAIS
[10] protocols. In this way, HTTP allows basic hypermedia access to
resources available from diverse applications.





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1.2 Requirements

The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
"SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this
document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119 [34].

An implementation is not compliant if it fails to satisfy one or more of
the MUST requirements for the protocols it implements. An implementation
that satisfies all the MUST and all the SHOULD requirements for its
protocols is said to be "unconditionally compliant"; one that satisfies
all the MUST requirements but not all the SHOULD requirements for its
protocols is said to be "conditionally compliant."


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.

connection
  A transport layer virtual circuit established between two programs
  for the purpose of communication.

message
  The basic unit of HTTP communication, consisting of a structured
  sequence of octets matching the syntax defined in section 4 and
  transmitted via the connection.

request
  An HTTP request message, as defined in section 5.

response
  An HTTP response message, as defined in section 6.

resource
  A network data object or service that can be identified by a URI, as
  defined in section 3.2. Resources may be available in multiple
  representations (e.g. multiple languages, data formats, size, and
  resolutions) or vary in other ways.

entity
  The information transferred as the payload of a request or response.
  An entity consists of metainformation in the form of entity-header
  fields and content in the form of an entity-body, as described in
  section 7.

representation
  An entity included with a response that is subject to content
  negotiation, as described in section 12. There may exist multiple
  representations associated with a particular response status.

content negotiation
  The mechanism for selecting the appropriate representation when
  servicing a request, as described in section 12. The representation
  of entities in any response can be negotiated (including error
  responses).
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variant
  A resource may have one, or more than one, representation(s)
  associated with it at any given instant. Each of these
  representations is termed a `variant.' Use of the term `variant' does
  not necessarily imply that the resource is subject to content
  negotiation.

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

user agent
  The client which initiates a request. These are often browsers,
  editors, spiders (web-traversing robots), or other end user tools.

server
  An application program that accepts connections in order to service
  requests by sending back responses. Any given program may be capable
  of being both a client and a server; our use of these terms refers
  only to the role being performed by the program for a particular
  connection, rather than to the program's capabilities in general.
  Likewise, any server may act as an origin server, proxy, gateway, or
  tunnel, switching behavior based on the nature of each request.

origin server
  The server on which a given resource resides or is to be created.

proxy
  An intermediary program which acts as both a server and a client for
  the purpose of making requests on behalf of other clients. Requests
  are serviced internally or by passing them on, with possible
  translation, to other servers. A proxy MUST implement both the client
  and server requirements of this specification. A "transparent proxy"
  is a proxy that does not modify the request or response beyond what
  is required for proxy authentication and identification. A "non-
  transparent proxy" is a proxy that modifies the request or response
  in order to provide some added service to the user agent, such as
  group annotation services, media type transformation, protocol
  reduction, or anonymity filtering. Except where either transparent or
  non-transparent behavior is explicitly stated, the HTTP proxy
  requirements apply to both types of proxies.

gateway
  A server which acts as an intermediary for some other server. Unlike
  a proxy, a gateway receives requests as if it were the origin server
  for the requested resource; the requesting client may not be aware
  that it is communicating with a gateway.

tunnel
  An intermediary program which is acting as a blind relay between two
  connections. Once active, a tunnel is not considered a party to the
  HTTP communication, though the tunnel may have been initiated by an
  HTTP request. The tunnel ceases to exist when both ends of the
  relayed connections are closed.


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cache
  A program's local store of response messages and the subsystem that
  controls its message storage, retrieval, and deletion. A cache stores
  cachable responses in order to reduce the response time and network
  bandwidth consumption on future, equivalent requests. Any client or
  server may include a cache, though a cache cannot be used by a server
  that is acting as a tunnel.

cachable
  A response is cachable if a cache is allowed to store a copy of the
  response message for use in answering subsequent requests. The rules
  for determining the cachability of HTTP responses are defined in
  section 13. Even if a resource is cachable, there may be additional
  constraints on whether a cache can use the cached copy for a
  particular request.

first-hand
  A response is first-hand if it comes directly and without unnecessary
  delay from the origin server, perhaps via one or more proxies. A
  response is also first-hand if its validity has just been checked
  directly with the origin server.

explicit expiration time
  The time at which the origin server intends that an entity should no
  longer be returned by a cache without further validation.

heuristic expiration time
  An expiration time assigned by a cache when no explicit expiration
  time is available.

age
  The age of a response is the time since it was sent by, or
  successfully validated with, the origin server.

freshness lifetime
  The length of time between the generation of a response and its
  expiration time.

fresh
  A response is fresh if its age has not yet exceeded its freshness
  lifetime.

stale
  A response is stale if its age has passed its freshness lifetime.

semantically transparent
  A cache behaves in a "semantically transparent" manner, with respect
  to a particular response, when its use affects neither the requesting
  client nor the origin server, except to improve performance. When a
  cache is semantically transparent, the client receives exactly the
  same response (except for hop-by-hop headers) that it would have
  received had its request been handled directly by the origin server.

validator
  A protocol element (e.g., an entity tag or a Last-Modified time) that

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  is used to find out whether a cache entry is an equivalent copy of an
  entity.


1.4 Overall Operation

The HTTP protocol is a request/response protocol. A client 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 over a connection with a
server. The server responds with a status line, including the message's
protocol version and a success or error code, followed by a MIME-like
message containing server information, entity metainformation, and
possible entity-body content. The relationship between HTTP and MIME is
described in appendix 19.4.

Most HTTP communication is initiated by a user agent and consists of a
request to be applied to a resource on some origin server. In the
simplest case, this may be accomplished via a single connection (v)
between the user agent (UA) and the origin server (O).

          request chain ------------------------>
       UA -------------------v------------------- O
          <----------------------- response chain
A more complicated situation occurs when one or more intermediaries are
present in the request/response chain. There are three common forms of
intermediary: proxy, gateway, and tunnel. A proxy is a forwarding agent,
receiving requests for a URI in its absolute form, rewriting all or part
of the message, and forwarding the reformatted request toward the server
identified by the URI. A gateway is a receiving agent, acting as a layer
above some other server(s) and, if necessary, translating the requests
to the underlying server's protocol. A tunnel acts as a relay point
between two connections without changing the messages; tunnels are used
when the communication needs to pass through an intermediary (such as a
firewall) even when the intermediary cannot understand the contents of
the messages.

          request chain -------------------------------------->
       UA -----v----- A -----v----- B -----v----- C -----v----- O
          <------------------------------------- response chain
The figure above shows three intermediaries (A, B, and C) between the
user agent and origin server. A request or response message that travels
the whole chain will pass through four separate connections. This
distinction is important because some HTTP communication options may
apply only to the connection with the nearest, non-tunnel neighbor, only
to the end-points of the chain, or to all connections along the chain.
Although the diagram is linear, each participant may be engaged in
multiple, simultaneous communications. For example, B may be receiving
requests from many clients other than A, and/or forwarding requests to
servers other than C, at the same time that it is handling A's request.

Any party to the communication which is not acting as a tunnel may
employ an internal cache for handling requests. The effect of a cache is
that the request/response chain is shortened if one of the participants
along the chain has a cached response applicable to that request. The
following illustrates the resulting chain if B has a cached copy of an
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earlier response from O (via C) for a request which has not been cached
by UA or A.

          request chain ---------->
       UA -----v----- A -----v----- B - - - - - - C - - - - - - O
          <--------- response chain
Not all responses are usefully cachable, and some requests may contain
modifiers which place special requirements on cache behavior. HTTP
requirements for cache behavior and cachable responses are defined in
section 13.

In fact, there are a wide variety of architectures and configurations of
caches and proxies currently being experimented with or deployed across
the World Wide Web. These systems include national hierarchies of proxy
caches to save transoceanic bandwidth, systems that broadcast or
multicast cache entries, organizations that distribute subsets of cached
data via CD-ROM, and so on. HTTP systems are used in corporate intranets
over high-bandwidth links, and for access via PDAs with low-power radio
links and intermittent connectivity. The goal of HTTP/1.1 is to support
the wide diversity of configurations already deployed while introducing
protocol constructs that meet the needs of those who build web
applications that require high reliability and, failing that, at least
reliable indications of failure.

HTTP communication usually takes place over TCP/IP connections. The
default port is TCP 80 [19], but other ports can be used. This does not
preclude HTTP from being implemented on top of any other protocol on the
Internet, or on other networks. HTTP only presumes a reliable transport;
any protocol that provides such guarantees can be used; the mapping of
the HTTP/1.1 request and response structures onto the transport data
units of the protocol in question is outside the scope of this
specification.

In HTTP/1.0, most implementations used a new connection for each
request/response exchange. In HTTP/1.1, a connection may be used for one
or more request/response exchanges, although connections may be closed
for a variety of reasons (see section 8.1).


2 Notational Conventions and Generic Grammar


2.1 Augmented BNF

All of the mechanisms specified in this document are described in both
prose and an augmented Backus-Naur Form (BNF) similar to that used by
RFC 822 [9]. 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. White space 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,
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  LWS, HT, CRLF, DIGIT, ALPHA, etc. Angle brackets are used within
  definitions whenever their presence will facilitate discerning the
  use of rule names.

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

rule1 | rule2
  Elements separated by a bar ("|") are alternatives, e.g., "yes | no"
  will accept yes or no.

(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".

*rule
  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.

[rule]
  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.

#rule
  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 (",")
  and OPTIONAL linear white space (LWS). This makes the usual form of
  lists very easy; a rule such as
        ( *LWS element *( *LWS "," *LWS 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 specifications.

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implied *LWS
  The grammar described by this specification is word-based. Except
  where noted otherwise, linear white space (LWS) can be included
  between any two adjacent words (token or quoted-string), and between
  adjacent tokens and separators, without changing the interpretation
  of a field. At least one delimiter (LWS and/or separators[jg13]) MUST
  exist between any two tokens (for the definition of "token" above),
  since they would otherwise be interpreted as a single token.


2.2 Basic Rules

The following rules are used throughout this specification to describe
basic parsing constructs. The US-ASCII coded character set is defined by
ANSI X3.4-1986 [21].

       OCTET          = <any 8-bit sequence of data>
       CHAR           = <any US-ASCII character (octets 0 - 127)>
       UPALPHA        = <any US-ASCII uppercase letter "A".."Z">
       LOALPHA        = <any US-ASCII lowercase letter "a".."z">
       ALPHA          = UPALPHA | LOALPHA
       DIGIT          = <any US-ASCII digit "0".."9">
       CTL            = <any US-ASCII control character
                        (octets 0 - 31) and DEL (127)>
       CR             = <US-ASCII CR, carriage return (13)>
       LF             = <US-ASCII LF, linefeed (10)>
       SP             = <US-ASCII SP, space (32)>
       HT             = <US-ASCII HT, horizontal-tab (9)>
       <">            = <US-ASCII double-quote mark (34)>
HTTP/1.1 defines the sequence CR LF as the end-of-line marker for all
protocol elements except the entity-body (see appendix 19.3 for tolerant
applications). The end-of-line marker within an entity-body is defined
by its associated media type, as described in section 3.7.

       CRLF           = CR LF
HTTP/1.1 headers can be folded onto multiple lines if the continuation
line begins with a space or horizontal tab. All linear white space,
including folding, has the same semantics as SP.

       LWS            = [CRLF] 1*( SP | HT )
The TEXT rule is only used for descriptive field contents and values
that are not intended to be interpreted by the message parser. Words of
*TEXT MAY contain characters from character sets other than ISO 8859-1
[22] only when encoded according to the rules of RFC 2047 [14].

       TEXT           = <any OCTET except CTLs,
                        but including LWS>
Hexadecimal numeric characters are used in several protocol elements.

       HEX            = "A" | "B" | "C" | "D" | "E" | "F"
                      | "a" | "b" | "c" | "d" | "e" | "f" | DIGIT
Many HTTP/1.1 header field values consist of words separated by LWS or
special characters. These special characters MUST be in a quoted string
to be used within a parameter value.

       token          = 1*<any CHAR except CTLs or separators>
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       separators     = "(" | ")" | "<" | ">" | "@"
                      | "," | ";" | ":" | "\" | <">
                      | "/" | "[" | "]" | "?" | "="
                      | "{" | "}" | SP | HT
Comments can be included in some HTTP header fields by surrounding the
comment text with parentheses. Comments are only allowed in fields
containing "comment" as part of their field value definition. In all
other fields, parentheses are considered part of the field value.

       comment        = "(" *( ctext | quoted-pair | comment ) ")"
       ctext          = <any TEXT excluding "(" and ")">
A string of text is parsed as a single word if it is quoted using
double-quote marks.

       quoted-string  = ( <"> *(qdtext | quoted-pair ) <"> )
       qdtext         = <any TEXT except <">>
The backslash character ("\") MAY be used as a single-character quoting
mechanism only within quoted-string and comment constructs.

       quoted-pair    = "\" CHAR

  Note: CRLF in a quoted string is legal, but only in a strange way:
  as part of a header continuation, as in

     "part of
     a
     quoted-string".

  This is strange, and CRLF's ought to be allowed, but backward
  compatibility constraints mean that they are not allowed in
  general.


3 Protocol Parameters


3.1 HTTP Version

HTTP uses a "<major>.<minor>" numbering scheme to indicate versions of
the protocol. The protocol versioning policy is intended to allow the
sender to indicate the format of a message and its capacity for
understanding further HTTP communication, rather than the features
obtained via that communication. No change is made to the version number
for the addition of message components which do not affect communication
behavior or which only add to extensible field values. The <minor>
number is incremented when the changes made to the protocol add features
which do not change the general message parsing algorithm, but which may
add to the message semantics and imply additional capabilities of the
sender. The <major> number is incremented when the format of a message
within the protocol is changed. See RFC 2145 [36] for a fuller
explanation.

The version of an HTTP message is indicated by an HTTP-Version field in
the first line of the message.

       HTTP-Version   = "HTTP" "/" 1*DIGIT "." 1*DIGIT
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Note that the major and minor numbers MUST be treated as separate
integers and that each MAY be incremented higher than a single digit.
Thus, HTTP/2.4 is a lower version than HTTP/2.13, which in turn is lower
than HTTP/12.3. Leading zeros MUST be ignored by recipients and MUST NOT
be sent.

An application that sends a request or response message that includes
HTTP-Version of "HTTP/1.1" MUST be at least conditionally compliant with
this specification. Applications that are at least conditionally
compliant with this specification SHOULD use an HTTP-Version of
"HTTP/1.1" in their messages, and MUST do so for any message that is not
compatible with HTTP/1.0. For more details on when to send specific
HTTP-Version values, see RFC 2145 [36].

The HTTP version of an application is the highest HTTP version for which
the application is at least conditionally compliant.

Proxy and gateway applications need to be careful when forwarding
messages in protocol versions different from that of the application.
Since the protocol version indicates the protocol capability of the
sender, a proxy/gateway MUST NOT send a message with a version indicator
which is greater than its actual version. If a higher version request is
received, the proxy/gateway MUST either downgrade the request version,
or respond with an error, or switch to tunnel behavior.

Due to interoperability problems with HTTP/1.0 proxies discovered since
the publication of RFC 2068[33], caching proxies MUST, gateways MAY, and
tunnels MUST NOT upgrade the request to the highest version they
support. The proxy/gateway's response to that request MUST be in the
same major version as the request.

  Note: Converting between versions of HTTP may involve modification
  of header fields required or forbidden by the versions involved.


3.2 Uniform Resource Identifiers

URIs have been known by many names: WWW addresses, Universal Document
Identifiers, Universal Resource Identifiers [3], and finally the
combination of Uniform Resource Locators (URL) [4] and Names (URN) [20].
As far as HTTP is concerned, Uniform Resource Identifiers are simply
formatted strings which identify--via name, location, or any other
characteristic--a resource.


3.2.1 General Syntax

URIs in HTTP can be represented in absolute form or relative to some
known base URI [11], depending upon the context of their use. The two
forms are differentiated by the fact that absolute URIs always begin
with a scheme name followed by a colon. For definitive information on
URL syntax and semantics, see "Uniform Resource Identifiers (URI):
Generic Syntax and Semantics," [42] (which replaces RFCs 1738 [4] and
RFC 1808 [11]). This specification adopts the definitions of "URI-

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reference", "absoluteURI", "relativeURI", "port", "host","abs_path",
"rel_path", and "authority" from that specification.

The HTTP protocol does not place any a priori limit on the length of a
URI. Servers MUST be able to handle the URI of any resource they serve,
and SHOULD be able to handle URIs of unbounded length if they provide
GET-based forms that could generate such URIs. A server SHOULD return
414 (Request-URI Too Long) status if a URI is longer than the server can
handle (see section 10.4.15).

  Note: Servers ought to be cautious about depending on URI lengths
  above 255 bytes, because some older client or proxy implementations
  might not properly support these lengths.


3.2.2 http URL

The "http" scheme is used to locate network resources via the HTTP
protocol. This section defines the scheme-specific syntax and semantics
for http URLs.

       http_URL       = "http:" "//" host [ ":" port ] [ abs_path ]

If the port is empty or not given, port 80 is assumed. The semantics are
that the identified resource is located at the server listening for TCP
connections on that port of that host, and the Request-URI for the
resource is abs_path. The use of IP addresses in URLs SHOULD be avoided
whenever possible (see RFC 1900 [24]). If the abs_path is not present in
the URL, it MUST be given as "/" when used as a Request-URI for a
resource (section 5.1.2). If a proxy receives a host name which is not a
fully qualified domain name, it MAY add its domain to the host name it
received. If a proxy receives a fully qualified domain name, the proxy
MUST NOT change the host name.


3.2.3 URI Comparison

When comparing two URIs to decide if they match or not, a client SHOULD
use a case-sensitive octet-by-octet comparison of the entire URIs, with
these exceptions:

  .  A port that is empty or not given is equivalent to the default port
     for that URI-reference;
  .  Comparisons of host names MUST be case-insensitive;
  .  Comparisons of scheme names MUST be case-insensitive;
  .  An empty abs_path is equivalent to an abs_path of "/".
Characters other than those in the "reserved" and "unsafe" sets (see
section 3.2) are equivalent to their ""%" HEX HEX" encoding.

For example, the following three URIs are equivalent:

      http://abc.com:80/~smith/home.html
      http://ABC.com/%7Esmith/home.html
      http://ABC.com:/%7esmith/home.html


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3.3 Date/Time Formats


3.3.1 Full Date

HTTP applications have historically allowed 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 [8] (an update to RFC
822 [9]). The second format is in common use, but is based on the
obsolete RFC 850 [12] date format and lacks a four-digit year. HTTP/1.1
clients and servers that parse the date value MUST accept all three
formats (for compatibility with HTTP/1.0), though they MUST only
generate the RFC 1123 format for representing HTTP-date values in header
fields.

  Note: Recipients of date values are encouraged to be robust in
  accepting date values that may have been sent by non-HTTP
  applications, as is sometimes the case when retrieving or posting
  messages via proxies/gateways to SMTP or NNTP.

All HTTP date/time stamps MUST be represented in Greenwich Mean Time
(GMT), without exception. For the purposes of HTTP, GMT is exactly equal
to UTC (Coordinated Universal Time). This is indicated in the first two
formats by the inclusion of "GMT" as the three-letter abbreviation for
time zone, and MUST be assumed when reading the asctime format. HTTP-
date is case sensitive and MUST NOT include additional LWS beyond that
specifically included as SP in the grammar.

       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"
  Note: HTTP 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.
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3.3.2 Delta Seconds

Some HTTP header fields allow a time value to be specified as an integer
number of seconds, represented in decimal, after the time that the
message was received.

       delta-seconds  = 1*DIGIT

3.4 Character Sets

HTTP uses the same definition of the term "character set" as that
described for MIME:

  The term "character set" is used in this document to refer to a
  method used with one or more tables to convert a sequence of octets
  into a sequence of characters. Note that unconditional conversion
  in the other direction is not required, in that not all characters
  may be available in a given character set and a character set may
  provide more than one sequence of octets to represent a particular
  character. This definition is intended to allow various kinds of
  character encodings, from simple single-table mappings such as US-
  ASCII to complex table switching methods such as those that use ISO
  2022's techniques. However, the definition associated with a MIME
  character set name MUST fully specify the mapping to be performed
  from octets to characters. In particular, use of external profiling
  information to determine the exact mapping is not permitted.

  Note: This use of the term "character set" is more commonly
  referred to as a "character encoding." However, since HTTP and MIME
  share the same registry, it is important that the terminology also
  be shared.

HTTP character sets are identified by case-insensitive tokens. The
complete set of tokens is defined by the IANA Character Set registry
[19].

       charset = token
Although HTTP allows an arbitrary token to be used as a charset value,
any token that has a predefined value within the IANA Character Set
registry [19] MUST represent the character set defined by that registry.
Applications SHOULD limit their use of character sets to those defined
by the IANA registry.

Implementors should be aware of IETF character set requirements [38]
[41].


3.4.1 Missing Charset

Some HTTP/1.0 software has interpreted a Content-Type header without
charset parameter incorrectly to mean "recipient should guess." Senders
wishing to defeat this behavior MAY include a charset parameter even
when the charset is ISO-8859-1 and SHOULD do so when it is known that it
will not confuse the recipient.


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Unfortunately, some older HTTP/1.0 clients did not deal properly with an
explicit charset parameter. HTTP/1.1 recipients MUST respect the charset
label provided by the sender; and those user agents that have a
provision to "guess" a charset MUST use the charset from the content-
type field if they support that charset, rather than the recipient's
preference, when initially displaying a document. See section 3.7.1.


3.5 Content Codings

Content coding values indicate an encoding transformation that has been
or can be applied to an entity. Content codings are primarily used to
allow a document to be compressed or otherwise usefully transformed
without losing the identity of its underlying media type and without
loss of information. Frequently, the entity is stored in coded form,
transmitted directly, and only decoded by the recipient.

       content-coding   = token
All content-coding values are case-insensitive. HTTP/1.1 uses content-
coding values in the Accept-Encoding (section 14.3) and Content-Encoding
(section 14.11) header fields. Although the value describes the content-
coding, what is more important is that it indicates what decoding
mechanism will be required to remove the encoding.
The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) acts as a registry for
content-coding value tokens. Initially, the registry contains the
following tokens:


gzip An encoding format produced by the file compression program "gzip"
     (GNU zip) as described in RFC 1952 [25]. This format is a Lempel-
     Ziv coding (LZ77) with a 32 bit CRC.


compress
     The encoding format produced by the common UNIX file compression
     program "compress". This format is an adaptive Lempel-Ziv-Welch
     coding (LZW).

     Note: Use of program names for the identification of encoding
     formats is not desirable and is discouraged for future encodings.
     Their use here is representative of historical practice, not good
     design. For compatibility with previous implementations of HTTP,
     applications SHOULD consider "x-gzip" and "x-compress" to be
     equivalent to "gzip" and "compress" respectively.

deflate
     The "zlib" format defined in RFC 1950 [31] in combination with the
     "deflate" compression mechanism described in RFC 1951 [29].

identity
     The default (identity) encoding; the use of no transformation
     whatsoever. This content-coding is used only in the Accept-Encoding
     header, and SHOULD NOT be used in the Content-Encoding header.

New content-coding value tokens SHOULD be registered; to allow
interoperability between clients and servers, specifications of the
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content coding algorithms needed to implement a new value SHOULD be
publicly available and adequate for independent implementation, and
conform to the purpose of content coding defined in this section.


3.6 Transfer Codings

Transfer-coding values are used to indicate an encoding transformation
that has been, can be, or may need to be applied to an entity-body in
order to ensure "safe transport" through the network. This differs from
a content coding in that the transfer-coding is a property of the
message, not of the original entity.

       transfer-coding         = "chunked" | transfer-extension
       transfer-extension      = token *( ";" parameter )
Parameters are in be in the form of attribute/value pairs.

       parameter               = attribute "=" value
       attribute               = token
       value                   = token | quoted-string
All transfer-coding values are case-insensitive. HTTP/1.1 uses transfer-
coding values in the TE header field (section 14.39) and in the
Transfer-Encoding header field (section 14.4114.41).

Whenever a transfer-coding other than "identity" is applied to a
message-body, the set of transfer-codings MUST include "chunked", unless
the message is terminated by closing the connection. When the "chunked"
transfer-coding is used, it MUST be the last transfer-coding applied to
the message-body. The "chunked" transfer-coding MUST NOT be applied more
than once to a message-body. These rules allow the recipient to
determine the transfer-length of the message (section 4.4).

Transfer-codings are analogous to the Content-Transfer-Encoding values
of MIME [7], which were designed to enable safe transport of binary data
over a 7-bit transport service. However, safe transport has a different
focus for an 8bit-clean transfer protocol. In HTTP, the only unsafe
characteristic of message-bodies is the difficulty in determining the
exact body length (section 7.2.2), or the desire to encrypt data over a
shared transport.

The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) acts as a registry for
transfer-coding value tokens. Initially, the registry contains the
following tokens: "chunked" (section 3.6.1), "identity" (section 3.6.2),
"gzip" (section 3.5), "compress" (section 3.5), and "deflate" (section
3.5).

New transfer-coding value tokens SHOULD be registered in the same way as
new content-coding value tokens (section 3.5).

A server which receives an entity-body with a transfer-coding it does
not understand SHOULD return 501 (Unimplemented), and close the
connection. A server MUST NOT send transfer-codings to an HTTP/1.0
client.



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3.6.1 Chunked Transfer Coding

The chunked encoding modifies the body of a message in order to transfer
it as a series of chunks, each with its own size indicator, followed by
an OPTIONAL trailer containing entity-header fields. This allows
dynamically produced content to be transferred along with the
information necessary for the recipient to verify that it has received
the full message.

       Chunked-Body   = *chunk
                        last-chunk
                        trailer
                        CRLF
       chunk          = chunk-size [ chunk-extension ] CRLF
                        chunk-data CRLF
       chunk-size     = 1*HEX
       last-chunk     = 1*("0") [ chunk-extension ] CRLF

       chunk-extension= *( ";" chunk-ext-name [ "=" chunk-ext-val ] )
       chunk-ext-name = token
       chunk-ext-val  = token | quoted-string
       chunk-data     = chunk-size(OCTET)
       trailer        = *entity-header
The chunk-size field is a string of hex digits indicating the size of
the chunk. The chunked encoding is ended by any chunk whose size is
zero, followed by the trailer, which is terminated by an empty line.

The trailer allows the sender to include additional HTTP header fields
at the end of the message. The Trailer header field can be used to
indicate which header fields are included in a trailer (see section
14.40).

A server using chunked transfer-coding in a response MUST NOT use the
trailer for other header fields than Content-MD5 and Authentication-Info
unless the "chunked" transfer-coding is present in the request as an
accepted transfer-coding in the TE field (section 14.39). The
Authentication-Info header is defined by RFC 2069 [32] or its successor
[43].

An example process for decoding a Chunked-Body is presented in appendix
19.4.6.

All HTTP/1.1 applications MUST be able to receive and decode the
"chunked" transfer-coding, and MUST ignore chunk-extension extensions
they do not understand.


3.6.2 Identity Transfer-Coding

The identity transfer-encoding is the default (identity) encoding; the
use of no transformation whatsoever. The identity transfer-coding is
used only in the TE header field, and SHOULD NOT be used in any
Transfer-Encoding header field.



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3.7 Media Types

HTTP uses Internet Media Types [17] in the Content-Type (section 14.17)
and Accept (section 14.1) header fields in order to provide open and
extensible data typing and type negotiation.

       media-type     = type "/" subtype *( ";" parameter )
       type           = token
       subtype        = token
Parameters MAY follow the type/subtype in the form of attribute/value
pairs (as defined in section 3.6).

The type, subtype, and parameter attribute names are case-insensitive.
Parameter values might or might not be case-sensitive, depending on the
semantics of the parameter name. Linear white space (LWS) MUST NOT be
used between the type and subtype, nor between an attribute and its
value. The presence or absence of a parameter might be significant to
the processing of a media-type, depending on its definition within the
media type registry.

  Note: some older HTTP applications do not recognize media type
  parameters. When sending data to older HTTP applications,
  implementations SHOULD only use media type parameters when they are
  required by that type/subtype definition.

Media-type values are registered with the Internet Assigned Number
Authority (IANA [19]). The media type registration process is outlined
in RFC 1590 [17]. Use of non-registered media types is discouraged.


3.7.1 Canonicalization and Text Defaults

Internet media types are registered with a canonical form. An entity-
body transferred via HTTP messages MUST be represented in the
appropriate canonical form prior to its transmission except for "text"
types, as defined in the next paragraph.

When in canonical form, media subtypes of the "text" type use CRLF as
the text line break. HTTP relaxes this requirement and allows the
transport of text media with plain CR or LF alone representing a line
break when it is done consistently for an entire entity-body. HTTP
applications MUST accept CRLF, bare CR, and bare LF as being
representative of a line break in text media received via HTTP. In
addition, if the text is represented in a character set that does not
use octets 13 and 10 for CR and LF respectively, as is the case for some
multi-byte character sets, HTTP allows the use of whatever octet
sequences are defined by that character set to represent the equivalent
of CR and LF for line breaks. This flexibility regarding line breaks
applies only to text media in the entity-body; a bare CR or LF MUST NOT
be substituted for CRLF within any of the HTTP control structures (such
as header fields and multipart boundaries).

If an entity-body is encoded with a content-coding, the underlying data
MUST be in a form defined above prior to being encoded.


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The "charset" parameter is used with some media types to define the
character set (section 3.4) of the data. When no explicit charset
parameter is provided by the sender, media subtypes of the "text" type
are defined to have a default charset value of "ISO-8859-1" when
received via HTTP. Data in character sets other than "ISO-8859-1" or its
subsets MUST be labeled with an appropriate charset value. See section
3.4.1 for compatibility problems.


3.7.2 Multipart Types

MIME provides for a number of "multipart" types -- encapsulations of one
or more entities within a single message-body. All multipart types share
a common syntax, as defined in section 5.1.1 of RFC 2046 [40], and MUST
include a boundary parameter as part of the media type value. The
message body is itself a protocol element and MUST therefore use only
CRLF to represent line breaks between body-parts. Unlike in RFC 2046,
the epilogue of any multipart message MUST be empty; HTTP applications
MUST NOT transmit the epilogue (even if the original multipart contains
an epilogue). These restrictions exist in order to preserve the self-
delimiting nature of a multipart message-body, wherein the "end" of the
message-body is indicated by the ending multipart boundary.

In general, HTTP treats a multipart message-body no differently than any
other media type: strictly as payload. The one exception is the
"multipart/byteranges" type (appendix 19.2) when it appears in a 206
(Partial Content) response, which will be interpreted by some HTTP
caching mechanisms as described in sections 13.5.4 and 14.16. In all
other cases, an HTTP user agent SHOULD follow the same or similar
behavior as a MIME user agent would upon receipt of a multipart type. If
an application receives an unrecognized multipart subtype, the
application MUST treat it as being equivalent to "multipart/mixed". The
MIME header fields within each body-part of a multipart message-body do
not have any significance to HTTP beyond that defined by their MIME
semantics.

In general, an HTTP user agent SHOULD follow the same or similar
behavior as a MIME user agent would upon receipt of a multipart type. If
an application receives an unrecognized multipart subtype, the
application MUST treat it as being equivalent to "multipart/mixed".

  Note: The "multipart/form-data" type has been specifically defined
  for carrying form data suitable for processing via the POST request
  method, as described in RFC 1867 [15].


3.8 Product Tokens

Product tokens are used to allow communicating applications to identify
themselves by software name and version. Most fields using product
tokens also allow sub-products which form a significant part of the
application to be listed, separated by white space. By convention, the
products are listed in order of their significance for identifying the
application.

       product         = token ["/" product-version]
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       product-version = token
Examples:

       User-Agent: CERN-LineMode/2.15 libwww/2.17b3
       Server: Apache/0.8.4
Product tokens SHOULD be short and to the point. They MUST NOT be used
for advertising or other non-essential information. Although any token
character MAY appear in a product-version, this token SHOULD only be
used for a version identifier (i.e., successive versions of the same
product SHOULD only differ in the product-version portion of the product
value).


3.9 Quality Values

HTTP content negotiation (section 12) uses short "floating point"
numbers to indicate the relative importance ("weight") of various
negotiable parameters.  A weight is normalized to a real number in the
range 0 through 1, where 0 is the minimum and 1 the maximum value. If a
parameter has a quality value of 0, then content with this parameter is
`not acceptable' for the client. HTTP/1.1 applications MUST NOT generate
more than three digits after the decimal point. User configuration of
these values SHOULD also be limited in this fashion.

       qvalue         = ( "0" [ "." 0*3DIGIT ] )
                      | ( "1" [ "." 0*3("0") ] )
"Quality values" is a misnomer, since these values merely represent
relative degradation in desired quality.


3.10 Language Tags

A language tag identifies a natural language spoken, written, or
otherwise conveyed by human beings for communication of information to
other human beings. Computer languages are explicitly excluded. HTTP
uses language tags within the Accept-Language and Content-Language
fields.

The syntax and registry of HTTP language tags is the same as that
defined by RFC 1766 [1]. In summary, a language tag is composed of 1 or
more parts: A primary language tag and a possibly empty series of
subtags:

        language-tag  = primary-tag *( "-" subtag )
        primary-tag   = 1*8ALPHA
        subtag        = 1*8ALPHA
White space is not allowed within the tag and all tags are case-
insensitive. The name space of language tags is administered by the
IANA. Example tags include:

       en, en-US, en-cockney, i-cherokee, x-pig-latin
where any two-letter primary-tag is an ISO 639 language abbreviation and
any two-letter initial subtag is an ISO 3166 country code. (The last
three tags above are not registered tags; all but the last are examples
of tags which could be registered in future.)

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3.11 Entity Tags

Entity tags are used for comparing two or more entities from the same
requested resource. HTTP/1.1 uses entity tags in the ETag (section
14.19), If-Match (section 14.24), If-None-Match (section 14.26), and If-
Range (section 14.27) header fields. The definition of how they are used
and compared as cache validators is in section 13.3.3. An entity tag
consists of an opaque quoted string, possibly prefixed by a weakness
indicator.

      entity-tag = [ weak ] opaque-tag
      weak       = "W/"
      opaque-tag = quoted-string
A "strong entity tag" MAY be shared by two entities of a resource only
if they are equivalent by octet equality.

A "weak entity tag," indicated by the "W/" prefix, MAY be shared by two
entities of a resource only if the entities are equivalent and could be
substituted for each other with no significant change in semantics. A
weak entity tag can only be used for weak comparison.

An entity tag MUST be unique across all versions of all entities
associated with a particular resource. A given entity tag value MAY be
used for entities obtained by requests on different URIs without
implying anything about the equivalence of those entities.


3.12 Range Units

HTTP/1.1 allows a client to request that only part (a range of) the
response entity be included within the response. HTTP/1.1 uses range
units in the Range (section 14.35) and Content-Range (section 14.16)
header fields. An entity can be broken down into subranges according to
various structural units.

      range-unit       = bytes-unit | other-range-unit
      bytes-unit       = "bytes"
      other-range-unit = token
The only range unit defined by HTTP/1.1 is "bytes". HTTP/1.1
implementations MAY ignore ranges specified using other units. HTTP/1.1
has been designed to allow implementations of applications that do not
depend on knowledge of ranges.


4 HTTP Message


4.1 Message Types

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

       HTTP-message   = Request | Response     ; HTTP/1.1 messages
Request (section 5) and Response (section 6) messages use the generic
message format of RFC 822 [9] for transferring entities (the payload of
the message). Both types of message consist of a start-line, zero or
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more header fields (also known as "headers"), an empty line (i.e., a
line with nothing preceding the CRLF) indicating the end of the header
fields, and possibly a message-body.

        generic-message = start-line
                          *message-header
                          CRLF
                          [ message-body ]
        start-line      = Request-Line | Status-Line
In the interest of robustness, servers SHOULD ignore any empty line(s)
received where a Request-Line is expected. In other words, if the server
is reading the protocol stream at the beginning of a message and
receives a CRLF first, it SHOULD ignore the CRLF.

  Note: certain buggy HTTP/1.0 client implementations generate extra
  CRLF's after a POST request. To restate what is explicitly
  forbidden by the BNF, an HTTP/1.1 client MUST NOT preface or follow
  a request with an extra CRLF.


4.2 Message Headers

HTTP header fields, which include general-header (section 4.5), request-
header (section 5.3), response-header (section 6.2), and entity-header
(section 7.1) fields, follow the same generic format as that given in
Section 3.1 of RFC 822 [9]. Each header field consists of a name
followed by a colon (":") and the field value. Field names are case-
insensitive. The field value MAY be preceded by any amount of LWS,
though a single SP is preferred. Header fields can be extended over
multiple lines by preceding each extra line with at least one SP or HT.
Applications SHOULD follow "common form", where one is known or
indicated, when generating HTTP constructs, since there might exist some
implementations that fail to accept anything beyond the common forms.

       message-header = field-name ":" [ field-value ] CRLF
       field-name     = token
       field-value    = *( field-content | LWS )
       field-content  = <the OCTETs making up the field-value
                        and consisting of either *TEXT or combinations
                        of token, separators, and quoted-string>
The order in which header fields with differing field names are received
is not significant. However, it is "good practice" to send general-
header fields first, followed by request-header or response-header
fields, and ending with the entity-header fields.

Multiple message-header fields with the same field-name MAY be present
in a message if and only if the entire field-value for that header field
is defined as a comma-separated list [i.e., #(values)]. It MUST be
possible to combine the multiple header fields into one "field-name:
field-value" pair, without changing the semantics of the message, by
appending each subsequent field-value to the first, each separated by a
comma. The order in which header fields with the same field-name are
received is therefore significant to the interpretation of the combined
field value, and thus a proxy MUST NOT change the order of these field
values when a message is forwarded.

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4.3 Message Body

The message-body (if any) of an HTTP message is used to carry the
entity-body associated with the request or response. The message-body
differs from the entity-body only when a transfer-coding has been
applied, as indicated by the Transfer-Encoding header field (section
14.41).

       message-body = entity-body
                    | <entity-body encoded as per Transfer-Encoding>
Transfer-Encoding MUST be used to indicate any transfer-codings applied
by an application to ensure safe and proper transfer of the message.
Transfer-Encoding is a property of the message, not of the entity, and
thus MAY be added or removed by any application along the
request/response chain. (However, section 3.6 places restrictions on
when certain transfer-codings may be used.)

The rules for when a message-body is allowed in a message differ for
requests and responses.

The presence of a message-body in a request is signaled by the inclusion
of a Content-Length or Transfer-Encoding header field in the request's
message-headers. A message-body MUST NOT be included in a request if the
specification of the request method (section 5.1.1) does not allow
sending an entity-body in requests. A server SHOULD read and forward a
message-body on any request; if the request method does not include
defined semantics for an entity-body, then the message-body SHOULD be
ignored when handling the request.

For response messages, whether or not a message-body is included with a
message is dependent on both the request method and the response status
code (section 6.1.1). All responses to the HEAD request method MUST NOT
include a message-body, even though the presence of entity-header fields
might lead one to believe they do. All 1xx (informational), 204 (no
content), and 304 (not modified) responses MUST NOT include a message-
body. All other responses do include a message-body, although it MAY be
of zero length.


4.4 Message Length

The transfer-length of a message is the length of the message-body as it
appears in the message; that is, after any transfer-codings have been
applied. When a message-body is included with a message, the transfer-
length of that body is determined by one of the following (in order of
precedence):

  1. Any response message which MUST NOT include a message-body (such as
     the 1xx, 204, and 304 responses and any response to a HEAD request)
     is always terminated by the first empty line after the header
     fields, regardless of the entity-header fields present in the
     message.

  2. If a Transfer-Encoding header field (section 14.41) is present and
     has any value other than "identity", then the transfer-length is

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     defined by use of the "chunked" transfer-coding (section 3.6),
     unless the message is terminated by closing the connection.

  3. If a Content-Length header field (section 14.13) is present, its
     decimal value in OCTETs represents both the entity-length and the
     transfer-length. The Content-Length header field MUST NOT be used
     if these two lengths are different (i.e., if a Transfer-Encoding
     header field is present).

  4.      If the message uses the media type "multipart/byteranges", and the
     transfer-length is not otherwise specified, then this self-
     delimiting media type defines the transfer-length. This media type
     MUST NOT be used unless the sender knows that the recipient can
     parse it; the presence in a request of a Range header with multiple
     byte-range specifiers from a 1.1 client implies that the client can
     parse multipart/byteranges responses.

  Note: A range header may be forwarded by a 1.0 proxy that does not
  understand multipart/byteranges; in this case the server must
  delimit the message using methods defined in items 1,3 or 5 of this
  section.

  5.    By the server closing the connection. (Closing the connection
     cannot be used to indicate the end of a request body, since that
     would leave no possibility for the server to send back a response.)

For compatibility with HTTP/1.0 applications, HTTP/1.1 requests
containing a message-body MUST include a valid Content-Length header
field unless the server is known to be HTTP/1.1 compliant. If a request
contains a message-body and a Content-Length is not given, the server
SHOULD respond with 400 (bad request) if it cannot determine the length
of the message, or with 411 (length required) if it wishes to insist on
receiving a valid Content-Length.

All HTTP/1.1 applications that receive entities MUST accept the
"chunked" transfer-coding (section 3.6), thus allowing this mechanism to
be used for messages when the message length cannot be determined in
advance.

Messages MUST NOT include both a Content-Length header field and a non-
identity transfer-coding. If the message does include a non-identity
transfer-coding, the Content-Length MUST be ignored.

When a Content-Length is given in a message where a message-body is
allowed, its field value MUST exactly match the number of OCTETs in the
message-body. HTTP/1.1 user agents MUST notify the user when an invalid
length is received and detected.


4.5 General 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 entity
being transferred. These header fields apply only to the message being
transmitted.

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       general-header = Cache-Control            ; Section 14.9
                      | Connection               ; Section 14.10
                      | Date                     ; Section 14.18
                      | Pragma                   ; Section 14.32
                      | Transfer-Encoding        ; Section 14.41
                      | Upgrade                  ; Section 14.42
                      | Trailer                  ; Section 14.40
                      | Via                      ; Section 14.45
                      | Warning                 ; Section 14.46
General-header field names can be extended reliably only in combination
with a change in the protocol version. However, new or experimental
header fields may be given the semantics of general header fields if all
parties in the communication recognize them to be general-header fields.
Unrecognized header fields are treated as entity-header fields.


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 resource, the
identifier of the resource, and the protocol version in use.

        Request       = Request-Line              ; Section 5.1
                        *( general-header         ; Section 4.5
                         | request-header         ; Section 5.3
                         | entity-header )        ; Section 7.1
                        CRLF
                        [ message-body ]          ; Section 4.3

5.1 Request-Line

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

       Request-Line   = Method SP Request-URI SP HTTP-Version CRLF

5.1.1 Method

The Method  token indicates the method to be performed on the resource
identified by the Request-URI. The method is case-sensitive.

       Method         = "OPTIONS"                ; Section 9.2
                      | "GET"                    ; Section 9.3
                      | "HEAD"                   ; Section 9.4
                      | "POST"                   ; Section 9.5
                      | "PUT"                    ; Section 9.6
                      | "DELETE"                 ; Section 9.7
                      | "TRACE"                  ; Section 9.8
                      | "CONNECT"                ; Section 9.9
                      | extension-method
       extension-method = token
The list of methods allowed by a resource can be specified in an Allow
header field (section 14.7). The return code of the response always
notifies the client whether a method is currently allowed on a resource,
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since the set of allowed methods can change dynamically. Servers SHOULD
return the status code 405 (Method Not Allowed) if the method is known
by the server but not allowed for the requested resource, and 501 (Not
Implemented) if the method is unrecognized or not implemented by the
server. The methods GET and HEAD MUST be supported by all general-
purpose servers. All other methods are OPTIONAL; however, if the above
methods are implemented, they MUST be implemented with the same
semantics as those specified in section 9.


5.1.2 Request-URI

The Request-URI is a Uniform Resource Identifier (section 3.2) and
identifies the resource upon which to apply the request.

       Request-URI    = "*" | absoluteURI | abs_path
The three options for Request-URI are dependent on the nature of the
request. The asterisk "*" means that the request does not apply to a
particular resource, but to the server itself, and is only allowed when
the method used does not necessarily apply to a resource. One example
would be

       OPTIONS * HTTP/1.1
The absoluteURI form is REQUIRED when the request is being made to a
proxy. The proxy is requested to forward the request or service it from
a valid cache, and return the response. Note that the proxy MAY forward
the request on to another proxy or directly to the server specified by
the absoluteURI. In order to avoid request loops, a proxy MUST be able
to recognize all of its server names, including any aliases, local
variations, and the numeric IP address. An example Request-Line would
be:

       GET http://www.w3.org/pub/WWW/TheProject.html HTTP/1.1
To allow for transition to absoluteURIs in all requests in future
versions of HTTP, all HTTP/1.1 servers MUST accept the absoluteURI form
in requests, even though HTTP/1.1 clients will only generate them in
requests to proxies.

The most common form of Request-URI is that used to identify a resource
on an origin server or gateway. In this case the absolute path of the
URI MUST be transmitted (see section 3.2.1, abs_path) as the Request-
URI, and the network location of the URI (authority) MUST be transmitted
in a Host header field. For example, a client wishing to retrieve the
resource above directly from the origin server would create a TCP
connection to port 80 of the host "www.w3.org" and send the lines:

       GET /pub/WWW/TheProject.html HTTP/1.1
       Host: www.w3.org
followed by the remainder of the Request. Note that the absolute path
cannot be empty; if none is present in the original URI, it MUST be
given as "/" (the server root).

The Request-URI is transmitted in the format specified in section 3.2.1.
If the Request-URI is encoded using the "% HEX HEX" encoding [42], the
origin server MUST decode the Request-URI in order to properly interpret

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the request. Servers SHOULD respond to invalid Request-URIs with an
appropriate status code.

In requests that they forward, transparent proxies MUST NOT rewrite the
"abs_path" part of a Request-URI in any way except as noted above to
replace a null abs_path with "*", no matter what the proxy does in its
internal implementation.

  Note: The "no rewrite" rule prevents the proxy from changing the
  meaning of the request when the origin server is improperly using a
  non-reserved URI character for a reserved purpose. Implementors
  should be aware that some pre-HTTP/1.1 proxies have been known to
  rewrite the Request-URI.


5.2 The Resource Identified by a Request

The exact resource identified by an Internet request is determined by
examining both the Request-URI and the Host header field.

An origin server that does not allow resources to differ by the
requested host MAY ignore the Host header field value when determining
the resource identified by an HTTP/1.1 request. (But see section
19.6.1.1 for other requirements on Host support in HTTP/1.1.)

An origin server that does differentiate resources based on the host
requested (sometimes referred to as virtual hosts or vanity hostnames)
MUST use the following rules for determining the requested resource on
an HTTP/1.1 request:

  1.    If Request-URI is an absoluteURI, the host is part of the
     Request-URI. Any Host header field value in the request MUST be
     ignored.

  2.    If the Request-URI is not an absoluteURI, and the request
     includes a Host header field, the host is determined by the Host
     header field value.

  3.    If the host as determined by rule 1 or 2 is not a valid host on
     the server, the response MUST be a 400 (Bad Request) error message.

Recipients of an HTTP/1.0 request that lacks a Host header field MAY
attempt to use heuristics (e.g., examination of the URI path for
something unique to a particular host) in order to determine what exact
resource is being requested.


5.3 Request Header Fields

The request-header fields allow the client to pass additional
information about the request, and about the client itself, to the
server. These fields act as request modifiers, with semantics equivalent
to the parameters on a programming language method invocation.

       request-header = Accept                   ; Section 14.1
                      | Accept-Charset           ; Section 14.2
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                      | Accept-Encoding          ; Section 14.3
                      | Accept-Language          ; Section 14.4
                      | Authorization            ; Section 14.8
                      | Expect                   ; Section 14.20
                      | From                     ; Section 14.22
                      | Host                     ; Section 14.23
                      | If-Modified-Since        ; Section 14.25
                      | If-Match                 ; Section 14.24
                      | If-None-Match            ; Section 14.26
                      | If-Range                 ; Section 14.27
                      | If-Unmodified-Since      ; Section 14.28
                      | Max-Forwards             ; Section 14.31
                      | Proxy-Authorization      ; Section 14.34
                      | Range                    ; Section 14.35
                      | Referer                  ; Section 14.36
                      | TE                       ; Section 14.39
                      | User-Agent               ; Section 14.43
Request-header field names can be extended reliably only in combination
with a change in the protocol version. However, new or experimental
header fields MAY be given the semantics of request-header fields if all
parties in the communication recognize them to be request-header fields.
Unrecognized header fields are treated as entity-header fields.


6 Response

After receiving and interpreting a request message, a server responds
with an HTTP response message.

       Response      = Status-Line               ; Section 6.1
                       *( general-header         ; Section 4.5
                        | response-header        ; Section 6.2
                        | entity-header )        ; Section 7.1
                       CRLF
                       [ message-body ]          ; Section 7.2

6.1 Status-Line

The first line of a Response message is the Status-Line, consisting of
the protocol version followed by a numeric status code and its
associated textual phrase, with each element separated by SP characters.
No CR or LF is allowed except in the final CRLF sequence.

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

6.1.1 Status Code and Reason Phrase

The Status-Code element is a 3-digit integer result code of the attempt
to understand and satisfy the request. These codes are fully defined in
section 10. 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 or display the Reason-Phrase.



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


  .  1xx: Informational - Request received, continuing process

  .  2xx: Success - The action was successfully received, understood,
     and accepted

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

  .  4xx: Client Error - The request contains bad syntax or cannot be
     fulfilled

  .  5xx: Server Error - The server failed to fulfill an apparently
     valid request
The individual values of the numeric status codes defined for HTTP/1.1,
and an example set of corresponding Reason-Phrase's, are presented
below. The reason phrases listed here are only recommendations -- they
MAY be replaced by local equivalents without affecting the protocol.

   Status-Code    = "100"  ; Continue
                  | "101"  ; Switching Protocols
                  | "200"  ; OK
                  | "201"  ; Created
                  | "202"  ; Accepted
                  | "203"  ; Non-Authoritative Information
                  | "204"  ; No Content
                  | "205"  ; Reset Content
                  | "206"  ; Partial Content
                  | "300"  ; Multiple Choices
                  | "301"  ; Moved Permanently
                  | "302"  ; Found
                  | "303"  ; See Other
                  | "304"  ; Not Modified
                  | "305"  ; Use Proxy
                  | "307"  ; Temporary Redirect
                  | "400"  ; Bad Request
                  | "401"  ; Unauthorized
                  | "402"  ; Payment Required
                  | "403"  ; Forbidden
                  | "404"  ; Not Found
                  | "405"  ; Method Not Allowed
                  | "406"  ; Not Acceptable
                  | "407"  ; Proxy Authentication Required
                  | "408"  ; Request Time-out
                  | "409"  ; Conflict
                  | "410"  ; Gone
                  | "411"  ; Length Required
                  | "412"  ; Precondition Failed
                  | "413"  ; Request Entity Too Large
                  | "414"  ; Request-URI Too Large
                  | "415"  ; Unsupported Media Type
                  | "416"  ; Requested range not satisfiable
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                  | "417"  ; Expectation Failed
                  | "500"  ; Internal Server Error
                  | "501"  ; Not Implemented
                  | "502"  ; Bad Gateway
                  | "503"  ; Service Unavailable
                  | "504"  ; Gateway Time-out
                  | "505"  ; HTTP Version not supported
                  | extension-code
   extension-code = 3DIGIT
   Reason-Phrase  = *<TEXT, excluding CR, LF>

HTTP status codes are extensible. HTTP applications are not required to
understand the meaning of all registered status codes, though such
understanding is obviously desirable. However, applications MUST
understand the class of any status code, as indicated by the first
digit, and treat any unrecognized response as being equivalent to the
x00 status code of that class, with the exception that an unrecognized
response MUST NOT be cached. For example, if an unrecognized status code
of 431 is received by the client, it can safely assume that there was
something wrong with its request and treat the response as if it had
received a 400 status code. In such cases, user agents SHOULD present to
the user the entity returned with the response, since that entity is
likely to include human-readable information which will explain the
unusual status.


6.2 Response Header Fields

The response-header fields allow the server to pass additional
information about the response which cannot be placed in the Status-
Line. These header fields give information about the server and about
further access to the resource identified by the Request-URI.

       response-header = Accept-Ranges           ; Section 14.5
                       | Age                     ; Section 14.6
                       | ETag                    ; Section 14.19
                       | Location                ; Section 14.30
                       | Proxy-Authenticate      ; Section 14.33
                       | Retry-After             ; Section 14.37
                       | Server                  ; Section 14.38
                       | Vary                    ; Section 14.44
                       | WWW-Authenticate        ; Section 14.47
Response-header field names can be extended reliably only in combination
with a change in the protocol version. However, new or experimental
header fields MAY be given the semantics of response-header fields if
all parties in the communication recognize them to be response-header
fields. Unrecognized header fields are treated as entity-header fields.


7 Entity

Request and Response messages MAY transfer an entity if not otherwise
restricted by the request method or response status code. An entity
consists of entity-header fields and an entity-body, although some
responses will only include the entity-headers.

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In this section, both sender and recipient refer to either the client or
the server, depending on who sends and who receives the entity.


7.1 Entity Header Fields

Entity-header fields define metainformation about the entity-body or, if
no body is present, about the resource identified by the request. Some
of this metainformation is OPTIONAL; some might be REQUIRED by portions
of this specification.

       entity-header  = Allow                    ; Section 14.7
                      | Content-Encoding         ; Section 14.11
                      | Content-Language         ; Section 14.12
                      | Content-Length           ; Section 14.13
                      | Content-Location         ; Section 14.14
                      | Content-MD5              ; Section 14.15
                      | Content-Range            ; Section 14.16
                      | Content-Type             ; Section 14.17
                      | Expires                  ; Section 14.21
                      | Last-Modified            ; Section 14.29
                      | extension-header
       extension-header = message-header
The extension-header mechanism allows additional entity-header fields to
be defined without changing the protocol, but these fields cannot be
assumed to be recognizable by the recipient. Unrecognized header fields
SHOULD be ignored by the recipient and MUST be forwarded by transparent
proxies.


7.2 Entity Body

The entity-body (if any) sent with an HTTP request or response is in a
format and encoding defined by the entity-header fields.

       entity-body    = *OCTET
An entity-body is only present in a message when a message-body is
present, as described in section 4.3. The entity-body is obtained from
the message-body by decoding any Transfer-Encoding that might have been
applied to ensure safe and proper transfer of the message.


7.2.1 Type

When an entity-body is included with a message, the data type of that
body is determined via the header fields Content-Type and Content-
Encoding. These define a two-layer, ordered encoding model:

       entity-body := Content-Encoding( Content-Type( data ) )
Content-Type specifies the media type of the underlying data. Content-
Encoding may be used to indicate any additional content codings applied
to the data, usually for the purpose of data compression, that are a
property of the requested resource. There is no default encoding.

Any HTTP/1.1 message containing an entity-body SHOULD include a Content-
Type header field defining the media type of that body. If and only if
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the media type is not given by a Content-Type field, the recipient MAY
attempt to guess the media type via inspection of its content and/or the
name extension(s) of the URI used to identify the resource. If the media
type remains unknown, the recipient SHOULD treat it as type
"application/octet-stream".


7.2.2 Entity Length

The entity-length of a message is the length of the message-body before
any transfer-codings have been applied. Section 4.4 defines how the
transfer-length of a message-body is determined.


8 Connections


8.1 Persistent Connections


8.1.1 Purpose

Prior to persistent connections, a separate TCP connection was
established to fetch each URL, increasing the load on HTTP servers and
causing congestion on the Internet. The use of inline images and other
associated data often requires a client to make multiple requests of the
same server in a short amount of time. Analysis of these performance
problems and results from a prototype implementation are available [26]
[30]. Implementation experience and measurements of actual HTTP/1.1 (RFC
2068) implementations show good results [39]. Alternatives have also
been explored, for example, T/TCP [27].

Persistent HTTP connections have a number of advantages:

  .  By opening and closing fewer TCP connections, CPU time is saved in
     routers and hosts (clients, servers, proxies, gateways, tunnels, or
     caches), and memory used for TCP protocol control blocks can be
     saved in hosts.
  .  HTTP requests and responses can be pipelined on a connection.
     Pipelining allows a client to make multiple requests without
     waiting for each response, allowing a single TCP connection to be
     used much more efficiently, with much lower elapsed time.
  .  Network congestion is reduced by reducing the number of packets
     caused by TCP opens, and by allowing TCP sufficient time to
     determine the congestion state of the network.
  .  Latency on subsequent requests is reduced since there is no time
     spent in TCP's connection opening handshake.
  .  HTTP can evolve more gracefully, since errors can be reported
     without the penalty of closing the TCP connection. Clients using
     future versions of HTTP might optimistically try a new feature, but
     if communicating with an older server, retry with old semantics
     after an error is reported.
HTTP implementations SHOULD implement persistent connections.



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8.1.2 Overall Operation

A significant difference between HTTP/1.1 and earlier versions of HTTP
is that persistent connections are the default behavior of any HTTP
connection. That is, unless otherwise indicated, the client SHOULD
assume that the server will maintain a persistent connection, even after
error responses from the server.

Persistent connections provide a mechanism by which a client and a
server can signal the close of a TCP connection. This signaling takes
place using the Connection header field. Once a close has been signaled,
the client MUST not send any more requests on that connection.


8.1.2.1 Negotiation

An HTTP/1.1 server MAY assume that a HTTP/1.1 client intends to maintain
a persistent connection unless a Connection header including the
connection-token "close" was sent in the request. If the server chooses
to close the connection immediately after sending the response, it
SHOULD send a Connection header including the connection-token close.

An HTTP/1.1 client MAY expect a connection to remain open, but would
decide to keep it open based on whether the response from a server
contains a Connection header with the connection-token close. In case
the client does not want to maintain a connection for more than that
request, it SHOULD send a Connection header including the connection-
token close.

If either the client or the server sends the close token in the
Connection header, that request becomes the last one for the connection.

Clients and servers SHOULD NOT assume that a persistent connection is
maintained for HTTP versions less than 1.1 unless it is explicitly
signaled. See section 19.6.2 for more information on backward
compatibility with HTTP/1.0 clients.

In order to remain persistent, all messages on the connection MUST have
a self-defined message length (i.e., one not defined by closure of the
connection), as described in section 4.4.


8.1.2.2 Pipelining

A client that supports persistent connections MAY "pipeline" its
requests (i.e., send multiple requests without waiting for each
response). A server MUST send its responses to those requests in the
same order that the requests were received.

Clients which assume persistent connections and pipeline immediately
after connection establishment SHOULD be prepared to retry their
connection if the first pipelined attempt fails. If a client does such a
retry, it MUST NOT pipeline before it knows the connection is
persistent. Clients MUST also be prepared to resend their requests if
the server closes the connection before sending all of the corresponding
responses.
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Clients SHOULD NOT pipeline requests using non-idempotent methods or
non-idempotent sequences of methods (see section 9.1.2). Otherwise, a
premature termination of the transport connection could lead to
indeterminate results. A client wishing to send a non-idempotent request
SHOULD wait to send that request until it has received the response
status for the previous request.


8.1.3 Proxy Servers

It is especially important that proxies correctly implement the
properties of the Connection header field as specified in 14.2.1.

The proxy server MUST signal persistent connections separately with its
clients and the origin servers (or other proxy servers) that it connects
to. Each persistent connection applies to only one transport link.

A proxy server MUST NOT establish a HTTP/1.1 persistent connection with
an HTTP/1.0 client (but see RFC 2068 [33] for information and
discusussion of the problems with the Keep-Alive header implemented by
many HTTP/1.0 clients).


8.1.4 Practical Considerations

Servers will usually have some time-out value beyond which they will no
longer maintain an inactive connection. Proxy servers might make this a
higher value since it is likely that the client will be making more
connections through the same server. The use of persistent connections
places no requirements on the length (or existance) of this time-out for
either the client or the server.

When a client or server wishes to time-out it SHOULD issue a graceful
close on the transport connection. Clients and servers SHOULD both
constantly watch for the other side of the transport close, and respond
to it as appropriate. If a client or server does not detect the other
side's close promptly it could cause unnecessary resource drain on the
network.

A client, server, or proxy MAY close the transport connection at any
time. For example, a client might have started to send a new request at
the same time that the server has decided to close the "idle"
connection. From the server's point of view, the connection is being
closed while it was idle, but from the client's point of view, a request
is in progress.

This means that clients, servers, and proxies MUST be able to recover
from asynchronous close events. Client software SHOULD reopen the
transport connection and retransmit the aborted sequence of requests
without user interaction so long as the request sequence is idempotent
(see section 9.1.2). Non-idempotent methods or sequences MUST NOT be
automatically retried, although user agents MAY offer a human operator
the choice of retrying the request(s). The automatic retry SHOULD NOT be
repeated if the second sequence of requests fails.


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Servers SHOULD always respond to at least one request per connection, if
at all possible. Servers SHOULD NOT close a connection in the middle of
transmitting a response, unless a network or client failure is
suspected.

Clients that use persistent connections SHOULD limit the number of
simultaneous connections that they maintain to a given server. A single-
user client SHOULD maintain AT MOST 2 connections with any server or
proxy. A proxy SHOULD use up to 2*N connections to another server or
proxy, where N is the number of simultaneously active users. These
guidelines are intended to improve HTTP response times and avoid
congestion of the Internet or other networks.


8.2 Message Transmission Requirements


8.2.1 Persistent Connections and Flow Control

HTTP/1.1 servers SHOULD maintain persistent connections and use TCP's
flow control mechanisms to resolve temporary overloads, rather than
terminating connections with the expectation that clients will retry.
The latter technique can exacerbate network congestion.

8.2.2 Monitoring Connections for Error Status Messages

An HTTP/1.1 (or later) client sending a message-body SHOULD monitor the
network connection for an error status while it is transmitting the
request. If the client sees an error status, it SHOULD immediately cease
transmitting the body. If the body is being sent using a "chunked"
encoding (section 3.6), a zero length chunk and empty trailer MAY be
used to prematurely mark the end of the message. If the body was
preceded by a Content-Length header, the client MUST close the
connection.


8.2.3 Automatic Retrying of Requests

If a user agent sees the transport connection close before it receives
all of the final response to its request or sequence of requests, and if
the requests or sequence are idempotent (see section 9.1.2), the user
agent MAY retry the request or sequence without user interaction. If the
request method or sequence is not idempotent, the user agent SHOULD NOT
retry the request without user confirmation. (Confirmation by user-agent
software with semantic understanding of the application MAY substitute
for user confirmation.)


8.2.4 Use of the 100 (Continue) Status

The purpose of the 100 (Continue) status (see section 10.1.1) is to
allow an end-client that is sending a request message with a request
body to determine if the origin server is willing to accept the request
(based on the request headers) before the client sends the request body.
In some cases, it might either be inappropriate or highly inefficient

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for the client to send the body if the server will reject the message
without looking at the body.

Requirements for HTTP/1.1 clients:

  .  If a client will wait for a 100 (Continue) response before sending
     the request body, it MUST send an Expect request-header field
     (section 14.20) with the "100-continue" expectation.

  .  A client MUST NOT send an Expect request-header field (section
     14.20) with the "100-continue" expectation if it does not intend to
     send a request body.

  Note: Because of the presence of older implementations, the
  protocol allows ambiguous situations in which a client may send
  "Expect: 100-continue" without receiving either a 417 (Expectation
  Failed) status or a 100 (Continue) status. Therefore, when a client
  sends this header field to an origin server (possibly via a proxy)
  from which it has never seen a 100 (Continue) status, the client
  SHOULD NOT wait for an indefinite period before sending the request
  body.

Requirements for HTTP/1.1 origin servers:

  .  Upon receiving a request which includes an Expect request-header
     field with the "100-continue" expectation, an origin server MUST
     either respond with 100 (Continue) status and continue to read from
     the input stream, or respond with an error status. The origin
     server MUST NOT wait for the request body before sending the 100
     (Continue) response. If it responds with an error status, it MAY
     close the transport connection or it MAY continue to read and
     discard the rest of the request. It MUST NOT perform the requested
     method if it returns an error status.

  .  An origin server SHOULD NOT send a 100 (Continue) response if the
     request message does not include an Expect request-header field
     with the "100-continue" expectation, and MUST NOT send a 100
     (Continue) response if such a request comes from an HTTP/1.0 (or
     earlier) client. There is an exception to this rule: for
     compatibility with RFC 2068, a server MAY send a 100 (Continue)
     status in response to an HTTP/1.1 PUT or POST request that does not
     include an Expect request-header field with the "100-continue"
     expectation. This exception, the purpose of which is to minimize
     any client processing delays associated with an undeclared wait for
     100 (Continue) status, applies only to HTTP/1.1 requests, and not
     to requests with any other HTTP-version value.

  .  An origin server MAY omit a 100 (Continue) response if it has
     already received some or all of the request body for the
     corresponding request.

  .  An origin server that sends a 100 (Continue) response MUST
     ultimately send a final status code, once the request body is
     received and processed, unless it terminates the transport
     connection prematurely.

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  .  If an origin server receives a request that does not include an
     Expect request-header field with the "100-continue" expectation,
     the request includes a request body, and the server responds with
     an error status before reading the entire request body from the
     transport connection, then the server SHOULD NOT close the
     transport connection until it has read the entire request, or until
     the client closes the connection. Otherwise, the client might not
     reliably receive the response message. However, this requirement is
     not be construed as preventing a server from defending itself
     against denial-of-service attacks, or from badly broken client
     implementations.

Requirements for HTTP/1.1 proxies:

  .  If a proxy receives a request that includes an Expect request-
     header field with the "100-continue" expectation, and the proxy
     either knows that the next-hop server complies with HTTP/1.1 or
     higher, or does not know the HTTP version of the next-hop server,
     it MUST forward the request, including the Expect header field.

  .  If the proxy knows that the version of the next-hop server is
     HTTP/1.0 or lower, it MUST NOT forward the request, and it MUST
     respond with a 417 (Expectation Failed) status.

  .  Proxies SHOULD maintain a cache recording the HTTP version numbers
     received from recently-referenced next-hop servers.

  .  A proxy MUST NOT forward a 100 (Continue) response if the request
     message was received from an HTTP/1.0 (or earlier) client and did
     not include an Expect request-header field with the "100-continue"
     expectation. This requirement overrides the general rule for
     forwarding of 1xx responses (see section 10.1).


8.2.5 Client Behavior if Server Prematurely Closes Connection

If an HTTP/1.1 client sends a request which includes a request body, but
which does not include an Expect request-header field with the "100-
continue" expectation, and if the client is not directly connected to an
HTTP/1.1 origin server, and if the client sees the connection close
before receiving any status from the server, the client SHOULD retry the
request, subject to the restrictions in section 8.2.3. If the client
does retry this request, it MAY use the following "binary exponential
backoff" algorithm to be assured of obtaining a reliable response:

  1. Initiate a new connection to the server

  2. Transmit the request-headers

  3. Initialize a variable R to the estimated round-trip time to the
     server (e.g., based on the time it took to establish the
     connection), or to a constant value of 5 seconds if the round-trip
     time is not available.

  4. Compute T = R * (2**N), where N is the number of previous retries
     of this request.
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  5. Wait either for an error response from the server, or for T seconds
     (whichever comes first)

  6. If no error response is received, after T seconds transmit the body
     of the request.

  7. If client sees that the connection is closed prematurely, repeat
     from step 1 until the request is accepted, an error response is
     received, or the user becomes impatient and terminates the retry
     process.

If at any point an error status is received, the client

  .  SHOULD NOT continue and

  .  SHOULD close the connection if it has not completed sending the
     request message.


9 Method Definitions

The set of common methods for HTTP/1.1 is defined below. Although this
set can be expanded, additional methods cannot be assumed to share the
same semantics for separately extended clients and servers.

The Host request-header field (section 14.23) MUST accompany all
HTTP/1.1 requests.


9.1 Safe and Idempotent Methods


9.1.1 Safe Methods

Implementors should be aware that the software represents the user in
their interactions over the Internet, and should be careful to allow the
user to be aware of any actions they might take which may have an
unexpected significance to themselves or others.

In particular, the convention has been established that the GET and HEAD
methods SHOULD NOT have the significance of taking an action other than
retrieval. These methods ought to be considered "safe." This allows user
agents to represent other methods, such as POST, PUT and DELETE, in a
special way, so that the user is made aware of the fact that a possibly
unsafe action is being requested.

Naturally, it is not possible to ensure that the server does not
generate side-effects as a result of performing a GET request; in fact,
some dynamic resources consider that a feature. The important
distinction here is that the user did not request the side-effects, so
therefore cannot be held accountable for them.





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9.1.2 Idempotent Methods

Methods can also have the property of "idempotence" in that (aside from
error or expiration issues) the side-effects of N > 0 identical requests
is the same as for a single request. The methods GET, HEAD, PUT and
DELETE share this property. Also, the methods OPTIONS and TRACE SHOULD
NOT have side effects, and so are inherently idempotent.

However, it is possible that a sequence of several requests is non-
idempotent, even if all of the methods executed in that sequence are
idempotent. (A sequence is idempotent if a single execution of the
entire sequence always yields a result that is not changed by a
reexecution of all, or part, of that sequence.) For example, a sequence
is non-idempotent if its result depends on a value that is later
modified in the same sequence.

A sequence that never has side effects is idempotent, by definition
(provided that no concurrent operations are being executed on the same
set of resources).


9.2 OPTIONS

The OPTIONS method represents a request for information about the
communication options available on the request/response chain identified
by the Request-URI. This method allows the client to determine the
options and/or requirements associated with a resource, or the
capabilities of a server, without implying a resource action or
initiating a resource retrieval.

Responses to this method are not cachable.

If the OPTIONS request includes an entity-body (as indicated by the
presence of Content-Length or Transfer-Encoding), then the media type
MUST be indicated by a Content-Type field. Although this specification
does not define any use for such a body, future extensions to HTTP might
use the OPTIONS body to make more detailed queries on the server. A
server that does not support such an extension MAY discard the request
body.

If the Request-URI is an asterisk ("*"), the OPTIONS request is intended
to apply to the server in general rather than to a specific resource.
Since a server's communication options typically depend on the resource,
the "*" request is only useful as a "ping" or "no-op" type of method; it
does nothing beyond allowing the client to test the capabilities of the
server. For example, this can be used to test a proxy for HTTP/1.1
compliance (or lack thereof).

If the Request-URI is not an asterisk, the OPTIONS request applies only
to the options that are available when communicating with that resource.

A 200 response SHOULD include any header fields that indicate optional
features implemented by the server and applicable to that resource
(e.g., Allow), possibly including extensions not defined by this
specification. The response body, if any, SHOULD also include
information about the communication options. The format for such a body
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is not defined by this specification, but might be defined by future
extensions to HTTP. Content negotiation MAY be used to select the
appropriate response format. If no response body is included, the
response MUST include a Content-Length field with a field-value of "0".

The Max-Forwards request-header field MAY be used to target a specific
proxy in the request chain. When a proxy receives an OPTIONS request on
an absoluteURI for which request forwarding is permitted, the proxy MUST
check for a Max-Forwards field. If the Max-Forwards field-value is zero
("0"), the proxy MUST NOT forward the message; instead, the proxy SHOULD
respond with its own communication options. If the Max-Forwards field-
value is an integer greater than zero, the proxy MUST decrement the
field-value when it forwards the request. If no Max-Forwards field is
present in the request, then the forwarded request MUST NOT include a
Max-Forwards field.


9.3 GET

The GET method means retrieve whatever information (in the form of an
entity) is identified by the Request-URI. If the Request-URI refers to a
data-producing process, it is the produced data which shall be returned
as the entity in the response and not the source text of the process,
unless that text happens to be the output of the process.

The semantics of the GET method change to a "conditional GET" if the
request message includes an If-Modified-Since, If-Unmodified-Since, If-
Match, If-None-Match, or If-Range header field. A conditional GET method
requests that the entity be transferred only under the circumstances
described by the conditional header field(s). The conditional GET method
is intended to reduce unnecessary network usage by allowing cached
entities to be refreshed without requiring multiple requests or
transferring data already held by the client.

The semantics of the GET method change to a "partial GET" if the request
message includes a Range header field. A partial GET requests that only
part of the entity be transferred, as described in section 14.35. The
partial GET method is intended to reduce unnecessary network usage by
allowing partially-retrieved entities to be completed without
transferring data already held by the client.

The response to a GET request is cachable if and only if it meets the
requirements for HTTP caching described in section 13.

See section 15.1.3 for security considerations when used for forms.


9.4 HEAD

The HEAD method is identical to GET except that the server MUST NOT
return a message-body in the response. The metainformation contained in
the HTTP headers in response to a HEAD request SHOULD be identical to
the information sent in response to a GET request. This method can be
used for obtaining metainformation about the entity implied by the
request without transferring the entity-body itself. This method is

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often used for testing hypertext links for validity, accessibility, and
recent modification.

The response to a HEAD request MAY be cachable in the sense that the
information contained in the response MAY be used to update a previously
cached entity from that resource. If the new field values indicate that
the cached entity differs from the current entity (as would be indicated
by a change in Content-Length, Content-MD5, ETag or Last-Modified), then
the cache MUST treat the cache entry as stale.


9.5 POST

The POST method is used to request that the origin server accept the
entity enclosed in the request as a new subordinate of the resource
identified by the Request-URI in the Request-Line. POST is designed to
allow a uniform method to cover the following functions:


  .  Annotation of existing resources;

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

  .  Providing a block of data, such as the result of submitting a form,
     to a data-handling process;

  .  Extending a database through an append operation.
The actual function performed by the POST method is determined by the
server and is usually dependent on the Request-URI. The posted entity is
subordinate to that URI in the same way that a file is subordinate to a
directory containing it, a news article is subordinate to a newsgroup to
which it is posted, or a record is subordinate to a database.

The action performed by the POST method might not result in a resource
that can be identified by a URI. In this case, either 200 (OK) or 204
(No Content) is the appropriate response status, depending on whether or
not the response includes an entity that describes the result.

If a resource has been created on the origin server, the response SHOULD
be 201 (Created) and contain an entity which describes the status of the
request and refers to the new resource, and a Location header (see
section 14.30).

Responses to this method are not cachable, unless the response includes
appropriate Cache-Control or Expires header fields. However, the 303
(See Other) response can be used to direct the user agent to retrieve a
cachable resource.

POST requests MUST obey the message transmission requirements set out in
section 8.2.

See section 15.1.3 for security considerations.



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9.6 PUT

The PUT method requests that the enclosed entity be stored under the
supplied Request-URI. If the Request-URI refers to an already existing
resource, the enclosed entity SHOULD be considered as a modified version
of the one residing on the origin server. If the Request-URI does not
point to an existing resource, and that URI is capable of being defined
as a new resource by the requesting user agent, the origin server can
create the resource with that URI. If a new resource is created, the
origin server MUST inform the user agent via the 201 (Created) response.
If an existing resource is modified, either the 200 (OK) or 204 (No
Content) response codes SHOULD be sent to indicate successful completion
of the request. If the resource could not be created or modified with
the Request-URI, an appropriate error response SHOULD be given that
reflects the nature of the problem. The recipient of the entity MUST NOT
ignore any Content-* (e.g. Content-Range) headers that it does not
understand or implement and MUST return a 501 (Not Implemented) response
in such cases.

If the request passes through a cache and the Request-URI identifies one
or more currently cached entities, those entries SHOULD be treated as
stale. Responses to this method are not cachable.

The fundamental difference between the POST and PUT requests is
reflected in the different meaning of the Request-URI. The URI in a POST
request identifies the resource that will handle the enclosed entity.
That resource might be a data-accepting process, a gateway to some other
protocol, or a separate entity that accepts annotations. In contrast,
the URI in a PUT request identifies the entity enclosed with the request
-- the user agent knows what URI is intended and the server MUST NOT
attempt to apply the request to some other resource. If the server
desires that the request be applied to a different URI, it MUST send a
301 (Moved Permanently) response; the user agent MAY then make its own
decision regarding whether or not to redirect the request.

A single resource MAY be identified by many different URIs. For example,
an article might have a URI for identifying "the current version" which
is separate from the URI identifying each particular version. In this
case, a PUT request on a general URI might result in several other URIs
being defined by the origin server.

HTTP/1.1 does not define how a PUT method affects the state of an origin
server.

PUT requests MUST obey the message transmission requirements set out in
section 8.2.

Unless otherwise specified for a particular entity-header, the entity-
headers in the PUT request SHOULD be applied to the resource created or
modified by the PUT.


9.7 DELETE

The DELETE method requests that the origin server delete the resource
identified by the Request-URI. This method MAY be overridden by human
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intervention (or other means) on the origin server. The client cannot be
guaranteed that the operation has been carried out, even if the status
code returned from the origin server indicates that the action has been
completed successfully. However, the server SHOULD NOT indicate success
unless, at the time the response is given, it intends to delete the
resource or move it to an inaccessible location.

A successful response SHOULD be 200 (OK) if the response includes an
entity describing the status, 202 (Accepted) if the action has not yet
been enacted, or 204 (No Content) if the action has been enacted but the
response does not include an entity.

If the request passes through a cache and the Request-URI identifies one
or more currently cached entities, those entries SHOULD be treated as
stale. Responses to this method are not cachable.


9.8 TRACE

The TRACE method is used to invoke a remote, application-layer loop-back
of the request message. The final recipient of the request SHOULD
reflect the message received back to the client as the entity-body of a
200 (OK) response. The final recipient is either the origin server or
the first proxy or gateway to receive a Max-Forwards value of zero (0)
in the request (see section 14.31). A TRACE request MUST NOT include an
entity.

TRACE allows the client to see what is being received at the other end
of the request chain and use that data for testing or diagnostic
information. The value of the Via header field (section 14.45) is of
particular interest, since it acts as a trace of the request chain. Use
of the Max-Forwards header field allows the client to limit the length
of the request chain, which is useful for testing a chain of proxies
forwarding messages in an infinite loop.

If the request is valid, the response SHOULD contain the entire request
message in the entity-body, with a Content-Type of "message/http".
Responses to this method MUST NOT be cached.


9.9 CONNECT

This specification reserves the method name CONNECT for use by SSL
tunneling. [44]


10 Status Code Definitions

Each Status-Code is described below, including a description of which
method(s) it can follow and any metainformation required in the
response.





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10.1 Informational 1xx

This class of status code indicates a provisional response, consisting
only of the Status-Line and optional headers, and is terminated by an
empty line. There are no required headers for this class of status
codes. Since HTTP/1.0 did not define any 1xx status codes, servers MUST
NOT send a 1xx response to an HTTP/1.0 client except under experimental
conditions.

A client MUST be prepared to accept one or more 1xx status responses
prior to a regular response, even if the client does not expect a 100
(Continue) status message. Unexpected 1xx status responses MAY be
ignored by a user agent.

Proxies MUST forward 1xx responses, unless the connection between the
proxy and its client has been closed, or unless the proxy itself
requested the generation of the 1xx response. (For example, if a proxy
adds a "Expect: 100-continue" field when it forwards a request, then it
need not forward the corresponding 100 (Continue) response(s).)


10.1.1 100 Continue

The client SHOULD continue with its request. This interim response is
used to inform the client that the initial part of the request has been
received and has not yet been rejected by the server. The client SHOULD
continue by sending the remainder of the request or, if the request has
already been completed, ignore this response. The server MUST send a
final response after the request has been completed. See section 8.2.4
for detailed discussion of the use and handling of this status code.


10.1.2 101 Switching Protocols

The server understands and is willing to comply with the client's
request, via the Upgrade message header field (section 14.42), for a
change in the application protocol being used on this connection. The
server will switch protocols to those defined by the response's Upgrade
header field immediately after the empty line which terminates the 101
response.

The protocol SHOULD be switched only when it is advantageous to do so.
For example, switching to a newer version of HTTP is advantageous over
older versions, and switching to a real-time, synchronous protocol might
be advantageous when delivering resources that use such features.


10.2 Successful 2xx

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





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10.2.1 200 OK

The request has succeeded. The information returned with the response is
dependent on the method used in the request, for example:

GET  an entity corresponding to the requested resource is sent in the
     response;

HEAD the entity-header fields corresponding to the requested resource
     are sent in the response without any message-body;

POST an entity describing or containing the result of the action;

TRACE   an entity containing the request message as received by the end
     server.


10.2.2 201 Created

The request has been fulfilled and resulted in a new resource being
created. The newly created resource can be referenced by the URI(s)
returned in the entity of the response, with the most specific URI for
the resource given by a Location header field. The origin server MUST
create the resource before returning the 201 status code. If the action
cannot be carried out immediately, the server SHOULD respond with 202
(Accepted) response instead.

A 201 response MAY contain an ETag response header field indicating the
current value of the entity tag for the requested variant just created,
see section 14.19.


10.2.3 202 Accepted

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

The 202 response is intentionally non-committal. Its purpose is to allow
a server to accept a request for some other process (perhaps a batch-
oriented process that is only run once per day) without requiring that
the user agent's connection to the server persist until the process is
completed. The entity returned with this response SHOULD include an
indication of the request's current status and either a pointer to a
status monitor or some estimate of when the user can expect the request
to be fulfilled.


10.2.4 203 Non-Authoritative Information

The returned metainformation in the entity-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 MAY be a subset or superset of the
original version. For example, including local annotation information
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about the resource might result in a superset of the metainformation
known by the origin server. Use of this response code is not required
and is only appropriate when the response would otherwise be 200 (OK).


10.2.5 204 No Content

The server has fulfilled the request but does not need to return an
entity-body, and might want to return updated metainformation. The
response MAY include new or updated metainformation in the form of
entity-headers, which if present SHOULD be associated with the requested
variant.

If the client is a user agent, it SHOULD NOT change its document view
from that which caused the request to be sent. This response is
primarily intended to allow input for actions to take place without
causing a change to the user agent's active document view, although any
new or updated metainformation SHOULD be applied to the document
currently in the user agent's active view.

The 204 response MUST NOT include a message-body, and thus is always
terminated by the first empty line after the header fields.


10.2.6 205 Reset Content

The server has fulfilled the request and the user agent SHOULD reset the
document view which caused the request to be sent. This response is
primarily intended to allow input for actions to take place via user
input, followed by a clearing of the form in which the input is given so
that the user can easily initiate another input action. The response
MUST NOT include an entity.


10.2.7 206 Partial Content

The server has fulfilled the partial GET request for the resource.  The
request MUST have included a Range header field (section 14.35)
indicating the desired range, and MAY have included an If-Range header
field (section 14.27) to make the request conditional.

The response MUST include the following header fields:

  .  Either a Content-Range header field (section 14.16) indicating the
     range included with this response, or a multipart/byteranges
     Content-Type including Content-Range fields for each part. If a
     Content-Length header field is present in the response MUST match
     the actual number of OCTETs transmitted in the message-body.

  .  Date

  .  ETag and/or Content-Location, if the header would have been sent in
     a 200 response to the same request

  .  Expires, Cache-Control, and/or Vary, if the field-value might
     differ from that sent in any previous response for the same variant
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If the 206 response is the result of an If-Range request that used a
strong cache validator (see section 13.3.3), the response SHOULD NOT
include other entity-headers. If the response is the result of an If-
Range request that used a weak validator, the response MUST NOT include
other entity-headers; this prevents inconsistencies between cached
entity-bodies and updated headers. Otherwise, the response MUST include
all of the entity-headers that would have been returned with a 200 (OK)
response to the same request.

A cache MUST NOT combine a 206 response with other previously cached
content if the ETag or Last-Modified headers do not match exactly, see
13.5.4.

 A cache that does not support the Range and Content-Range headers MUST
NOT cache 206 (Partial) responses.


10.3 Redirection 3xx

This class of status code indicates that further action needs to be
taken by the user agent in order to fulfill the request.  The action
required MAY be carried out by the user agent without interaction with
the user if and only if the method used in the second request is GET or
HEAD. A client SHOULD detect infinite redirection loops, since such
loops generate network traffic for each redirection.

  Note: previous versions of this specification recommended a maximum
  of five redirections. Content developers should be aware that there
  might be clients that implement such a fixed limitation.


10.3.1 300 Multiple Choices

The requested resource corresponds to any one of a set of
representations, each with its own specific location, and agent-driven
negotiation information (section 12) is being provided so that the user
(or user agent) can select a preferred representation and redirect its
request to that location.

Unless it was a HEAD request, the response SHOULD include an entity
containing a list of resource characteristics and location(s) from which
the user or user agent can choose the one most appropriate. The entity
format is specified by the media type given in the Content-Type header
field. Depending upon the format and the capabilities of the user agent,
selection of the most appropriate choice MAY be performed automatically.
However, this specification does not define any standard for such
automatic selection.

If the server has a preferred choice of representation, it SHOULD
include the specific URI for that representation in the Location field;
user agents MAY use the Location field value for automatic redirection.
This response is cachable unless indicated otherwise.




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10.3.2 301 Moved Permanently

The requested resource has been assigned a new permanent URI and any
future references to this resource SHOULD be done using one of the
returned URIs.  Clients with link editing capabilities SHOULD
automatically re-link references to the Request-URI to one or more of
the new references returned by the server, where possible. This response
is cachable unless indicated otherwise.

The new permanent URI SHOULD be given by the Location field in the
response. Unless the request method was HEAD, the entity of the response
SHOULD contain a short hypertext note with a hyperlink to the new
URI(s).

If the 301 status code is received in response to a request other than
GET or HEAD, the user agent MUST NOT automatically redirect the request
unless it can be confirmed by the user, since this might change the
conditions under which the request was issued.

  Note: When automatically redirecting a POST request after receiving
  a 301 status code, some existing HTTP/1.0 user agents will
  erroneously change it into a GET request.


10.3.3 302 Found

The requested resource resides temporarily under a different URI. Since
the redirection might be altered on occasion, the client SHOULD continue
to use the Request-URI for future requests.  This response is only
cachable if indicated by a Cache-Control or Expires header field.

The termporary URI SHOULD be given by the Location field in the
response. Unless the request method was HEAD, the entity of the response
SHOULD contain a short hypertext note with a hyperlink to the new
URI(s).

If the 302 status code is received in response to a request other than
GET or HEAD, the user agent MUST NOT automatically redirect the request
unless it can be confirmed by the user, since this might change the
conditions under which the request was issued.

  Note: RFC 1945 and RFC 2068 specify that the client is not allowed
  to change the method on the redirected request. However, most
  existing user agent implementations treat 302 as if it were a 303
  response, performing a GET on the Location field-value regardless
  of the original request method. The status codes 303 and 307 have
  been added for servers that wish to make unambiguously clear which
  kind of reaction is expected of the client.


10.3.4 303 See Other

The response to the request can be found under a different URI and
SHOULD be retrieved using a GET method on that resource. This method
exists primarily to allow the output of a POST-activated script to
redirect the user agent to a selected resource. The new URI is not a
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substitute reference for the originally requested resource. The 303
response MUST NOT be cached, but the response to the second (redirected)
request might be cachable.

The different URI SHOULD be given by the Location field in the response.
Unless the request method was HEAD, the entity of the response SHOULD
contain a short hypertext note with a hyperlink to the new URI(s).

  Note: Many pre-HTTP/1.1 user agents do not understand the 303
  status. When interoperability with such clients is a concern, the
  302 status code may be used instead, since most user agents react
  to a 302 response as described here for 303.


10.3.5 304 Not Modified

If the client has performed a conditional GET request and access is
allowed, but the document has not been modified, the server SHOULD
respond with this status code. The response MUST NOT contain a message-
body.

The response MUST include the following header fields:

  .  Date, unless its omission is required by section 14.18.1
  If a clockless origin server obeys these rules, and proxies and
  clients add their own Date to any response received without one (as
  already specified by [RFC 2068], section 14.19), caches will operate
  correctly.

  .  ETag and/or Content-Location, if the header would have been sent in
     a 200 response to the same request
  .  Expires, Cache-Control, and/or Vary, if the field-value might
     differ from that sent in any previous response for the same variant
If the conditional GET used a strong cache validator (see section
13.3.3), the response SHOULD NOT include other entity-headers. Otherwise
(i.e., the conditional GET used a weak validator), the response MUST NOT
include other entity-headers; this prevents inconsistencies between
cached entity-bodies and updated headers.

If a 304 response indicates an entity not currently cached, then the
cache MUST disregard the response and repeat the request without the
conditional.

If a cache uses a received 304 response to update a cache entry, the
cache MUST update the entry to reflect any new field values given in the
response.

The 304 response MUST NOT include a message-body, and thus is always
terminated by the first empty line after the header fields.


10.3.6 305 Use Proxy

 The requested resource MUST be accessed through the proxy given by the
Location field. The Location field gives the URI of the proxy. The

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recipient is expected to repeat this single request via the proxy. 305
responses MUST only be generated by origin servers.

  Note: RFC 2068 was not clear that 305 was intended to redirect a
  single request, and to be generated by origin servers only. Not
  observing these limitations has significant security consequences.


10.3.7 306 (Unused)

The 306 status code was used in a previous version of the specification,
and is no longer used, and the code is reserved.


10.3.8 307 Temporary Redirect

The requested resource resides temporarily under a different URI. Since
the redirection MAY be altered on occasion, the client SHOULD continue
to use the Request-URI for future requests.  This response is only
cachable if indicated by a Cache-Control or Expires header field.

The temporary URI SHOULD be given by the Location field in the response.
Unless the request method was HEAD, the entity of the response SHOULD
contain a short hypertext note with a hyperlink to the new URI(s).

If the 307 status code is received in response to a request other than
GET or HEAD, the user agent MUST NOT automatically redirect the request
unless it can be confirmed by the user, since this might change the
conditions under which the request was issued.

  Note: Many pre-HTTP/1.1 user agents do not understand the 307
  status. An appropriate response entity SHOULD contain the
  information necessary for a user to repeat the original request on
  the new URI.


10.4 Client Error 4xx

The 4xx class of status code is intended for cases in which the client
seems to have erred. Except when responding to a HEAD request, the
server SHOULD include an entity containing an explanation of the error
situation, and whether it is a temporary or permanent condition. These
status codes are applicable to any request method. User agents SHOULD
display any included entity to the user.

  Note: If the client is sending data, a server implementation using
  TCP SHOULD be careful to ensure that the client acknowledges
  receipt of the packet(s) containing the response, before the server
  closes the input connection. If the client continues sending data
  to the server after the close, the server's TCP stack will send a
  reset packet to the client, which may erase the client's
  unacknowledged input buffers before they can be read and
  interpreted by the HTTP application.



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10.4.1 400 Bad Request

The request could not be understood by the server due to malformed
syntax. The client SHOULD NOT repeat the request without modifications.


10.4.2 401 Unauthorized

The request requires user authentication. The response MUST include a
WWW-Authenticate header field (section 14.47) containing a challenge
applicable to the requested resource. The client MAY repeat the request
with a suitable Authorization header field (section 14.8). If the
request already included Authorization credentials, then the 401
response indicates that authorization has been refused for those
credentials. If the 401 response contains the same challenge as the
prior response, and the user agent has already attempted authentication
at least once, then the user SHOULD be presented the entity that was
given in the response, since that entity might include relevant
diagnostic information. HTTP access authentication is explained in "HTTP
Authentication: Basic and Digest Access Authentication" ..


10.4.3 402 Payment Required

This code is reserved for future use.


10.4.4 403 Forbidden

The server understood the request, but is refusing to fulfill it.
Authorization will not help and the request SHOULD NOT be repeated. If
the request method was not HEAD and the server wishes to make public why
the request has not been fulfilled, it SHOULD describe the reason for
the refusal in the entity.  If the server does not wish to make this
information available to the client, the status code 404  (Not Found)
can be used instead.


10.4.5 404 Not Found

The server has not found anything matching the Request-URI. No
indication is given of whether the condition is temporary or permanent.
The 410 (Gone) status code SHOULD be used if the server knows, through
some internally configurable mechanism, that an old resource is
permanently unavailable and has no forwarding address. This status code
is commonly used when the server does not wish to reveal exactly why the
request has been refused, or when no other response is applicable.


10.4.6 405 Method Not Allowed

The method specified in the Request-Line is not allowed for the resource
identified by the Request-URI. The response MUST include an Allow header
containing a list of valid methods for the requested resource.


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10.4.7 406 Not Acceptable

The resource identified by the request is only capable of generating
response entities which have content characteristics not acceptable
according to the accept headers sent in the request.

Unless it was a HEAD request, the response SHOULD include an entity
containing a list of available entity characteristics and location(s)
from which the user or user agent can choose the one most appropriate.
The entity format is specified by the media type given in the Content-
Type header field. Depending upon the format and the capabilities of the
user agent, selection of the most appropriate choice MAY be performed
automatically. However, this specification does not define any standard
for such automatic selection.

  Note: HTTP/1.1 servers are allowed to return responses which are
  not acceptable according to the accept headers sent in the request.
  In some cases, this may even be preferable to sending a 406
  response. User agents are encouraged to inspect the headers of an
  incoming response to determine if it is acceptable. If the response
  could be unacceptable, a user agent SHOULD temporarily stop receipt
  of more data and query the user for a decision on further actions.


10.4.8 407 Proxy Authentication Required

This code is similar to 401 (Unauthorized), but indicates that the
client MUST first authenticate itself with the proxy. The proxy MUST
return a Proxy-Authenticate header field (section 14.33) containing a
challenge applicable to the proxy for the requested resource. The client
MAY repeat the request with a suitable Proxy-Authorization header field
(section 14.34). HTTP access authentication is explained in "HTTP
Authentication: Basic and Digest Access Authentication" ..


10.4.9 408 Request Timeout

The client did not produce a request within the time that the server was
prepared to wait. The client MAY repeat the request without
modifications at any later time.


10.4.10 409 Conflict

The request could not be completed due to a conflict with the current
state of the resource. This code is only allowed in situations where it
is expected that the user might be able to resolve the conflict and
resubmit the request. The response body SHOULD include enough
information for the user to recognize the source of the conflict.
Ideally, the response entity would include enough information for the
user or user agent to fix the problem; however, that might not be
possible and is not required.

Conflicts are most likely to occur in response to a PUT request. For
example, if versioning were being used and the entity being PUT included
changes to a resource which conflict with those made by an earlier
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(third-party) request, the server might use the 409 response to indicate
that it can't complete the request. In this case, the response entity
would likely contain a list of the differences between the two versions
in a format defined by the response Content-Type.


10.4.11 410 Gone

The requested resource is no longer available at the server and no
forwarding address is known. This condition is expected to be considered
permanent. Clients with link editing capabilities SHOULD delete
references to the Request-URI after user approval. If the server does
not know, or has no facility to determine, whether or not the condition
is permanent, the status code 404 (Not Found) SHOULD be used instead.
This response is cachable unless indicated otherwise.

The 410 response is primarily intended to assist the task of web
maintenance by notifying the recipient that the resource is
intentionally unavailable and that the server owners desire that remote
links to that resource be removed. Such an event is common for limited-
time, promotional services and for resources belonging to individuals no
longer working at the server's site. It is not necessary to mark all
permanently unavailable resources as "gone" or to keep the mark for any
length of time -- that is left to the discretion of the server owner.


10.4.12 411 Length Required

The server refuses to accept the request without a defined Content-
Length. The client MAY repeat the request if it adds a valid Content-
Length header field containing the length of the message-body in the
request message.


10.4.13 412 Precondition Failed

The precondition given in one or more of the request-header fields
evaluated to false when it was tested on the server. This response code
allows the client to place preconditions on the current resource
metainformation (header field data) and thus prevent the requested
method from being applied to a resource other than the one intended.


10.4.14 413 Request Entity Too Large

The server is refusing to process a request because the request entity
is larger than the server is willing or able to process. The server MAY
close the connection to prevent the client from continuing the request.

If the condition is temporary, the server SHOULD include a Retry-After
header field to indicate that it is temporary and after what time the
client MAY try again.




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10.4.15 414 Request-URI Too Long

The server is refusing to service the request because the Request-URI is
longer than the server is willing to interpret . This rare condition is
only likely to occur when a client has improperly converted a POST
request to a GET request with long query information, when the client
has descended into a URI "black hole" of redirection (e.g., a redirected
URI prefix that points to a suffix of itself), or when the server is
under attack by a client attempting to exploit security holes present in
some servers using fixed-length buffers for reading or manipulating the
Request-URI.


10.4.16 415 Unsupported Media Type

The server is refusing to service the request because the entity of the
request is in a format not supported by the requested resource for the
requested method.


10.4.17 416 Requested Range Not Satisfiable

A server SHOULD return a response with this status code if a request
included a Range request-header field (section 14.35) , and none of the
range-specifier values in this field overlap the current extent of the
selected resource, and the request did not include an If-Range request-
header field. (For byte-ranges, this means that the first-byte-pos of
all of the byte-range-spec values were greater than the current length
of the selected resource.)

When this status code is returned for a byte-range request, the response
SHOULD include a Content-Range entity-header field specifying the
current length of the selected resource (see section 14.16). This
response MUST NOT use the multipart/byteranges content-type.


10.4.18 417 Expectation Failed

The expectation given in an Expect request-header field (see section
14.20) could not be met by this server, or, if the server is a proxy,
the server has unambiguous evidence that the request could not be met by
the next-hop server.


10.5 Server Error 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. Except when responding to a HEAD request, the
server SHOULD include an entity containing an explanation of the error
situation, and whether it is a temporary or permanent condition. User
agents SHOULD display any included entity to the user. These response
codes are applicable to any request method.



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10.5.1 500 Internal Server Error

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


10.5.2 501 Not Implemented

The server does not support the functionality required to fulfill the
request. This is the appropriate response when the server does not
recognize the request method and is not capable of supporting it for any
resource.


10.5.3 502 Bad Gateway

The server, while acting as a gateway or proxy, received an invalid
response from the upstream server it accessed in attempting to fulfill
the request.


10.5.4 503 Service Unavailable

The server is currently unable to handle the request due to a temporary
overloading or maintenance of the server. The implication is that this
is a temporary condition which will be alleviated after some delay. If
known, the length of the delay MAY be indicated in a Retry-After header.
If no Retry-After is given, the client SHOULD handle the response as it
would for a 500 response.

  Note: The existence of the 503 status code does not imply that a
  server must use it when becoming overloaded. Some servers may wish
  to simply refuse the connection.


10.5.5 504 Gateway Timeout

The server, while acting as a gateway or proxy, did not receive a timely
response from the upstream server specified by the URI (e.g. HTTP, FTP,
LDAP) or some other auxiliary server (e.g. DNS) it needed to access in
attempting to complete the request.

  Note: Note to implementors: some deployed proxies are known to
  return 400 or 500 when DNS lookups time out.


10.5.6 505 HTTP Version Not Supported

The server does not support, or refuses to support, the HTTP protocol
version that was used in the request message. The server is indicating
that it is unable or unwilling to complete the request using the same
major version as the client, as described in section 3.1, other than
with this error message. The response SHOULD contain an entity
describing why that version is not supported and what other protocols
are supported by that server.

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11 Access Authentication

HTTP provides several OPTIONAL challenge-response authentication
mechanisms which MAY be used by a server to challenge a client request
and by a client to provide authentication information. The general
framework for access authentication, and the specification of "basic"
and "digest" authentication, are specified in "HTTP Authentication:
Basic and Digest Access Authentication" . This specification adopts the
definitions of "challenge" and "credentials" from that specification.


12 Content Negotiation

Most HTTP responses include an entity which contains information for
interpretation by a human user. Naturally, it is desirable to supply the
user with the "best available" entity corresponding to the request.
Unfortunately for servers and caches, not all users have the same
preferences for what is "best," and not all user agents are equally
capable of rendering all entity types. For that reason, HTTP has
provisions for several mechanisms for "content negotiation" -- the
process of selecting the best representation for a given response when
there are multiple representations available.

  Note: This is not called "format negotiation" because the alternate
  representations may be of the same media type, but use different
  capabilities of that type, be in different languages, etc.

Any response containing an entity-body MAY be subject to negotiation,
including error responses.

There are two kinds of content negotiation which are possible in HTTP:
server-driven and agent-driven negotiation. These two kinds of
negotiation are orthogonal and thus may be used separately or in
combination. One method of combination, referred to as transparent
negotiation, occurs when a cache uses the agent-driven negotiation
information provided by the origin server in order to provide server-
driven negotiation for subsequent requests.


12.1 Server-driven Negotiation

If the selection of the best representation for a response is made by an
algorithm located at the server, it is called server-driven negotiation.
Selection is based on the available representations of the response (the
dimensions over which it can vary; e.g. language, content-coding, etc.)
and the contents of particular header fields in the request message or
on other information pertaining to the request (such as the network
address of the client).

Server-driven negotiation is advantageous when the algorithm for
selecting from among the available representations is difficult to
describe to the user agent, or when the server desires to send its "best
guess" to the client along with the first response (hoping to avoid the
round-trip delay of a subsequent request if the "best guess" is good
enough for the user). In order to improve the server's guess, the user
agent MAY include request header fields (Accept, Accept-Language,
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Accept-Encoding, etc.) which describe its preferences for such a
response.

Server-driven negotiation has disadvantages:

  1. It is impossible for the server to accurately determine what might
     be "best" for any given user, since that would require complete
     knowledge of both the capabilities of the user agent and the
     intended use for the response (e.g., does the user want to view it
     on screen or print it on paper?).

  2. Having the user agent describe its capabilities in every request
     can be both very inefficient (given that only a small percentage of
     responses have multiple representations) and a potential violation
     of the user's privacy.

  3. It complicates the implementation of an origin server and the
     algorithms for generating responses to a request.

  4. It may limit a public cache's ability to use the same response for
     multiple user's requests.

HTTP/1.1 includes the following request-header fields for enabling
server-driven negotiation through description of user agent capabilities
and user preferences: Accept (section 14.1), Accept-Charset (section
14.2), Accept-Encoding (section 14.3), Accept-Language (section 14.4),
and User-Agent (section 14.43). However, an origin server is not limited
to these dimensions and MAY vary the response based on any aspect of the
request, including information outside the request-header fields or
within extension header fields not defined by this specification.

The Vary  header field can be used to express the parameters the server
uses to select a representation that is subject to server-driven
negotiation. See section 13.6 for use of the Vary header field by caches
and section 14.44 for use of the Vary header field by servers.


12.2 Agent-driven Negotiation

With agent-driven negotiation, selection of the best representation for
a response is performed by the user agent after receiving an initial
response from the origin server. Selection is based on a list of the
available representations of the response included within the header
fields (this specification reserves the field-name Alternates) or
entity-body of the initial response, with each representation identified
by its own URI. Selection from among the representations may be
performed automatically (if the user agent is capable of doing so) or
manually by the user selecting from a generated (possibly hypertext)
menu.

Agent-driven negotiation is advantageous when the response would vary
over commonly-used dimensions (such as type, language, or encoding),
when the origin server is unable to determine a user agent's
capabilities from examining the request, and generally when public
caches are used to distribute server load and reduce network usage.

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Agent-driven negotiation suffers from the disadvantage of needing a
second request to obtain the best alternate representation. This second
request is only efficient when caching is used. In addition, this
specification does not define any mechanism for supporting automatic
selection, though it also does not prevent any such mechanism from being
developed as an extension and used within HTTP/1.1.

HTTP/1.1 defines the 300 (Multiple Choices) and 406 (Not Acceptable)
status codes for enabling agent-driven negotiation when the server is
unwilling or unable to provide a varying response using server-driven
negotiation.


12.3 Transparent Negotiation

Transparent negotiation is a combination of both server-driven and
agent-driven negotiation. When a cache is supplied with a form of the
list of available representations of the response (as in agent-driven
negotiation) and the dimensions of variance are completely understood by
the cache, then the cache becomes capable of performing server-driven
negotiation on behalf of the origin server for subsequent requests on
that resource.

Transparent negotiation has the advantage of distributing the
negotiation work that would otherwise be required of the origin server
and also removing the second request delay of agent-driven negotiation
when the cache is able to correctly guess the right response.

This specification does not define any mechanism for transparent
negotiation, though it also does not prevent any such mechanism from
being developed as an extension that could be used within HTTP/1.1.


13 Caching in HTTP

HTTP is typically used for distributed information systems, where
performance can be improved by the use of response caches. The HTTP/1.1
protocol includes a number of elements intended to make caching work as
well as possible. Because these elements are inextricable from other
aspects of the protocol, and because they interact with each other, it
is useful to describe the basic caching design of HTTP separately from
the detailed descriptions of methods, headers, response codes, etc.

Caching would be useless if it did not significantly improve
performance. The goal of caching in HTTP/1.1 is to eliminate the need to
send requests in many cases, and to eliminate the need to send full
responses in many other cases. The former reduces the number of network
round-trips required for many operations; we use an "expiration"
mechanism for this purpose (see section 13.2). The latter reduces
network bandwidth requirements; we use a "validation" mechanism for this
purpose (see section 13.3).

Requirements for performance, availability, and disconnected operation
require us to be able to relax the goal of semantic transparency. The
HTTP/1.1 protocol allows origin servers, caches, and clients to
explicitly reduce transparency when necessary. However, because non-
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transparent operation may confuse non-expert users, and might be
incompatible with certain server applications (such as those for
ordering merchandise), the protocol requires that transparency be
relaxed

  .  only by an explicit protocol-level request when relaxed by client
     or origin server
  .  only with an explicit warning to the end user when relaxed by cache
     or client
Therefore, the HTTP/1.1 protocol provides these important elements:

  1. Protocol features that provide full semantic transparency when this
     is required by all parties.

  2. Protocol features that allow an origin server or user agent to
     explicitly request and control non-transparent operation.

  3. Protocol features that allow a cache to attach warnings to
     responses that do not preserve the requested approximation of
     semantic transparency.

A basic principle is that it must be possible for the clients to detect
any potential relaxation of semantic transparency.

  Note: The server, cache, or client implementor might be faced with
  design decisions not explicitly discussed in this specification. If
  a decision might affect semantic transparency, the implementor
  ought to err on the side of maintaining transparency unless a
  careful and complete analysis shows significant benefits in
  breaking transparency.


13.1.1 Cache Correctness

A correct cache MUST respond to a request with the most up-to-date
response held by the cache that is appropriate to the request (see
sections 13.2.5, 13.2.6, and 13.12) which meets one of the following
conditions:

  1. It has been checked for equivalence with what the origin server
     would have returned by revalidating the response with the origin
     server (section 13.3);

  2. It is "fresh enough" (see section 13.2). In the default case, this
     means it meets the least restrictive freshness requirement of the
     client, origin server, and cache (see section 14.9); if the origin
     server so specifies, it is the freshness requirement of the origin
     server alone.

     If a stored response is not "fresh enough" by the most restrictive
     freshness requirement of both the client and the origin server, in
     carefully considered circumstances the cache MAY still return the
     response with the appropriate Warning header (see section 13.1.5
     and 14.46), unless such a response is prohibited (e.g., by a "no-
     store" cache-directive, or by a "no-cache" cache-request-directive;
     see section 14.9).
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  3. It is an appropriate 304 (Not Modified), 305 (Proxy Redirect), or
     error (4xx or 5xx) response message.

If the cache can not communicate with the origin server, then a correct
cache SHOULD respond as above if the response can be correctly served
from the cache; if not it MUST return an error or warning indicating
that there was a communication failure.

If a cache receives a response (either an entire response, or a 304 (Not
Modified) response) that it would normally forward to the requesting
client, and the received response is no longer fresh, the cache SHOULD
forward it to the requesting client without adding a new Warning (but
without removing any existing Warning headers). A cache SHOULD NOT
attempt to revalidate a response simply because that response became
stale in transit; this might lead to an infinite loop. A user agent that
receives a stale response without a Warning MAY display a warning
indication to the user.


13.1.2 Warnings

Whenever a cache returns a response that is neither first-hand nor
"fresh enough" (in the sense of condition 2 in section 13.1.1), it MUST
attach a warning to that effect, using a Warning general-header. This
warning allows clients to take appropriate action.

Warnings MAY be used for other purposes, both cache-related and
otherwise. The use of a warning, rather than an error status code,
distinguish these responses from true failures.

Warnings come in two categories:

  1. Those that describe the freshness or revalidation status of the
     response, and so MUST be deleted after a successful revalidation
     (see section 13.3 for a definition of revalidation).

  2. Those that describe some aspect of the entity body or entity
     headers that is not rectified by a revalidation, for example, a
     lossy compression of the entity bodies. These warnings MUST NOT be
     deleted after a successful revalidation.

Warnings are assigned 3-digit code numbers. The first digit indicates
whether the Warning MUST or MUST NOT be deleted from a cached response
after it is successfully revalidated. This specification defines the
code numbers and meanings of each currently assigned warning, allowing a
client or cache to take automated action in some (but not all) cases.

HTTP/1.0 caches will cache all Warnings in responses, without deleting
the ones in the first category. Warnings in responses that are passed to
HTTP/1.0 caches carry an extra warning-date field, which prevents a
future HTTP/1.1 recipient from believing an erroneously cached Warning.

Warnings also carry a warning text. The text MAY be in any appropriate
natural language (perhaps based on the client's Accept headers), and
include an OPTIONAL indication of what character set is used.

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Multiple warnings MAY be attached to a response (either by the origin
server or by a cache), including multiple warnings with the same code
number. For example, a server might provide the same warning with texts
in both English and Basque.

When multiple warnings are attached to a response, it might not be
practical or reasonable to display all of them to the user. This version
of HTTP does not specify strict priority rules for deciding which
warnings to display and in what order, but does suggest some heuristics.

The Warning header and the currently defined warnings are described in
section 14.46.


13.1.3 Cache-control Mechanisms

The basic cache mechanisms in HTTP/1.1 (server-specified expiration
times and validators) are implicit directives to caches. In some cases,
a server or client might need to provide explicit directives to the HTTP
caches. We use the Cache-Control header for this purpose.

The Cache-Control header allows a client or server to transmit a variety
of directives in either requests or responses. These directives
typically override the default caching algorithms. As a general rule, if
there is any apparent conflict between header values, the most
restrictive interpretation is applied (that is, the one that is most
likely to preserve semantic transparency). However, in some cases,
cache-control directives are explicitly specified as weakening the
approximation of semantic transparency (for example, "max-stale" or
"public").

The cache-control directives are described in detail in section 14.9.


13.1.4 Explicit User Agent Warnings

Many user agents make it possible for users to override the basic
caching mechanisms. For example, the user agent might allow the user to
specify that cached entities (even explicitly stale ones) are never
validated. Or the user agent might habitually add "Cache-Control: max-
stale=3600" to every request. The user agent SHOULD NOT default to
either non-transparent behavior, or behavior that results in abnormally
ineffective caching, but MAY be explicitly configured to do so by an
explicit action of the user..

If the user has overridden the basic caching mechanisms, the user agent
SHOULD explicitly indicate to the user whenever this results in the
display of information that might not meet the server's transparency
requirements (in particular, if the displayed entity is known to be
stale). Since the protocol normally allows the user agent to determine
if responses are stale or not, this indication need only be displayed
when this actually happens. The indication need not be a dialog box; it
could be an icon (for example, a picture of a rotting fish) or some
other indicator.


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If the user has overridden the caching mechanisms in a way that would
abnormally reduce the effectiveness of caches, the user agent SHOULD
continually indicate this state to the user (for example, by a display
of a picture of currency in flames) so that the user does not
inadvertently consume excess resources or suffer from excessive latency.


13.1.5 Exceptions to the Rules and Warnings

In some cases, the operator of a cache MAY choose to configure it to
return stale responses even when not requested by clients. This decision
ought not be made lightly, but may be necessary for reasons of
availability or performance, especially when the cache is poorly
connected to the origin server. Whenever a cache returns a stale
response, it MUST mark it as such (using a Warning header). This allows
the client software to alert the user that there might be a potential
problem.

It also allows the user agent to take steps to obtain a first-hand or
fresh response. For this reason, a cache SHOULD NOT return a stale
response if the client explicitly requests a first-hand or fresh one,
unless it is impossible to comply for technical or policy reasons.


13.1.6 Client-controlled Behavior

While the origin server (and to a lesser extent, intermediate caches, by
their contribution to the age of a response) are the primary source of
expiration information, in some cases the client might need to control a
cache's decision about whether to return a cached response without
validating it. Clients do this using several directives of the Cache-
Control header.

A client's request MAY specify the maximum age it is willing to accept
of an unvalidated response; specifying a value of zero forces the
cache(s) to revalidate all responses. A client MAY also specify the
minimum time remaining before a response expires. Both of these options
increase constraints on the behavior of caches, and so cannot further
relax the cache's approximation of semantic transparency.

A client MAY also specify that it will accept stale responses, up to
some maximum amount of staleness. This loosens the constraints on the
caches, and so might violate the origin server's specified constraints
on semantic transparency, but might be necessary to support disconnected
operation, or high availability in the face of poor connectivity.


13.2 Expiration Model


13.2.1 Server-Specified Expiration

HTTP caching works best when caches can entirely avoid making requests
to the origin server. The primary mechanism for avoiding requests is for
an origin server to provide an explicit expiration time in the future,
indicating that a response MAY be used to satisfy subsequent requests.
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In other words, a cache can return a fresh response without first
contacting the server.

Our expectation is that servers will assign future explicit expiration
times to responses in the belief that the entity is not likely to
change, in a semantically significant way, before the expiration time is
reached. This normally preserves semantic transparency, as long as the
server's expiration times are carefully chosen.

The expiration mechanism applies only to responses taken from a cache
and not to first-hand responses forwarded immediately to the requesting
client.

If an origin server wishes to force a semantically transparent cache to
validate every request, it MAY assign an explicit expiration time in the
past. This means that the response is always stale, and so the cache
SHOULD validate it before using it for subsequent requests. See section
14.9.4 for a more restrictive way to force revalidation.

If an origin server wishes to force any HTTP/1.1 cache, no matter how it
is configured, to validate every request, it SHOULD use the "must-
revalidate" cache-control directive (see section 14.9).

Servers specify explicit expiration times using either the Expires
header, or the max-age directive of the Cache-Control header.

An expiration time cannot be used to force a user agent to refresh its
display or reload a resource; its semantics apply only to caching
mechanisms, and such mechanisms need only check a resource's expiration
status when a new request for that resource is initiated. See section
13.13 for an explanation of the difference between caches and history
mechanisms.


13.2.2 Heuristic Expiration

Since origin servers do not always provide explicit expiration times,
HTTP caches typically assign heuristic expiration times, employing
algorithms that use other header values (such as the Last-Modified time)
to estimate a plausible expiration time. The HTTP/1.1 specification does
not provide specific algorithms, but does impose worst-case constraints
on their results. Since heuristic expiration times might compromise
semantic transparency, they ought to used cautiously, and we encourage
origin servers to provide explicit expiration times as much as possible.


13.2.3 Age Calculations

In order to know if a cached entry is fresh, a cache needs to know if
its age exceeds its freshness lifetime. We discuss how to calculate the
latter in section 13.2.4; this section describes how to calculate the
age of a response or cache entry.

In this discussion, we use the term "now" to mean "the current value of
the clock at the host performing the calculation." Hosts that use HTTP,
but especially hosts running origin servers and caches, SHOULD use NTP
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[28] or some similar protocol to synchronize their clocks to a globally
accurate time standard.

HTTP/1.1 requires origin servers to send a Date header, if possible,
with every response, giving the time at which the response was generated
(see section 14.18). We use the term "date_value" to denote the value of
the Date header, in a form appropriate for arithmetic operations.

HTTP/1.1 uses the Age response-header to convey the estimated age of the
response message when obtained from a cache. The Age field value is the
cache's estimate of the amount of time since the response was generated
or revalidated by the origin server.

In essence, the Age value is the sum of the time that the response has
been resident in each of the caches along the path from the origin
server, plus the amount of time it has been in transit along network
paths.

We use the term "age_value" to denote the value of the Age header, in a
form appropriate for arithmetic operations.

A response's age can be calculated in two entirely independent ways:

  1. now minus date_value, if the local clock is reasonably well
     synchronized to the origin server's clock. If the result is
     negative, the result is replaced by zero.

  2. age_value, if all of the caches along the response path implement
     HTTP/1.1.

Given that we have two independent ways to compute the age of a response
when it is received, we can combine these as

       corrected_received_age = max(now - date_value, age_value)
and as long as we have either nearly synchronized clocks or all-HTTP/1.1
paths, one gets a reliable (conservative) result.

Because of network-imposed delays, some significant interval might pass
between the time that a server generates a response and the time it is
received at the next outbound cache or client. If uncorrected, this
delay could result in improperly low ages.

Because the request that resulted in the returned Age value must have
been initiated prior to that Age value's generation, we can correct for
delays imposed by the network by recording the time at which the request
was initiated. Then, when an Age value is received, it MUST be
interpreted relative to the time the request was initiated, not the time
that the response was received. This algorithm results in conservative
behavior no matter how much delay is experienced. So, we compute:

      corrected_initial_age = corrected_received_age
                            + (now - request_time)
where "request_time" is the time (according to the local clock) when the
request that elicited this response was sent.

Summary of age calculation algorithm, when a cache receives a response:
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      /*
       * age_value
       *      is the value of Age: header received by the cache with
       *              this response.
       * date_value
       *      is the value of the origin server's Date: header
       * request_time
       *      is the (local) time when the cache made the request
       *              that resulted in this cached response
       * response_time
       *      is the (local) time when the cache received the
       *              response
       * now
       *      is the current (local) time
       */
      apparent_age = max(0, response_time - date_value);
      corrected_received_age = max(apparent_age, age_value);
      response_delay = response_time - request_time;
      corrected_initial_age = corrected_received_age + response_delay;
      resident_time = now - response_time;
      current_age   = corrected_initial_age + resident_time;
The current_age of a cache entry is calculated by adding the amount of
time (in seconds) since the cache entry was last validated by the origin
server to the corrected_initial_age. When a response is generated from a
cache entry, the server MUST include a single Age header field in the
response with a value equal to the cache entry's current_age.

The presence of an Age header field in a response implies that a
response is not first-hand. However, the converse is not true, since the
lack of an Age header field in a response does not imply that the
response is first-hand unless all caches along the request path are
compliant with HTTP/1.1 (i.e., older HTTP caches did not implement the
Age header field).


13.2.4 Expiration Calculations

In order to decide whether a response is fresh or stale, we need to
compare its freshness lifetime to its age. The age is calculated as
described in section 13.2.3; this section describes how to calculate the
freshness lifetime, and to determine if a response has expired. In the
discussion below, the values can be represented in any form appropriate
for arithmetic operations.

We use the term "expires_value" to denote the value of the Expires
header. We use the term "max_age_value" to denote an appropriate value
of the number of seconds carried by the max-age directive of the Cache-
Control header in a response (see section 14.10.

The max-age directive takes priority over Expires, so if max-age is
present in a response, the calculation is simply:

      freshness_lifetime = max_age_value
Otherwise, if Expires is present in the response, the calculation is:

      freshness_lifetime = expires_value - date_value
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Note that neither of these calculations is vulnerable to clock skew,
since all of the information comes from the origin server.

If none of Expires, Cache-Control                                 : max-age, or Cache-Control: s-maxage
(see section 14.9.3) appears in the response, and the response does not
include other restrictions on caching, the cache MAY compute a freshness
lifetime using a heuristic. If the value is greater than 24 hours, the
cache MUST attach Warning 113 to any response whose age is more than 24
hours if such warning has not already been added.

Also, if the response does have a Last-Modified time, the heuristic
expiration value SHOULD be no more than some fraction of the interval
since that time. A typical setting of this fraction might be 10%.

The calculation to determine if a response has expired is quite simple:

      response_is_fresh = (freshness_lifetime > current_age)

13.2.5 Disambiguating Expiration Values

Because expiration values are assigned optimistically, it is possible
for two caches to contain fresh values for the same resource that are
different.

If a client performing a retrieval receives a non-first-hand response
for a request that was already fresh in its own cache, and the Date
header in its existing cache entry is newer than the Date on the new
response, then the client MAY ignore the response. If so, it MAY retry
the request with a "Cache-Control: max-age=0" directive (see section
14.9), to force a check with the origin server.

If a cache has two fresh responses for the same representation with
different validators, it MUST use the one with the more recent Date
header. This situation might arise because the cache is pooling
responses from other caches, or because a client has asked for a reload
or a revalidation of an apparently fresh cache entry.


13.2.6 Disambiguating Multiple Responses

Because a client might be receiving responses via multiple paths, so
that some responses flow through one set of caches and other responses
flow through a different set of caches, a client might receive responses
in an order different from that in which the origin server sent them. We
would like the client to use the most recently generated response, even
if older responses are still apparently fresh.

Neither the entity tag nor the expiration value can impose an ordering
on responses, since it is possible that a later response intentionally
carries an earlier expiration time. The Date values are ordered to a
granularity of one second.

When a client tries to revalidate a cache entry, and the response it
receives contains a Date header that appears to be older than the one
for the existing entry, then the client SHOULD repeat the request
unconditionally, and include
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       Cache-Control: max-age=0
to force any intermediate caches to validate their copies directly with
the origin server, or

       Cache-Control: no-cache
to force any intermediate caches to obtain a new copy from the origin
server.

If the Date values are equal, then the client MAY use either response
(or MAY, if it is being extremely prudent, request a new response).
Servers MUST NOT depend on clients being able to choose
deterministically between responses generated during the same second, if
their expiration times overlap.


13.3 Validation Model

When a cache has a stale entry that it would like to use as a response
to a client's request, it first has to check with the origin server (or
possibly an intermediate cache with a fresh response) to see if its
cached entry is still usable. We call this "validating" the cache entry.
Since we do not want to have to pay the overhead of retransmitting the
full response if the cached entry is good, and we do not want to pay the
overhead of an extra round trip if the cached entry is invalid, the
HTTP/1.1 protocol supports the use of conditional methods.

The key protocol features for supporting conditional methods are those
concerned with "cache validators." When an origin server generates a
full response, it attaches some sort of validator to it, which is kept
with the cache entry. When a client (user agent or proxy cache) makes a
conditional request for a resource for which it has a cache entry, it
includes the associated validator in the request.

The server then checks that validator against the current validator for
the entity, and, if they match, it responds with a special status code
(usually, 304 (Not Modified)) and no entity-body. Otherwise, it returns
a full response (including entity-body). Thus, we avoid transmitting the
full response if the validator matches, and we avoid an extra round trip
if it does not match.

  Note: the comparison functions used to decide if validators match
  are defined in section 13.3.3.

In HTTP/1.1, a conditional request looks exactly the same as a normal
request for the same resource, except that it carries a special header
(which includes the validator) that implicitly turns the method
(usually, GET) into a conditional.

The protocol includes both positive and negative senses of cache-
validating conditions. That is, it is possible to request either that a
method be performed if and only if a validator matches or if and only if
no validators match.

  Note: a response that lacks a validator may still be cached, and
  served from cache until it expires, unless this is explicitly
  prohibited by a cache-control directive. However, a cache cannot do
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  a conditional retrieval if it does not have a validator for the
  entity, which means it will not be refreshable after it expires.


13.3.1 Last-modified Dates

The Last-Modified entity-header field value is often used as a cache
validator. In simple terms, a cache entry is considered to be valid if
the entity has not been modified since the Last-Modified value.


13.3.2 Entity Tag Cache Validators

The ETag response-header field value, an entity tag, provides for an
"opaque" cache validator. This might allow more reliable validation in
situations where it is inconvenient to store modification dates, where
the one-second resolution of HTTP date values is not sufficient, or
where the origin server wishes to avoid certain paradoxes that might
arise from the use of modification dates.

Entity Tags are described in section 3.11. The headers used with entity
tags are described in sections 14.19, 14.24, 14.26 and 14.44.


13.3.3 Weak and Strong Validators

Since both origin servers and caches will compare two validators to
decide if they represent the same or different entities. One normally
would expect that if the entity (the entity-body or any entity-headers)
changes in any way, then the associated validator would change as well.
If this is true, then we call this validator a "strong validator."

However, there might be cases when a server prefers to change the
validator only on semantically significant changes, and not when
insignificant aspects of the entity change. A validator that does not
always change when the resource changes is a "weak validator."

Entity tags are normally "strong validators," but the protocol provides
a mechanism to tag an entity tag as "weak." One can think of a strong
validator as one that changes whenever the bits of an entity changes,
while a weak value changes whenever the meaning of an entity changes.
Alternatively, one can think of a strong validator as part of an
identifier for a specific entity, while a weak validator is part of an
identifier for a set of semantically equivalent entities.

  Note: One example of a strong validator is an integer that is
  incremented in stable storage every time an entity is changed.

  An entity's modification time, if represented with one-second
  resolution, could be a weak validator, since it is possible that
  the resource might be modified twice during a single second.

  Support for weak validators is optional. However, weak validators
  allow for more efficient caching of equivalent objects; for
  example, a hit counter on a site is probably good enough if it is

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  updated every few days or weeks, and any value during that period
  is likely "good enough" to be equivalent.

A "use" of a validator is either when a client generates a request and
includes the validator in a validating header field, or when a server
compares two validators.

Strong validators are usable in any context. Weak validators are only
usable in contexts that do not depend on exact equality of an entity.
For example, either kind is usable for a conditional GET of a full
entity. However, only a strong validator is usable for a sub-range
retrieval, since otherwise the client might end up with an internally
inconsistent entity.

The only function that the HTTP/1.1 protocol defines on validators is
comparison. There are two validator comparison functions, depending on
whether the comparison context allows the use of weak validators or not:

  .  The strong comparison function: in order to be considered equal,
     both validators MUST be identical in every way, and both MUST NOT
     be weak.
  .  The weak comparison function: in order to be considered equal, both
     validators MUST be identical in every way, but either or both of
     them MAY be tagged as "weak" without affecting the result.
The weak comparison function MAY be used for simple (non-subrange) GET
requests. The strong comparison function MUST be used in all other
cases.

An entity tag is strong unless it is explicitly tagged as weak. Section
3.11 gives the syntax for entity tags.

A Last-Modified time, when used as a validator in a request, is
implicitly weak unless it is possible to deduce that it is strong, using
the following rules:

  .  The validator is being compared by an origin server to the actual
     current validator for the entity and,
  .  That origin server reliably knows that the associated entity did
     not change twice during the second covered by the presented
     validator.
or

  .  The validator is about to be used by a client in an If-Modified-
     Since or If-Unmodified-Since header, because the client has a cache
     entry for the associated entity, and
  .  That cache entry includes a Date value, which gives the time when
     the origin server sent the original response, and
  .  The presented Last-Modified time is at least 60 seconds before the
     Date value.
or

  .  The validator is being compared by an intermediate cache to the
     validator stored in its cache entry for the entity, and
  .  That cache entry includes a Date value, which gives the time when
     the origin server sent the original response, and

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  .  The presented Last-Modified time is at least 60 seconds before the
     Date value.
This method relies on the fact that if two different responses were sent
by the origin server during the same second, but both had the same Last-
Modified time, then at least one of those responses would have a Date
value equal to its Last-Modified time. The arbitrary 60-second limit
guards against the possibility that the Date and Last-Modified values
are generated from different clocks, or at somewhat different times
during the preparation of the response. An implementation MAY use a
value larger than 60 seconds, if it is believed that 60 seconds is too
short.

If a client wishes to perform a sub-range retrieval on a value for which
it has only a Last-Modified time and no opaque validator, it MAY do this
only if the Last-Modified time is strong in the sense described here.

A cache or origin server receiving a conditional request, other than a
full-body GET request, MUST use the strong comparison function to
evaluate the condition.

These rules allow HTTP/1.1 caches and clients to safely perform sub-
range retrievals on values that have been obtained from HTTP/1.0
servers.


13.3.4 Rules for When to Use Entity Tags and Last-modified Dates

We adopt a set of rules and recommendations for origin servers, clients,
and caches regarding when various validator types ought to be used, and
for what purposes.

HTTP/1.1 origin servers:

  .  SHOULD send an entity tag validator unless it is not feasible to
     generate one.
  .  MAY send a weak entity tag instead of a strong entity tag, if
     performance considerations support the use of weak entity tags, or
     if it is unfeasible to send a strong entity tag.
  .  SHOULD send a Last-Modified value if it is feasible to send one,
     unless the risk of a breakdown in semantic transparency that could
     result from using this date in an If-Modified-Since header would
     lead to serious problems.
In other words, the preferred behavior for an HTTP/1.1 origin server is
to send both a strong entity tag and a Last-Modified value.

In order to be legal, a strong entity tag MUST change whenever the
associated entity value changes in any way. A weak entity tag SHOULD
change whenever the associated entity changes in a semantically
significant way.

  Note: in order to provide semantically transparent caching, an
  origin server must avoid reusing a specific strong entity tag value
  for two different entities, or reusing a specific weak entity tag
  value for two semantically different entities. Cache entries might
  persist for arbitrarily long periods, regardless of expiration
  times, so it might be inappropriate to expect that a cache will
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  never again attempt to validate an entry using a validator that it
  obtained at some point in the past.

HTTP/1.1 clients:

  .  If an entity tag has been provided by the origin server, MUST use
     that entity tag in any cache-conditional request (using If-Match or
     If-None-Match).
  .  If only a Last-Modified value has been provided by the origin
     server, SHOULD use that value in non-subrange cache-conditional
     requests (using If-Modified-Since).
  .  If only a Last-Modified value has been provided by an HTTP/1.0
     origin server, MAY use that value in subrange cache-conditional
     requests (using If-Unmodified-Since:). The user agent SHOULD
     provide a way to disable this, in case of difficulty.
  .  If both an entity tag and a Last-Modified value have been provided
     by the origin server, SHOULD use both validators in cache-
     conditional requests. This allows both HTTP/1.0 and HTTP/1.1 caches
     to respond appropriately.
An HTTP/1.1 origin server, upon receiving a conditional request that
includes both a Last-modified date (e.g., in an If-Modified-Since or If-
Unmodified-Since header field) and one or more entity tags (e.g., in an
If-Match, If-None-Match, or If-Range header field) as cache validators,
MUST NOT return a response status of 304 (Not Modified) unless doing so
is consistent with all of the conditional header fields in the request.

An HTTP/1.1 caching proxy, upon receiving a conditional request that
includes both a Last-modified date and one or more entity tags as cache
validators, MUST NOT return a locally cached response to the client
unless that cached response is consistent with all of the conditional
header fields in the request.

  A note on rationale: The general principle behind these rules is
  that HTTP/1.1 servers and clients should transmit as much non-
  redundant information as is available in their responses and
  requests. HTTP/1.1 systems receiving this information will make the
  most conservative assumptions about the validators they receive.

  HTTP/1.0 clients and caches will ignore entity tags. Generally,
  last-modified values received or used by these systems will support
  transparent and efficient caching, and so HTTP/1.1 origin servers
  should provide Last-Modified values. In those rare cases where the
  use of a Last-Modified value as a validator by an HTTP/1.0 system
  could result in a serious problem, then HTTP/1.1 origin servers
  should not provide one.


13.3.5 Non-validating Conditionals

The principle behind entity tags is that only the service author knows
the semantics of a resource well enough to select an appropriate cache
validation mechanism, and the specification of any validator comparison
function more complex than byte-equality would open up a can of worms.
Thus, comparisons of any other headers (except Last-Modified, for
compatibility with HTTP/1.0) are never used for purposes of validating a
cache entry.
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13.4 Response Cachability

Unless specifically constrained by a cache-control (section 14.9)
directive, a caching system MAY always store a successful response (see
section 13.8) as a cache entry, MAY return it without validation if it
is fresh, and MAY return it after successful validation. If there is
neither a cache validator nor an explicit expiration time associated
with a response, we do not expect it to be cached, but certain caches
MAY violate this expectation (for example, when little or no network
connectivity is available). A client can usually detect that such a
response was taken from a cache by comparing the Date header to the
current time.

  Note that some HTTP/1.0 caches are known to violate this
  expectation without providing any Warning.

However, in some cases it might be inappropriate for a cache to retain
an entity, or to return it in response to a subsequent request. This
might be because absolute semantic transparency is deemed necessary by
the service author, or because of security or privacy considerations.
Certain cache-control directives are therefore provided so that the
server can indicate that certain resource entities, or portions thereof,
MUST NOT be cached regardless of other considerations.

Note that section 14.8 normally prevents a shared cache from saving and
returning a response to a previous request if that request included an
Authorization header.

A response received with a status code of 200, 203, 206, 300, 301 or 410
MAY be stored by a cache and used in reply to a subsequent request,
subject to the expiration mechanism, unless a cache-control directive
prohibits caching. However, a cache that does not support the Range and
Content-Range headers MUST NOT cache 206 (Partial Content) responses.

A response received with any other status code MUST NOT be returned in a
reply to a subsequent request unless there are cache-control directives
or another header(s) that explicitly allow it. For example, these
include the following: an Expires header (section 14.21); a "max-age",
"s-maxage",  "must-revalidate", "proxy-revalidate", "public" or
"private" cache-control directive (section 14.9).


13.5 Constructing Responses From Caches

The purpose of an HTTP cache is to store information received in
response to requests, for use in responding to future requests. In many
cases, a cache simply returns the appropriate parts of a response to the
requester. However, if the cache holds a cache entry based on a previous
response, it might have to combine parts of a new response with what is
held in the cache entry.


13.5.1 End-to-end and Hop-by-hop Headers

For the purpose of defining the behavior of caches and non-caching
proxies, we divide HTTP headers into two categories:
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  .  End-to-end headers, which MUST be transmitted to the ultimate
     recipient of a request or response. End-to-end headers in responses
     MUST be stored as part of a cache entry and transmitted in any
     response formed from a cache entry.
  .  Hop-by-hop headers, which are meaningful only for a single
     transport-level connection, and are not stored by caches or
     forwarded by proxies.
The following HTTP/1.1 headers are hop-by-hop headers:

  .  Connection
  .  Keep-Alive
  .  Proxy-Authenticate
  .  Proxy-Authorization
  .  Transfer-Encoding
  .  Upgrade
All other headers defined by HTTP/1.1 are end-to-end headers.

Hop-by-hop headers introduced in future versions of HTTP MUST be listed
in a Connection header, as described in section 14.10.


13.5.2 Non-modifiable Headers

Some features of the HTTP/1.1 protocol, such as Digest Authentication,
depend on the value of certain end-to-end headers. A transparent proxy
SHOULD NOT modify an end-to-end header unless the definition of that
header requires or specifically allows that.

A transparent proxy MUST NOT modify any of the following fields in a
request or response, and it MUST NOT add any of these fields if not
already present:

  .  Content-Location
  .  Content-MD5
  .  ETag
  .  Last-Modified
A transparent proxy MUST NOT modify any of the following fields in a
response:

  .  Expires
but it MAY add any of these fields if not already present. If an Expires
header is added, it MUST be given a field-value identical to that of the
Date header in that response.
A  proxy MUST NOT modify or add any of the following fields in message
that contains the no-transform cache-control directive, or in any
request:

  .  Content-Encoding
  .  Content-Range
  .  Content-Type
A non-transparent proxy MAY modify or add these fields to a message that
does not include no-transform, but if it does so, if not already
present, it MUST add a Warning 114 (Transformation applied)if one does
not already appear in the message.


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  Warning: unnecessary modification of end-to-end headers might cause
  authentication failures if stronger authentication mechanisms are
  introduced in later versions of HTTP. Such authentication
  mechanisms MAY rely on the values of header fields not listed here.

The Content-Length field of a request or response is added or deleted
according to the rules in section 4.4. A transparent proxy MUST preserve
the entity-length (section 7.2.2) of the entity-body, although it MAY
change the transfer-length (section 4.4).


13.5.3 Combining Headers

When a cache makes a validating request to a server, and the server
provides a 304 (Not Modified) response or a 206 (Partial Content)
response, the cache then constructs a response to send to the requesting
client.

In the status code is 304 (Not Modified), the cache uses the entity-body
stored in the cache entry as the entity-body of this outgoing response.
If the status code is 206 (Partial Content) and the ETag or Last-
Modified headers match exactly, see 13.5.4, the cache MAY combine the
contents stored in the cache entry with the new contents received in the
response and use the result as the entity-body of this outgoing
response, see 13.5.4.

The end-to-end headers stored in the cache entry are used for the
constructed response, except that

  .  any stored Warning headers with warn-code 1XX (see section 14.46)
     MUST be deleted from the cache entry and the forwarded response.
  .  any stored Warning headers with warn-code 2XX MUST be retained in
     the cache entry and the forwarded response.
  .  any end-to-end headers provided in the 304 or 206 response MUST
     replace the corresponding headers from the cache entry.
Unless the cache decides to remove the cache entry, it MUST also replace
the end-to-end headers stored with the cache entry with corresponding
headers received in the incoming response.

In other words, the set of end-to-end headers received in the incoming
response overrides all corresponding end-to-end headers stored with the
cache entry (except for stored Warning headers with warn-code 1XX, which
are deleted even if not overridden).

If a header field-name in the incoming response matches more than one
header in the cache entry, all such old headers are replaced.

  Note: this rule allows an origin server to use a 304 (Not Modified)
  or a 206 (Partial Content) response to update any header associated
  with a previous response for the same entity or sub-ranges thereof,
  although it might not always be meaningful or correct to do so.
  This rule does not allow an origin server to use a 304 (Not
  Modified) or a 206 (Partial Content) response to entirely delete a
  header that it had provided with a previous response.


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13.5.4 Combining Byte Ranges

A response might transfer only a subrange of the bytes of an entity-
body, either because the request included one or more Range
specifications, or because a connection was broken prematurely. After
several such transfers, a cache might have received several ranges of
the same entity-body.

If a cache has a stored non-empty set of subranges for an entity, and an
incoming response transfers another subrange, the cache MAY combine the
new subrange with the existing set if both the following conditions are
met:

  .  Both the incoming response and the cache entry MUST have a cache
     validator.
  .  The two cache validators MUST match using the strong comparison
     function (see section 13.3.3).
If either requirement is not meant, the cache MUST use only the most
recent partial response (based on the Date values transmitted with every
response, and using the incoming response if these values are equal or
missing), and MUST discard the other partial information.


13.6 Caching Negotiated Responses

Use of server-driven content negotiation (section 12), as indicated by
the presence of a Vary header field in a response, alters the conditions
and procedure by which a cache can use the response for subsequent
requests. See section 14.44 for use of the Vary header field by servers.

A server SHOULD use the Vary header field to inform a cache of what
request-header fields were used to select among multiple representations
of a cachable response subject to server-driven negotiation. The set of
header fields named by the Vary field value is known as the "selecting"
request-headers.

When the cache receives a subsequent request whose Request-URI specifies
one or more cache entries including a Vary header field, the cache MUST
NOT use such a cache entry to construct a response to the new request
unless all of the selecting request-headers present in the new request
match the corresponding stored request-headers in the original request.

The selecting request-headers from two requests are defined to match if
and only if the selecting request-headers in the first request can be
transformed to the selecting request-headers in the second request by
adding or removing linear white space (LWS) at places where this is
allowed by the corresponding BNF, and/or combining multiple message-
header fields with the same field name following the rules about message
headers in section 4.2.

A Vary header field-value of "*" always fails to match and subsequent
requests on that resource can only be properly interpreted by the origin
server.

If the selecting request header fields for the cached entry do not match
the selecting request header fields of the new request, then the cache
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MUST NOT use a cached entry to satisfy the request unless it first
relays the new request to the origin server in a conditional request and
the server responds with 304 (Not Modified), including an entity tag or
Content-Location that indicates the entity to be used.

If an entity tag was assigned to a cached representation, the forwarded
request SHOULD be conditional and include the entity tags in an If-None-
Match header field from all its cache entries for the resource. This
conveys to the server the set of entities currently held by the cache,
so that if any one of these entities matches the requested entity, the
server can use the ETag header field in its 304 (Not Modified) response
to tell the cache which entry is appropriate. If the entity-tag of the
new response matches that of an existing entry, the new response SHOULD
be used to update the header fields of the existing entry, and the
result MUST be returned to the client.

If any of the existing cache entries contains only partial content for
the associated entity, its entity-tag SHOULD NOT be included in the If-
None-Match header field unless the request is for a range that would be
fully satisfied by that entry.

If a cache receives a successful response whose Content-Location field
matches that of an existing cache entry for the same Request-URI, whose
entity-tag differs from that of the existing entry, and whose Date is
more recent than that of the existing entry, the existing entry SHOULD
NOT be returned in response to future requests and SHOULD be deleted
from the cache.


13.7 Shared and Non-Shared Caches

For reasons of security and privacy, it is necessary to make a
distinction between "shared" and "non-shared" caches. A non-shared cache
is one that is accessible only to a single user. Accessibility in this
case SHOULD be enforced by appropriate security mechanisms. All other
caches are considered to be "shared." Other sections of this
specification place certain constraints on the operation of shared
caches in order to prevent loss of privacy or failure of access
controls.


13.8 Errors or Incomplete Response Cache Behavior

A cache that receives an incomplete response (for example, with fewer
bytes of data than specified in a Content-Length header) MAY store the
response. However, the cache MUST treat this as a partial response.
Partial responses MAY be combined as described in section 13.5.4; the
result might be a full response or might still be partial. A cache MUST
NOT return a partial response to a client without explicitly marking it
as such, using the 206 (Partial Content) status code. A cache MUST NOT
return a partial response using a status code of 200 (OK).

If a cache receives a 5xx response while attempting to revalidate an
entry, it MAY either forward this response to the requesting client, or
act as if the server failed to respond. In the latter case, it MAY

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return a previously received response unless the cached entry includes
the "must-revalidate" cache-control directive (see section 14.9).


13.9 Side Effects of GET and HEAD

Unless the origin server explicitly prohibits the caching of their
responses, the application of GET and HEAD methods to any resources
SHOULD NOT have side effects that would lead to erroneous behavior if
these responses are taken from a cache. They MAY still have side
effects, but a cache is not required to consider such side effects in
its caching decisions. Caches are always expected to observe an origin
server's explicit restrictions on caching.

We note one exception to this rule: since some applications have
traditionally used GETs and HEADs with query URLs (those containing a
"?" in the rel_path part) to perform operations with significant side
effects, caches MUST NOT treat responses to such URIs as fresh unless
the server provides an explicit expiration time. This specifically means
that responses from HTTP/1.0 servers for such URIs SHOULD NOT be taken
from a cache. See section 9.1.1 for related information.


13.10 Invalidation After Updates or Deletions

The effect of certain methods performed on a resource at the origin
server might cause one or more existing cache entries to become non-
transparently invalid. That is, although they might continue to be
"fresh," they do not accurately reflect what the origin server would
return for a new request on that resource.

There is no way for the HTTP protocol to guarantee that all such cache
entries are marked invalid. For example, the request that caused the
change at the origin server might not have gone through the proxy where
a cache entry is stored. However, several rules help reduce the
likelihood of erroneous behavior.

In this section, the phrase "invalidate an entity" means that the cache
SHOULD either remove all instances of that entity from its storage, or
SHOULD mark these as "invalid" and in need of a mandatory revalidation
before they can be returned in response to a subsequent request.

Some HTTP methods MUST cause a cache to invalidate an entity. This is
either the entity referred to by the Request-URI, or by the Location or
Content-Location headers (if present). These methods are:

  .  PUT
  .  DELETE
  .  POST
In order to prevent denial of service attacks, an invalidation based on
the URI in a Location or Content-Location header MUST only be performed
if the host part is the same as in the Request-URI.

A cache that passes through requests for methods it does not understand
SHOULD invalidate any entities referred to by the Request-URI.

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13.11 Write-Through Mandatory

All methods that might be expected to cause modifications to the origin
server's resources MUST be written through to the origin server. This
currently includes all methods except for GET and HEAD. A cache MUST NOT
reply to such a request from a client before having transmitted the
request to the inbound server, and having received a corresponding
response from the inbound server. This does not prevent a proxy cache
from sending a 100 (Continue) response before the inbound server has
sent its final reply.

The alternative (known as "write-back" or "copy-back" caching) is not
allowed in HTTP/1.1, due to the difficulty of providing consistent
updates and the problems arising from server, cache, or network failure
prior to write-back.


13.12 Cache Replacement

If a new cachable (see sections 14.9.2, 13.2.5, 13.2.6 and 13.8)
response is received from a resource while any existing responses for
the same resource are cached, the cache SHOULD use the new response to
reply to the current request. It MAY insert it into cache storage and
MAY, if it meets all other requirements, use it to respond to any future
requests that would previously have caused the old response to be
returned. If it inserts the new response into cache storage it SHOULD
follow the rules in section 13.5.3.

  Note: a new response that has an older Date header value than
  existing cached responses is not cachable.


13.13 History Lists

User agents often have history mechanisms, such as "Back" buttons and
history lists, which can be used to redisplay an entity retrieved
earlier in a session.

History mechanisms and caches are different. In particular history
mechanisms SHOULD NOT try to show a semantically transparent view of the
current state of a resource. Rather, a history mechanism is meant to
show exactly what the user saw at the time when the resource was
retrieved.

By default, an expiration time does not apply to history mechanisms. If
the entity is still in storage, a history mechanism SHOULD display it
even if the entity has expired, unless the user has specifically
configured the agent to refresh expired history documents.

This is not be construed to prohibit the history mechanism from telling
the user that a view might be stale.

  Note: if history list mechanisms unnecessarily prevent users from
  viewing stale resources, this will tend to force service authors to
  avoid using HTTP expiration controls and cache controls when they
  would otherwise like to. Service authors may consider it important
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  that users not be presented with error messages or warning messages
  when they use navigation controls (such as BACK) to view previously
  fetched resources. Even though sometimes such resources ought not
  to cached, or ought to expire quickly, user interface
  considerations may force service authors to resort to other means
  of preventing caching (e.g. "once-only" URLs) in order not to
  suffer the effects of improperly functioning history mechanisms.


14 Header Field Definitions

This section defines the syntax and semantics of all standard HTTP/1.1
header fields. For entity-header fields, both sender and recipient refer
to either the client or the server, depending on who sends and who
receives the entity.


14.1 Accept

The Accept request-header field can be used to specify certain media
types which are acceptable for the response. Accept headers can be used
to indicate that the request is specifically limited to a small set of
desired types, as in the case of a request for an in-line image.

       Accept         = "Accept" ":"
                        #( media-range [ accept-params ] )

       media-range    = ( "*/*"
                        | ( type "/" "*" )
                        | ( type "/" subtype )
                        ) *( ";" parameter )
       accept-params  = ";" "q" "=" qvalue *( accept-extension )
       accept-extension = ";" token [ "=" ( token | quoted-string ) ]
The asterisk "*" character is used to group media types into ranges,
with "*/*" indicating all media types and "type/*" indicating all
subtypes of that type. The media-range MAY include media type parameters
that are applicable to that range.

Each media-range MAY be followed by one or more accept-params, beginning
with the "q" parameter for indicating a relative quality factor. The
first "q" parameter (if any) separates the media-range parameter(s) from
the accept-params. Quality factors allow the user or user agent to
indicate the relative degree of preference for that media-range, using
the qvalue scale from 0 to 1 (section 3.9). The default value is q=1.

  Note: Use of the "q" parameter name to separate media type
  parameters from Accept extension parameters is due to historical
  practice. Although this prevents any media type parameter named "q"
  from being used with a media range, such an event is believed to be
  unlikely given the lack of any "q" parameters in the IANA media
  type registry and the rare usage of any media type parameters in
  Accept. Future media types are discouraged from registering any
  parameter named "q".

The example

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       Accept: audio/*; q=0.2, audio/basic
SHOULD be interpreted as "I prefer audio/basic, but send me any audio
type if it is the best available after an 80% mark-down in quality."

If no Accept header field is present, then it is assumed that the client
accepts all media types. If an Accept header field is present, and if
the server cannot send a response which is acceptable according to the
combined Accept field value, then the server SHOULD send a 406 (not
acceptable) response.

A more elaborate example is

       Accept: text/plain; q=0.5, text/html,
               text/x-dvi; q=0.8, text/x-c
Verbally, this would be interpreted as "text/html and text/x-c are the
preferred media types, but if they do not exist, then send the text/x-
dvi entity, and if that does not exist, send the text/plain entity."

Media ranges can be overridden by more specific media ranges or specific
media types. If more than one media range applies to a given type, the
most specific reference has precedence. For example,

       Accept: text/*, text/html, text/html;level=1, */*
have the following precedence:

       1) text/html;level=1
       2) text/html
       3) text/*
       4) */*
The media type quality factor associated with a given type is determined
by finding the media range with the highest precedence which matches
that type. For example,

       Accept: text/*;q=0.3, text/html;q=0.7, text/html;level=1,
               text/html;level=2;q=0.4, */*;q=0.5
would cause the following values to be associated:

       text/html;level=1         = 1
       text/html                 = 0.7
       text/plain                = 0.3
       image/jpeg                = 0.5
       text/html;level=2         = 0.4
       text/html;level=3         = 0.7
  Note: A user agent might be provided with a default set of quality
  values for certain media ranges. However, unless the user agent is
  a closed system which cannot interact with other rendering agents,
  this default set ought to be configurable by the user.


14.2 Accept-Charset

The Accept-Charset request-header field can be used to indicate what
character sets are acceptable for the response. This field allows
clients capable of understanding more comprehensive or special-purpose
character sets to signal that capability to a server which is capable of
representing documents in those character sets.
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   Accept-Charset = "Accept-Charset" ":"
              1#( ( charset | "*" )[ ";" "q" "=" qvalue ] )

Character set values are described in section 3.4. Each charset MAY be
given an associated quality value which represents the user's preference
for that charset. The default value is q=1. An example is

   Accept-Charset: iso-8859-5, unicode-1-1;q=0.8

The special value "*", if present in the Accept-Charset field, matches
every character set (including ISO-8859-1) which is not mentioned
elsewhere in the Accept-Charset field. If no "*" is present in an
Accept-Charset field, then all character sets not explicitly mentioned
get a quality value of 0, except for ISO-8859-1, which gets a quality
value of 1 if not explicitly mentioned.

If no Accept-Charset header is present, the default is that any
character set is acceptable. If an Accept-Charset header is present, and
if the server cannot send a response which is acceptable according to
the Accept-Charset header, then the server SHOULD send an error response
with the 406 (not acceptable) status code, though the sending of an
unacceptable response is also allowed.


14.3 Accept-Encoding

The Accept-Encoding request-header field is similar to Accept, but
restricts the content-codings(section 3.5) that are acceptable in the
response.

       Accept-Encoding  = "Accept-Encoding" ":"
                          1#( codings [ ";" "q" "=" qvalue ] )
       codings          = ( content-coding | "*" )
Examples of its use are:
       Accept-Encoding: compress, gzip
       Accept-Encoding:
       Accept-Encoding: *
       Accept-Encoding: compress;q=0.5, gzip;q=1.0
       Accept-Encoding: gzip;q=1.0, identity; q=0.5, *;q=0
A server tests whether a content-coding is acceptable, according to an
Accept-Encoding field, using these rules:

     1. If the content-coding is one of the content-codings listed in
     the Accept-Encoding field, then it is acceptable, unless it is
     accompanied by a qvalue of 0. (As defined in section 3.9, a qvalue
     of 0 means "not acceptable.")

     2. The special "*" symbol in an Accept-Encoding field matches any
     available content-coding not explicitly listed in the header field.

     3. If multiple content-codings are acceptable, then the acceptable
     content-coding with the highest non-zero qvalue is preferred.

     4. The "identity" content-coding is always acceptable, unless
     specifically refused because the Accept-Encoding field includes
     "identity;q=0", or because the field includes "*;q=0" and does not
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     explicitly include the "identity" content-coding. If the Accept-
     Encoding field-value is empty, then only the "identity" encoding is
     acceptable.

If an Accept-Encoding field is present in a request, and if the server
cannot send a response which is acceptable according to the Accept-
Encoding header, then the server SHOULD send an error response with the
406 (Not Acceptable) status code.

If no Accept-Encoding field is present in a request, the server MAY
assume that the client will accept any content coding. In this case, if
"identity" is one of the available content-codings, then the server
SHOULD use the "identity" content-coding, unless it has additional
information that a different content-coding is meaningful to the client.

  Note: If the request does not include an Accept-Encoding field, and
  if the "identity" content-coding is unavailable, then content-
  codings commonly understood by HTTP/1.0 clients (i.e., "gzip" and
  "compress") are preferred; some older clients improperly display
  messages sent with other content-codings. The server might also
  make this decision based on information about the particular user-
  agent or client.

  Note: Most HTTP/1.0 applications do not recognize or obey qvalues
  associated with content-codings. This means that qvalues will not
  work and are not permitted with x-gzip or x-compress.




14.4 Accept-Language

The Accept-Language request-header field is similar to Accept, but
restricts the set of natural languages that are preferred as a response
to the request.

       Accept-Language = "Accept-Language" ":"
                         1#( language-range [ ";" "q" "=" qvalue ] )
       language-range  = ( ( 1*8ALPHA *( "-" 1*8ALPHA ) ) | "*" )
Each language-range MAY be given an associated quality value which
represents an estimate of the user's preference for the languages
specified by that range. The quality value defaults to "q=1". For
example,

       Accept-Language: da, en-gb;q=0.8, en;q=0.7
would mean: "I prefer Danish, but will accept British English and other
types of English." A language-range matches a language-tag if it exactly
equals the tag, or if it exactly equals a prefix of the tag such that
the first tag character following the prefix is "-". The special range
"*", if present in the Accept-Language field, matches every tag not
matched by any other range present in the Accept-Language field.

  Note: This use of a prefix matching rule does not imply that
  language tags are assigned to languages in such a way that it is
  always true that if a user understands a language with a certain
  tag, then this user will also understand all languages with tags
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  for which this tag is a prefix. The prefix rule simply allows the
  use of prefix tags if this is the case.

The language quality factor assigned to a language-tag by the Accept-
Language field is the quality value of the longest language-range in the
field that matches the language-tag. If no language-range in the field
matches the tag, the language quality factor assigned is 0. If no
Accept-Language header is present in the request, the server SHOULD
assume that all languages are equally acceptable. If an Accept-Language
header is present, then all languages which are assigned a quality
factor greater than 0 are acceptable.

It might be contrary to the privacy expectations of the user to send an
Accept-Language header with the complete linguistic preferences of the
user in every request. For a discussion of this issue, see section
15.1.4.

  Note: As intelligibility is highly dependent on the individual
  user, it is recommended that client applications make the choice of
  linguistic preference available to the user. If the choice is not
  made available, then the Accept-Language header field MUST NOT be
  given in the request.

  Note: When making the choice of linguistic preference available to
  the user, we remind implementors of  the fact that users are not
  familiar with the details of language matching as described above,
  and should provide appropriate guidance. As an example, users might
  assume that on selecting "en-gb", they will be served any kind of
  English document if British English is not available. A user agent
  might suggest in such a case to add "en" to get the best matching
  behavior.


14.5 Accept-Ranges

The Accept-Ranges response-header field allows the server to indicate
its acceptance of range requests for a resource:

       Accept-Ranges     = "Accept-Ranges" ":" acceptable-ranges
       acceptable-ranges = 1#range-unit | "none"
Origin servers that accept byte-range requests MAY send

       Accept-Ranges: bytes
but are not required to do so. Clients MAY generate byte-range requests
without having received this header for the resource involved.

Servers that do not accept any kind of range request for a resource MAY
send

       Accept-Ranges: none
to advise the client not to attempt a range request.





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14.6 Age

The Age response-header field conveys the sender's estimate of the
amount of time since the response (or its revalidation) was generated at
the origin server. A cached response is "fresh" if its age does not
exceed its freshness lifetime. Age values are calculated as specified in
section 13.2.3.

        Age = "Age" ":" age-value
        age-value = delta-seconds
Age values are non-negative decimal integers, representing time in
seconds.

If a cache receives a value larger than the largest positive integer it
can represent, or if any of its age calculations overflows, it MUST
transmit an Age header with a value of 2147483648 (2^31). An HTTP/1.1
server that includes a cache MUST include an Age header field in every
response generated from its own cache. Caches SHOULD use an arithmetic
type of at least 31 bits of range.


14.7 Allow

The Allow entity-header field lists the set of methods supported by the
resource identified by the Request-URI. The purpose of this field is
strictly to inform the recipient of valid methods associated with the
resource. An Allow header field MUST be present in a 405 (Method Not
Allowed) response.

       Allow   = "Allow" ":" #Method
Example of use:

       Allow: GET, HEAD, PUT
This field cannot prevent a client from trying other methods. However,
the indications given by the Allow header field value SHOULD be
followed. The actual set of allowed methods is defined by the origin
server at the time of each request.

The Allow header field MAY be provided with a PUT request to recommend
the methods to be supported by the new or modified resource. The server
is not required to support these methods and SHOULD include an Allow
header in the response giving the actual supported methods.

A proxy MUST NOT modify the Allow header field even if it does not
understand all the methods specified, since the user agent might have
other means of communicating with the origin server.


14.8 Authorization

A user agent that wishes to authenticate itself with a server--usually,
but not necessarily, after receiving a 401 response--does so by
including an Authorization request-header field with the request. The
Authorization field value consists of credentials containing the
authentication information of the user agent for the realm of the
resource being requested.
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       Authorization  = "Authorization" ":" credentials
HTTP access authentication is described in "HTTP Authentication: Basic
and Digest Access Authentication" .. If a request is authenticated and a
realm specified, the same credentials SHOULD be valid for all other
requests within this realm (assuming that the authentication schemed
itself does not require otherwise, such as credentials that vary
according to a challenge value or using synchronized clocks).

When a shared cache (see section 13.7) receives a request containing an
Authorization field, it MUST NOT return the corresponding response as a
reply to any other request, unless one of the following specific
exceptions holds:

  1. If the response includes the "s-maxage" cache-control directive,
     the cache MAY use that response in replying to a subsequent
     request. But (if the specified maximum age has passed) a proxy
     cache MUST first revalidate it with the origin server, using the
     request-headers from the new request to allow the origin server to
     authenticate the new request. (This is the defined behavior for s-
     maxage.) If the response includes "s-maxage=0", the proxy MUST
     always revalidate it before re-using it.

  2. If the response includes the "must-revalidate" cache-control
     directive, the cache MAY use that response in replying to a
     subsequent request. But if the response is stale, all caches MUST
     first revalidate it with the origin server, using the request-
     headers from the new request to allow the origin server to
     authenticate the new request.

  3. If the response includes the "public" cache-control directive, it
     MAY be returned in reply to any subsequent request.


14.9 Cache-Control

The Cache-Control general-header field is used to specify directives
that MUST be obeyed by all caching mechanisms along the request/response
chain. The directives specify behavior intended to prevent caches from
adversely interfering with the request or response. These directives
typically override the default caching algorithms. Cache directives are
unidirectional in that the presence of a directive in a request does not
imply that the same directive is to be given in the response.

  Note that HTTP/1.0 caches might not implement Cache-Control and
  might only implement Pragma: no-cache (see section 14.32).

Cache directives MUST be passed through by a proxy or gateway
application, regardless of their significance to that application, since
the directives might be applicable to all recipients along the
request/response chain. It is not possible to specify a cache-directive
for a specific cache.

    Cache-Control   = "Cache-Control" ":" 1#cache-directive
    cache-directive = cache-request-directive
         | cache-response-directive
    cache-request-directive =
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           "no-cache"                          ; Section 14.9.1
         | "no-store"                          ; Section 14.9.2
         | "max-age" "=" delta-seconds         ; Section 14.9.3, 14.9.4
         | "max-stale" [ "=" delta-seconds ]   ; Section 14.9.3
         | "min-fresh" "=" delta-seconds       ; Section 14.9.3
         | "no-transform"                      ; Section 14.9.5
         | "only-if-cached"                    ; Section 14.9.4
         | cache-extension                     ; Section 14.9.6
     cache-response-directive =
           "public"                               ; Section 14.9.1
         | "private" [ "=" <"> 1#field-name <"> ] ; Section 14.9.1
         | "no-cache" [ "=" <"> 1#field-name <"> ]; Section 14.9.1
         | "no-store"                             ; Section 14.9.2
         | "no-transform"                         ; Section 14.9.5
         | "must-revalidate"                      ; Section 14.9.4
         | "proxy-revalidate"                     ; Section 14.9.4
         | "max-age" "=" delta-seconds            ; Section 14.9.4
         | "s-maxage" "=" delta-seconds           ; Section 14.9.3
         | cache-extension                        ; Section 14.9.6
    cache-extension = token [ "=" ( token | quoted-string ) ]

When a directive appears without any 1#field-name parameter, the
directive applies to the entire request or response. When such a
directive appears with a 1#field-name parameter, it applies only to the
named field or fields, and not to the rest of the request or response.
This mechanism supports extensibility; implementations of future
versions of the HTTP protocol might apply these directives to header
fields not defined in HTTP/1.1.

The cache-control directives can be broken down into these general
categories:

  .  Restrictions on what is cachable; these may only be imposed by the
     origin server.
  .  Restrictions on what may be stored by a cache; these may be imposed
     by either the origin server or the user agent.
  .  Modifications of the basic expiration mechanism; these may be
     imposed by either the origin server or the user agent.
  .  Controls over cache revalidation and reload; these may only be
     imposed by a user agent.
  .  Control over transformation of entities.
  .  Extensions to the caching system.

14.9.1 What is Cachable

By default, a response is cachable if the requirements of the request
method, request header fields, and the response status indicate that it
is cachable. Section 13.4 summarizes these defaults for cachability. The
following Cache-Control response directives allow an origin server to
override the default cachability of a response:

public
  Indicates that the response is cachable by any cache, even if it
  would normally be non-cachable or cachable only within a non-shared
  cache. (See also Authorization, section 14.8, for additional
  details.)
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private
  Indicates that all or part of the response message is intended for a
  single user and MUST NOT be cached by a shared cache. This allows an
  origin server to state that the specified parts of the response are
  intended for only one user and are not a valid response for requests
  by other users. A private (non-shared) cache MAY cache the response.

  Note: This usage of the word private only controls where the
  response may be cached, and cannot ensure the privacy of the
  message content.

no-cache
   If the no-cache directive does not specify a field-name, then a
  cache MUST NOT use the response to satisfy a subsequent request
  without successful revalidation with the origin server. This allows
  an origin server to prevent caching even by caches that have been
  configured to return stale responses to client requests.

  If the no-cache directive does specify one or more field-names, then
  a cache MAY use the response to satisfy a subsequent request, subject
  to any other restrictions on caching. However, the specified field-
  name(s) MUST NOT be sent in the response to a subsequent request
  without successful revalidation with the origin server. This allows
  an origin server to prevent the re-use of certain header fields in a
  response, while still allowing caching of the rest of the response.

  Note: Most HTTP/1.0 caches will not recognize or obey this
  directive.


14.9.2 What May be Stored by Caches

no-store
  The purpose of the no-store directive is to prevent the inadvertent
  release or retention of sensitive information (for example, on backup
  tapes). The no-store directive applies to the entire message, and MAY
  be sent either in a response or in a request. If sent in a request, a
  cache MUST NOT store any part of either this request or any response
  to it. If sent in a response, a cache MUST NOT store any part of
  either this response or the request that elicited it. This directive
  applies to both non-shared and shared caches. "MUST NOT store" in
  this context means that the cache MUST NOT intentionally store the
  information in non-volatile storage, and MUST make a best-effort
  attempt to remove the information from volatile storage as promptly
  as possible after forwarding it.

  Even when this directive is associated with a response, users
  mightexplicitly store such a response outside of the caching system
  (e.g., with a "Save As" dialog). History buffers MAY store such
  responses as part of their normal operation.

  The purpose of this directive is to meet the stated requirements of
  certain users and service authors who are concerned about accidental
  releases of information via unanticipated accesses to cache data
  structures. While the use of this directive might improve privacy in
  some cases, we caution that it is NOT in any way a reliable or
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  sufficient mechanism for ensuring privacy. In particular, malicious
  or compromised caches might not recognize or obey this directive, and
  communications networks might be vulnerable to eavesdropping.


14.9.3 Modifications of the Basic Expiration Mechanism

The expiration time of an entity MAY be specified by the origin server
using the Expires header (see section 14.21). Alternatively, it MAY be
specified using the max-age directive in a response. When the max-age
cache-control directive is present in a cached response, the response is
stale if its current age is greater than the age value given (in
seconds) at the time of a new request for that resource. The max-age
directive on a response implies that the response is cachable (i.e.,
"public") unless some other, more restrictive cache directive is also
present.

If a response includes both an Expires header and a max-age directive,
the max-age directive overrides the Expires header, even if the Expires
header is more restrictive. This rule allows an origin server to
provide, for a given response, a longer expiration time to an HTTP/1.1
(or later) cache than to an HTTP/1.0 cache. This might be useful if
certain HTTP/1.0 caches improperly calculate ages or expiration times,
perhaps due to desynchronized clocks.

Many HTTP/1.0 cache implementations will treat an Expires value that is
less than or equal to the response Date value as being equivalent to the
Cache-Control response directive "no-cache". If an HTTP/1.1 cache
receives such a response, and the response does not include a Cache-
Control header field, it SHOULD consider the response to be non-cachable
in order to retain compatibility with HTTP/1.0 servers.

  Note: An origin server might wish to use a relatively new HTTP
  cache control feature, such as the "private" directive, on a
  network including older caches that do not understand that feature.
  The origin server will need to combine the new feature with an
  Expires field whose value is less than or equal to the Date value.
  This will prevent older caches from improperly caching the
  response.

s-maxage
  If a response includes an s-maxage directive, then for a shared cache
  (but not for a private cache), the maximum age specified by this
  directive overrides the maximum age specified by either the max-age
  directive or the Expires header. The s-maxage directive also implies
  the semantics of the proxy-revalidate directive (see section 14.9.4),
  i.e., that the shared cache MUST NOT use the entry after it becomes
  stale to respond to a subsequent request without first revalidating
  it with the origin server. The s-maxage directive is always ignored
  by a private cache.

     Note: most older caches, not compliant with this specification,
     do not implement any cache-control directives. An origin server
     wishing to use a cache-control directive that restricts, but
     does not prevent, caching by an HTTP/1.1-compliant cache MAY
     exploit the requirement that the max-age directive overrides the
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     Expires header, and the fact that pre-HTTP/1.1-compliant caches
     do not observe the max-age directive.

Other directives allow a user agent to modify the basic expiration
mechanism. These directives MAY be specified on a request:

max-age
  Indicates that the client is willing to accept a response whose age
  is no greater than the specified time in seconds. Unless max-stale
  directive is also included, the client is not willing to accept a
  stale response.

min-fresh
  Indicates that the client is willing to accept a response whose
  freshness lifetime is no less than its current age plus the specified
  time in seconds. That is, the client wants a response that will still
  be fresh for at least the specified number of seconds.

max-stale
  Indicates that the client is willing to accept a response that has
  exceeded its expiration time. If max-stale is assigned a value, then
  the client is willing to accept a response that has exceeded its
  expiration time by no more than the specified number of seconds. If
  no value is assigned to max-stale, then the client is willing to
  accept a stale response of any age.

If a cache returns a stale response, either because of a max-stale
directive on a request, or because the cache is configured to override
the expiration time of a response, the cache MUST attach a Warning
header to the stale response, using Warning 110 (Response is stale).

  Note: A cache MAY be configured to return stale responses without
  validation, but only if this does not conflict with any MUST-level
  requirements concerning cache validation (e.g., a "must-revalidate"
  cache-control directive).

If both the new request and the cached entry include "max-age"
directives, then the lesser of the two values is used for determining
the freshness of the cached entry for that request.


14.9.4 Cache Revalidation and Reload Controls

Sometimes a user agent might want or need to insist that a cache
revalidate its cache entry with the origin server (and not just with the
next cache along the path to the origin server), or to reload its cache
entry from the origin server. End-to-end revalidation might be necessary
if either the cache or the origin server has overestimated the
expiration time of the cached response. End-to-end reload may be
necessary if the cache entry has become corrupted for some reason.

End-to-end revalidation may be requested either when the client does not
have its own local cached copy, in which case we call it "unspecified
end-to-end revalidation", or when the client does have a local cached
copy, in which case we call it "specific end-to-end revalidation."

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The client can specify these three kinds of action using Cache-Control
request directives:

End-to-end reload
  The request includes a "no-cache" cache-control directive or, for
  compatibility with HTTP/1.0 clients, "Pragma: no-cache". Field names
  MUST NOT be included with the no-cache directive in a request. The
  server MUST NOT use a cached copy when responding to such a
  request.[jg406]

Specific end-to-end revalidation
  The request includes a "max-age=0" cache-control directive, which
  forces each cache along the path to the origin server to revalidate
  its own entry, if any, with the next cache or server. The initial
  request includes a cache-validating conditional with the client's
  current validator.

Unspecified end-to-end revalidation
  The request includes "max-age=0" cache-control directive, which
  forces each cache along the path to the origin server to revalidate
  its own entry, if any, with the next cache or server. The initial
  request does not include a cache-validating conditional; the first
  cache along the path (if any) that holds a cache entry for this
  resource includes a cache-validating conditional with its current
  validator.

max-age
  When an intermediate cache is forced, by means of a max-age=0
  directive, to revalidate its own cache entry, and the client has
  supplied its own validator in the request, the supplied validator
  might differ from the validator currently stored with the cache
  entry. In this case, the cache MAY use either validator in making its
  own request without affecting semantic transparency.

  However, the choice of validator might affect performance. The best
  approach is for the intermediate cache to use its own validator when
  making its request. If the server replies with 304 (Not Modified),
  then the cache can return its now validated copy to the client with a
  200 (OK) response. If the server replies with a new entity and cache
  validator, however, the intermediate cache can compare the returned
  validator with the one provided in the client's request, using the
  strong comparison function. If the client's validator is equal to the
  origin server's, then the intermediate cache simply returns 304 (Not
  Modified). Otherwise, it returns the new entity with a 200 (OK)
  response.

  If a request includes the no-cache directive, it SHOULD NOT include
  min-fresh, max-stale, or max-age.

only-if-cached
  In some cases, such as times of extremely poor network connectivity,
  a client may want a cache to return only those responses that it
  currently has stored, and not to reload or revalidate with the origin
  server. To do this, the client may include the only-if-cached
  directive in a request. If it receives this directive, a cache SHOULD
  either respond using a cached entry that is consistent with the other
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  constraints of the request, or respond with a 504 (Gateway Timeout)
  status. However, if a group of caches is being operated as a unified
  system with good internal connectivity, such a request MAY be
  forwarded within that group of caches.

must-revalidate
  Because a cache MAY be configured to ignore a server's specified
  expiration time, and because a client request MAY include a max-stale
  directive (which has a similar effect), the protocol also includes a
  mechanism for the origin server to require revalidation of a cache
  entry on any subsequent use. When the must-revalidate directive is
  present in a response received by a cache, that cache MUST NOT use
  the entry after it becomes stale to respond to a subsequent request
  without first revalidating it with the origin server. (I.e., the
  cache MUST do an end-to-end revalidation every time, if, based solely
  on the origin server's Expires or max-age value, the cached response
  is stale.)

  The must-revalidate directive is necessary to support reliable
  operation for certain protocol features. In all circumstances an
  HTTP/1.1 cache MUST obey the must-revalidate directive; in
  particular, if the cache cannot reach the origin server for any
  reason, it MUST generate a 504 (Gateway Timeout) response.

  Servers SHOULD send the must-revalidate directive if and only if
  failure to revalidate a request on the entity could result in
  incorrect operation, such as a silently unexecuted financial
  transaction. Recipients MUST NOT take any automated action that
  violates this directive, and MUST NOT automatically provide an
  unvalidated copy of the entity if revalidation fails.

  Although this is not recommended, user agents operating under severe
  connectivity constraints MAY violate this directive but, if so, MUST
  explicitly warn the user that an unvalidated response has been
  provided. The warning MUST be provided on each unvalidated access,
  and SHOULD require explicit user confirmation.

proxy-revalidate
  The proxy-revalidate directive has the same meaning as the must-
  revalidate directive, except that it does not apply to non-shared
  user agent caches. It can be used on a response to an authenticated
  request to permit the user's cache to store and later return the
  response without needing to revalidate it (since it has already been
  authenticated once by that user), while still requiring proxies that
  service many users to revalidate each time (in order to make sure
  that each user has been authenticated). Note that such authenticated
  responses also need the public cache control directive in order to
  allow them to be cached at all.


14.9.5 No-Transform Directive

no-transform
  Implementors of intermediate caches (proxies) have found it useful to
  convert the media type of certain entity bodies. A non-transparent

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  proxy might, for example, convert between image formats in order to
  save cache space or to reduce the amount of traffic on a slow link.

  Serious operational problems occur, however, when these
  transformations are applied to entity bodies intended for certain
  kinds of applications. For example, applications for medical imaging,
  scientific data analysis and those using end-to-end authentication,
  all depend on receiving an entity body that is bit for bit identical
  to the original entity-body.

  Therefore, if a message includes the no-transform directive, an
  intermediate cache or proxy MUST NOT change those headers that are
  listed in section 13.5.2 as being subject to the no-transform
  directive. This implies that the cache or proxy MUST NOT change any
  aspect of the entity-body that is specified by these headers.


14.9.6 Cache Control Extensions

The Cache-Control header field can be extended through the use of one or
more cache-extension tokens, each with an optional assigned value.
Informational extensions (those which do not require a change in cache
behavior) MAY be added without changing the semantics of other
directives. Behavioral extensions are designed to work by acting as
modifiers to the existing base of cache directives. Both the new
directive and the standard directive are supplied, such that
applications which do not understand the new directive will default to
the behavior specified by the standard directive, and those that
understand the new directive will recognize it as modifying the
requirements associated with the standard directive. In this way,
extensions to the cache-control directives can be made without requiring
changes to the base protocol.

This extension mechanism depends on an HTTP cache obeying all of the
cache-control directives defined for its native HTTP-version, obeying
certain extensions, and ignoring all directives that it does not
understand.

For example, consider a hypothetical new response directive called
community which acts as a modifier to the private directive. We define
this new directive to mean that, in addition to any non-shared cache,
any cache which is shared only by members of the community named within
its value may cache the response. An origin server wishing to allow the
UCI community to use an otherwise private response in their shared
cache(s) could do so by including

       Cache-Control: private, community="UCI"
A cache seeing this header field will act correctly even if the cache
does not understand the community cache-extension, since it will also
see and understand the private directive and thus default to the safe
behavior.

Unrecognized cache-directives MUST be ignored; it is assumed that any
cache-directive likely to be unrecognized by an HTTP/1.1 cache will be
combined with standard directives (or the response's default

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cachability) such that the cache behavior will remain minimally correct
even if the cache does not understand the extension(s).


14.10 Connection

The Connection general-header field allows the sender to specify options
that are desired for that particular connection and MUST NOT be
communicated by proxies over further connections.

The Connection header has the following grammar:

       Connection = "Connection" ":" 1#(connection-token)
       connection-token  = token
HTTP/1.1 proxies MUST parse the Connection header field before a message
is forwarded and, for each connection-token in this field, remove any
header field(s) from the message with the same name as the connection-
token. Connection options are signaled by the presence of a connection-
token in the Connection header field, not by any corresponding
additional header field(s), since the additional header field may not be
sent if there are no parameters associated with that connection option.

Message headers listed in the Connection header MUST NOT include end-to-
end headers, such as Cache-Control.

HTTP/1.1 defines the "close" connection option for the sender to signal
that the connection will be closed after completion of the response. For
example,

       Connection: close
in either the request or the response header fields indicates that the
connection SHOULD NOT be considered `persistent' (section 8.1) after the
current request/response is complete.

HTTP/1.1 applications that do not support persistent connections MUST
include the "close" connection option in every message.

A system receiving an HTTP/1.0 (or lower-version) message that includes
a Connection header MUST, for each connection-token in this field,
remove and ignore any header field(s) from the message with the same
name as the connection-token. This protects against mistaken forwarding
of such header fields by pre-HTTP/1.1 proxies. See section 19.6.2.


14.11 Content-Encoding

The Content-Encoding entity-header field is used as a modifier to the
media-type. When present, its value indicates what additional content
codings have been applied to the entity-body, and thus what decoding
mechanisms MUST be applied in order to obtain the media-type referenced
by the Content-Type header field. Content-Encoding is primarily used to
allow a document to be compressed without losing the identity of its
underlying media type.

       Content-Encoding  = "Content-Encoding" ":" 1#content-coding
Content codings are defined in section 3.5. An example of its use is
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       Content-Encoding: gzip
The content-coding is a characteristic of the entity identified by the
Request-URI. Typically, the entity-body is stored with this encoding and
is only decoded before rendering or analogous usage. However, a non-
transparent proxy MAY modify the content-coding if the new coding is
known to be acceptable to the recipient, unless the "no-transform"
cache-control directive is present in the message.

If the content-coding of an entity is not "identity", then the response
MUST including a Content-Encoding entity-header (section 14.11) that
lists the non-identity content-coding(s) used.

If the content-coding of an entity in a request message is not
acceptable to the origin server, the server SHOULD respond with a status
code of 415 (Unsupported Media Type).

If multiple encodings have been applied to an entity, the content
codings MUST be listed in the order in which they were applied.
Additional information about the encoding parameters MAY be provided by
other entity-header fields not defined by this specification.


14.12 Content-Language

The Content-Language entity-header field describes the natural
language(s) of the intended audience for the enclosed entity. Note that
this might not be equivalent to all the languages used within the
entity-body.

       Content-Language  = "Content-Language" ":" 1#language-tag
Language tags are defined in section 3.10. The primary purpose of
Content-Language is to allow a user to identify and differentiate
entities according to the user's own preferred language. Thus, if the
body content is intended only for a Danish-literate audience, the
appropriate field is

       Content-Language: da
If no Content-Language is specified, the default is that the content is
intended for all language audiences. This might mean that the sender
does not consider it to be specific to any natural language, or that the
sender does not know for which language it is intended.

Multiple languages MAY be listed for content that is intended for
multiple audiences. For example, a rendition of the "Treaty of
Waitangi," presented simultaneously in the original Maori and English
versions, would call for

       Content-Language: mi, en
However, just because multiple languages are present within an entity
does not mean that it is intended for multiple linguistic audiences. An
example would be a beginner's language primer, such as "A First Lesson
in Latin," which is clearly intended to be used by an English-literate
audience. In this case, the Content-Language would properly only include
"en".


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Content-Language MAY be applied to any media type -- it is not limited
to textual documents.


14.13 Content-Length

The Content-Length entity-header field indicates the size of the entity-
body, in decimal number of OCTETs, sent to the recipient or, in the case
of the HEAD method, the size of the entity-body that would have been
sent had the request been a GET.

       Content-Length    = "Content-Length" ":" 1*DIGIT
An example is

       Content-Length: 3495
Applications SHOULD use this field to indicate the transfer-length of
the message-body, unless this is prohibited by the rules in section 4.4.

Any Content-Length greater than or equal to zero is a valid value.
Section 4.4 describes how to determine the length of a message-body if a
Content-Length is not given.

  Note: The meaning of this field is significantly different from the
  corresponding definition in MIME, where it is an optional field
  used within the "message/external-body" content-type. In HTTP, it
  SHOULD be sent whenever the message's length can be determined
  prior to being transferred, unless this is prohibited by the rules
  in section 4.4.


14.14 Content-Location

The Content-Location entity-header field MAY be used to supply the
resource location for the entity enclosed in the message when that
entity is accessible from a location separate from the requested
resource's URI. A server SHOULD provide a Content-Location for the
variant corresponding to the response entity; especially in the case
where a resource has multiple entities associated with it, and those
entities actually have separate locations by which they might be
individually accessed, the server SHOULD provide a Content-Location for
the particular variant which is returned.

       Content-Location = "Content-Location" ":"
                         ( absoluteURI | relativeURI )
The value of Content-Location also defines the base URI for the entity.

The Content-Location value is not a replacement for the original
requested URI; it is only a statement of the location of the resource
corresponding to this particular entity at the time of the request.
Future requests MAY specify the Content-Location URI as the request-URI
if the desire is to identify the source of that particular entity.

A cache cannot assume that an entity with a Content-Location different
from the URI used to retrieve it can be used to respond to later
requests on that Content-Location URI. However, the Content-Location can

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be used to differentiate between multiple entities retrieved from a
single requested resource, as described in section 13.6.

If the Content-Location is a relative URI, the relative URI is
interpreted relative to the Request-URI.

The meaning of the Content-Location header in PUT or POST requests is
undefined; servers are free to ignore it in those cases.


14.15 Content-MD5

The Content-MD5 entity-header field, as defined in RFC 1864 [23], is an
MD5 digest of the entity-body for the purpose of providing an end-to-end
message integrity check (MIC) of the entity-body. (Note: a MIC is good
for detecting accidental modification of the entity-body in transit, but
is not proof against malicious attacks.)

        Content-MD5   = "Content-MD5" ":" md5-digest
        md5-digest   = <base64 of 128 bit MD5 digest as per RFC 1864>
The Content-MD5 header field MAY be generated by an origin server to
function as an integrity check of the entity-body. Only origin servers
may generate the Content-MD5 header field; proxies and gateways MUST NOT
generate it, as this would defeat its value as an end-to-end integrity
check. Any recipient of the entity-body, including gateways and proxies,
MAY check that the digest value in this header field matches that of the
entity-body as received.

The MD5 digest is computed based on the content of the entity-body,
including any content-coding that has been applied, but not including
any transfer-encoding applied to the message-body. If the message is
received with a transfer-encoding, that encoding MUST be removed prior
to checking the Content-MD5 value against the received entity.

This has the result that the digest is computed on the octets of the
entity-body exactly as, and in the order that, they would be sent if no
transfer-encoding were being applied.

HTTP extends RFC 1864 to permit the digest to be computed for MIME
composite media-types (e.g., multipart/* and message/rfc822), but this
does not change how the digest is computed as defined in the preceding
paragraph.

  Note: There are several consequences of this. The entity-body for
  composite types MAY contain many body-parts, each with its own MIME
  and HTTP headers (including Content-MD5, Content-Transfer-Encoding,
  and Content-Encoding headers). If a body-part has a Content-
  Transfer-Encoding or Content-Encoding header, it is assumed that
  the content of the body-part has had the encoding applied, and the
  body-part is included in the Content-MD5 digest as is -- i.e.,
  after the application. The Transfer-Encoding header field is not
  allowed within body-parts.

  Note: while the definition of Content-MD5 is exactly the same for
  HTTP as in RFC 1864 for MIME entity-bodies, there are several ways
  in which the application of Content-MD5 to HTTP entity-bodies
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  differs from its application to MIME entity-bodies. One is that
  HTTP, unlike MIME, does not use Content-Transfer-Encoding, and does
  use Transfer-Encoding and Content-Encoding. Another is that HTTP
  more frequently uses binary content types than MIME, so it is worth
  noting that, in such cases, the byte order used to compute the
  digest is the transmission byte order defined for the type. Lastly,
  HTTP allows transmission of text types with any of several line
  break conventions and not just the canonical form using CRLF.
  Conversion of all line breaks to CRLF MUST NOT be done before
  computing or checking the digest: the line break convention used in
  the text actually transmitted MUST be left unaltered when computing
  the digest.


14.16 Content-Range

The Content-Range entity-header is sent with a partial entity-body to
specify where in the full entity-body the partial body should be
applied. It SHOULD indicate the total length of the full entity-body,
unless this length is unknown or difficult to determine.

       Content-Range = "Content-Range" ":" content-range-spec
       content-range-spec      = byte-content-range-spec
       byte-content-range-spec = bytes-unit SP
                                 byte-range-resp-spec "/"
                                 ( instance-length | "*" )

       byte-range-resp-spec = (first-byte-pos "-" last-byte-pos)
                                      | "*"
       instance-length           = 1*DIGIT
The asterisk "*" character means that the instance-length is unknown at
the time when the response was generated.

Unlike byte-ranges-specifier values, a byte-range-resp-spec MUST only
specify one range, and MUST contain absolute byte positions for both the
first and last byte of the range.

A byte-content-range-spec with a byte-range-resp-spec whose last-byte-
pos value is less than its first-byte-pos value, or whose instance-
length value is less than or equal to its last-byte-pos value, is
invalid. The recipient of an invalid byte-content-range-spec MUST ignore
it and any content transferred along with it.

A server sending a response with status code 416 (Requested range not
satisfiable) SHOULD include a Content-Range field with a byte-range-
resp-spec of "*". The instance-length specifies the current length of
the selected resource. A response with status code 206 (Partial Content)
MUST NOT include a Content-Range field with a content-range-spec of "*".

Examples of byte-content-range-spec values, assuming that the entity
contains a total of 1234 bytes:

  .  The first 500 bytes:
       bytes 0-499/1234
  .  The second 500 bytes:
       bytes 500-999/1234
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  .  All except for the first 500 bytes:
       bytes 500-1233/1234
  .  The last 500 bytes:
       bytes 734-1233/1234
When an HTTP message includes the content of a single range (for
example, a response to a request for a single range, or to a request for
a set of ranges that overlap without any holes), this content is
transmitted with a Content-Range header, and a Content-Length header
showing the number of bytes actually transferred. For example,

       HTTP/1.1 206 Partial content
       Date: Wed, 15 Nov 1995 06:25:24 GMT
       Last-modified: Wed, 15 Nov 1995 04:58:08 GMT
       Content-Range: bytes 21010-47021/47022
       Content-Length: 26012
       Content-Type: image/gif
When an HTTP message includes the content of multiple ranges (for
example, a response to a request for multiple non-overlapping ranges),
these are transmitted as a multipart message. The multipart media type
used for this purpose is "multipart/byteranges" as defined in appendix
19.2. See appendix Error! Reference source not found. for a
compatibility issue.

A response to a request for a single range MUST NOT be sent using the
multipart/byteranges media type.  A reponse to a request for multiple
ranges, whose result is a single range, MAY be sent as a
multipart/byteranges media type with one part. A client that cannot
decode a multipart/byteranges message MUST NOT ask for multiple byte-
ranges in a single request.

When a client requests multiple byte-ranges in one request, the server
SHOULD return them in the order that they appeared in the request.

If the server ignores a byte-range-spec because it is syntactically
invalid, the server SHOULD treat the request as if the invalid Range
header field did not exist. (Normally, this means return a 200 response
containing the full entity).

If the server receives a request (other than one including an If-Range
request-header field) with an unsatisfiable Range request-header field
(that is, all of whose byte-range-spec values have a first-byte-pos
value greater than the current length of the selected resource), it
SHOULD return a response code of 416 (Requested range not satisfiable)
(section 10.4.17).

  Note: clients cannot depend on servers to send a 416 (Requested
  range not satisfiable) response instead of a 200 (OK) response for
  an unsatisfiable Range request-header, since not all servers
  implement this request-header.


14.17 Content-Type

The Content-Type entity-header field indicates the media type of the
entity-body sent to the recipient or, in the case of the HEAD method,
the media type that would have been sent had the request been a GET.
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       Content-Type   = "Content-Type" ":" media-type
Media types are defined in section 3.7. An example of the field is

       Content-Type: text/html; charset=ISO-8859-4
Further discussion of methods for identifying the media type of an
entity is provided in section 7.2.1.


14.18 Date

The Date general-header field represents the date and time at which the
message was originated, having the same semantics as orig-date in RFC
822. The field value is an HTTP-date, as described in section 3.3.1; it
MUST be sent in RFC 1123 [8]-date format.

       Date  = "Date" ":" HTTP-date
An example is

       Date: Tue, 15 Nov 1994 08:12:31 GMT
Origin servers MUST include a Date header field in all responses, except
in these cases:

  1. If the response status code is 100 (Continue) or 101 (Switching
     Protocols), the response MAY include a Date header field, at the
     server's option.

  2. If the response status code conveys a server error, e.g. 500
     (Internal Server Error) or 503 (Service Unavailable), and it is
     inconvenient or impossible to generate a valid Date.

  3. If the server does not have a clock that can provide a reasonable
     approximation of the current time, its responses MUST NOT include a
     Date header field. In this case, the rules in section 14.18.1 MUST
     be followed.

A received message that does not have a Date header field MUST be
assigned one by the recipient if the message will be cached by that
recipient or gatewayed via a protocol which requires a Date. An HTTP
implementation without a clock MUST NOT cache responses without
revalidating them on every use. An HTTP cache, especially a shared
cache, SHOULD use a mechanism, such as NTP [28], to synchronize its
clock with a reliable external standard.

Clients SHOULD only send a Date header field in messages that include an
entity-body, as in the case of the PUT and POST requests, and even then
it is optional. A client without a clock MUST NOT send a Date header
field in a request.

The HTTP-date sent in a Date header SHOULD NOT represent a date and time
subsequent to the generation of the message. It SHOULD represent the
best available approximation of the date and time of message generation,
unless the implementation has no means of generating a reasonably
accurate date and time. In theory, the date ought to represent the
moment just before the entity is generated. In practice, the date can be
generated at any time during the message origination without affecting
its semantic value.
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14.18.1 Clockless Origin Server Operation

Some origin server implementations might not have a clock available. An
origin server without a clock MUST NOT assign Expires or Last-Modified
values to a response, unless these values were associated with the
resource by a system or user with a reliable clock. It MAY assign an
Expires value that is known, at or before server configuration time, to
be in the past (this allows "pre-expiration" of responses without
storing separate Expires values for each resource).


14.19 ETag

The ETag response-header field provides the current value of the entity
tag for the requested variant. The headers used with entity tags are
described in sections 14.24, 14.26 and 14.44. The entity tag MAY be used
for comparison with other entities from the same resource (see section
13.3.3).

      ETag = "ETag" ":" entity-tag
Examples:

      ETag: "xyzzy"
      ETag: W/"xyzzy"
      ETag: ""

14.20 Expect

The Expect request-header field is used to indicate that particular
server behaviors are required by the client. A server that does not
understand or is unable to comply with any of the expectation values in
the Expect field of a request MUST respond with appropriate error
status.

      Expect       =  "Expect" ":" 1#expectation
      expectation  =  "100-continue" | expectation-extension
      expectation-extension =  token [ "=" ( token | quoted-string )
                               *expect-params ]
      expect-params =  ";" token [ "=" ( token | quoted-string ) ]

The server MUST respond with a 417 (Expectation Failed) status if any of
the expectations cannot be met or, if there are other problems with the
request, some other 4xx status.

This header field is defined with extensible syntax to allow for future
extensions. If a server receives a request containing an Expect field
that includes an expectation-extension that it does not support, it MUST
respond with a 417 (Expectation Failed) status.

Comparison of expectation values is case-insensitive for unquoted tokens
(including the 100-continue token), and is case-sensitive for quoted-
string expectation-extensions.

The Expect mechanism is hop-by-hop: that is, an HTTP/1.1 proxy MUST
return a 417 (Expectation Failed) status if it receives a request with

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an expectation that it cannot meet. However, the Expect request-header
itself is end-to-end; it MUST be forwarded if the request is forwarded.

Many older HTTP/1.0 and HTTP/1.1 applications do not understand the
Expect header.


14.20.1 Expect 100-continue

When the "100-continue" expectation is present on a request that
includes a body, the requesting client will wait after sending the
request headers before sending the content-body. In this case, the
server MUST conform to the requirements of section 8.2.4: it MUST either
send a 100 (Continue) status, or an error status, after receiving the
"Expect: 100-continue" request header.

If a proxy receives a request with the "100-continue" expectation, and
the proxy either knows that the next-hop server complies with HTTP/1.1
or higher, or does not know the HTTP version of the next-hop server, it
MUST forward the request, including the Expect header field. If the
proxy knows that the version of the next-hop server is HTTP/1.0 or
lower, it MUST NOT forward the request, and it MUST respond with a 417
(Expectation Failed) status. Proxies SHOULD maintain a cache recording
the HTTP version numbers received from recently-referenced next-hop
servers.

  Note: Because of the presence of older implementations, the
  protocol allows ambiguous situations in which a client MAY send
  "Expect: 100-continue" without receiving either a 417 (Expectation
  Failed) status or a 100 (Continue) status. Therefore, when a client
  sends this header field to an origin server (possibly via a proxy)
  from which it has never seen a 100 (Continue) status, the client
  need not wait for an indefinite or lengthy period before sending
  the request body.


14.21 Expires

The Expires entity-header field gives the date/time after which the
response is considered stale. A stale cache entry may not normally be
returned by a cache (either a proxy cache or a user agent cache) unless
it is first validated with the origin server (or with an intermediate
cache that has a fresh copy of the entity). See section 13.2 for further
discussion of the expiration model.

The presence of an Expires field does not imply that the original
resource will change or cease to exist at, before, or after that time.

The format is an absolute date and time as defined by HTTP-date in
section 3.3; it MUST be in RFC 1123 date format:

      Expires = "Expires" ":" HTTP-date
An example of its use is

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

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  Note: if a response includes a Cache-Control field with the max-age
  directive, that directive overrides the Expires field.

HTTP/1.1 clients and caches MUST treat other invalid date formats,
especially including the value "0", as in the past (i.e., "already
expired").

To mark a response as "already expired," an origin server sends an
Expires date that is equal to the Date header value. (See the rules for
expiration calculations in section 13.2.4.)

To mark a response as "never expires," an origin server sends an Expires
date approximately one year from the time the response is sent. HTTP/1.1
servers SHOULD NOT send Expires dates more than one year in the future.

The presence of an Expires header field with a date value of some time
in the future on an response that otherwise would by default be non-
cachable indicates that the response is cachable, unless indicated
otherwise by a Cache-Control header field (section 14.9).


14.22 From

The From request-header field, if given, SHOULD contain an Internet e-
mail address for the human user who controls the requesting user agent.
The address SHOULD be machine-usable, as defined by "mailbox" in RFC 822
[9] (as updated by RFC 1123 [8]):

       From   = "From" ":" mailbox
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 MAY be separate from the
Internet host which issued the request. For example, when a request is
passed through a proxy the original issuer's address SHOULD be used.

  Note: The client SHOULD NOT send the From header field without the
  user's approval, as it might 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.


14.23 Host

The Host request-header field specifies the Internet host and port
number of the resource being requested, as obtained from the original
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URI given by the user or referring resource (generally an HTTP URL, as
described in section 3.2.2). The Host field value MUST represent the
naming authority of the origin server or gateway given by the original
URL. This allows the origin server or gateway to differentiate between
internally-ambiguous URLs, such as the root "/" URL of a server for
multiple host names on a single IP address.

       Host = "Host" ":" host [ ":" port ] ; Section 3.2.2
A "host" without any trailing port information implies the default port
for the service requested (e.g., "80" for an HTTP URL). For example, a
request on the origin server for <http://www.w3.org/pub/WWW/> would
properly include:

       GET /pub/WWW/ HTTP/1.1
       Host: www.w3.org
A client MUST include a Host header field in all HTTP/1.1 request
messages on the Internet (i.e., on any message corresponding to a
request for a URL which includes an Internet host address for the
service being requested). If the Host field is not already present, an
HTTP/1.1 proxy MUST add a Host field to the request message prior to
forwarding it on the Internet. All Internet-based HTTP/1.1 servers MUST
respond with a 400 (Bad Request) status code to any HTTP/1.1 request
message which lacks a Host header field.

See sections 5.2 and 19.6.1.1 for other requirements relating to Host.


14.24 If-Match

The If-Match request-header field is used with a method to make it
conditional. A client that has one or more entities previously obtained
from the resource can verify that one of those entities is current by
including a list of their associated entity tags in the If-Match header
field. The purpose of this feature is to allow efficient updates of
cached information with a minimum amount of transaction overhead. It is
also used, on updating requests, to prevent inadvertent modification of
the wrong version of a resource. As a special case, the value "*"
matches any current entity of the resource.

       If-Match = "If-Match" ":" ( "*" | 1#entity-tag )
If any of the entity tags match the entity tag of the entity that would
have been returned in the response to a similar GET request (without the
If-Match header) on that resource, or if "*" is given and any current
entity exists for that resource, then the server MAY perform the
requested method as if the If-Match header field did not exist.

A server MUST use the strong comparison function (see section 13.3.3) to
compare the entity tags in If-Match.

If none of the entity tags match, or if "*" is given and no current
entity exists, the server MUST NOT perform the requested method, and
MUST return a 412 (Precondition Failed) response. This behavior is most
useful when the client wants to prevent an updating method, such as PUT,
from modifying a resource that has changed since the client last
retrieved it.

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If the request would, without the If-Match header field, result in
anything other than a 2xx or 412 status, then the If-Match header MUST
be ignored.

The meaning of "If-Match: *" is that the method SHOULD be performed if
the representation selected by the origin server (or by a cache,
possibly using the Vary mechanism, see section 14.44) exists, and MUST
NOT be performed if the representation does not exist.

A request intended to update a resource (e.g., a PUT) MAY include an If-
Match header field to signal that the request method MUST NOT be applied
if the entity corresponding to the If-Match value (a single entity tag)
is no longer a representation of that resource. This allows the user to
indicate that they do not wish the request to be successful if the
resource has been changed without their knowledge. Examples:

       If-Match: "xyzzy"
       If-Match: "xyzzy", "r2d2xxxx", "c3piozzzz"
       If-Match: *
The result of a request having both an If-Match header field and either
an If-None-Match or an If-Modified-Since header fields is undefined by
this specification.


14.25 If-Modified-Since

The If-Modified-Since request-header field is used with a method to make
it conditional: if the requested variant has not been modified since the
time specified in this field, an entity will not be returned from the
server; instead, a 304 (not modified) response will be returned without
any message-body.

       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
A GET method with an If-Modified-Since header and no Range header
requests that the identified entity be transferred only if it has been
modified since the date given by the If-Modified-Since header. The
algorithm for determining this includes the following cases:


a)If the request would normally result in anything other than a 200
  (OK) status, or if the passed If-Modified-Since date is invalid, the
  response is exactly the same as for a normal GET. A date which is
  later than the server's current time is invalid.


b)If the variant has been modified since the If-Modified-Since date,
  the response is exactly the same as for a normal GET.


c)If the variant has not been modified since a valid If-Modified-Since
  date, the server SHOULD return a 304 (Not Modified) response.


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The purpose of this feature is to allow efficient updates of cached
information with a minimum amount of transaction overhead.

  Note that the Range request-header field modifies the meaning of
  If-Modified-Since; see section 14.35 for full details.

  Note that If-Modified-Since times are interpreted by the server,
  whose clock might not be synchronized with the client.

  Note: When handling an If-Modified-Since header field, some servers
  will use an exact date comparison function, rather than a less-than
  function, for deciding whether to send a 304 (Not Modified)
  response. To get best results when sending an If-Modified-Since
  header field for cache validation, clients are advised to use the
  exact date string received in a previous Last-Modified header field
  whenever possible.

Note that if a client uses an arbitrary date in the If-Modified-Since
header instead of a date taken from the Last-Modified header for the
same request, the client should be aware of the fact that this date is
interpreted in the server's understanding of time. The client should
consider unsynchronized clocks and rounding problems due to the
different encodings of time between the client and server. This includes
the possibility of race conditions if the document has changed between
the time it was first requested and the If-Modified-Since date of a
subsequent request, and the possibility of clock-skew-related problems
if the If-Modified-Since date is derived from the client's clock without
correction to the server's clock. Corrections for different time bases
between client and server are at best approximate due to network
latency.

The result of a request having both an If-Modified-Since header field
and either an If-Match or an If-Unmodified-Since header fields is
undefined by this specification.


14.26 If-None-Match

The If-None-Match request-header field is used with a method to make the
method conditional. A client that has one or more entities previously
obtained from the resource can verify that none of those entities is
current by including a list of their associated entity tags in the If-
None-Match header field. The purpose of this feature is to allow
efficient updates of cached information with a minimum amount of
transaction overhead. It is also used to prevent a method (e.g. PUT)
from inadvertently modifying an existing resource when the client
believes that the resource does not exist.

As a special case, the value "*" matches any current entity of the
resource.

    If-None-Match = "If-None-Match" ":" ( "*" | 1#entity-tag )
If any of the entity tags match the entity tag of the entity that would
have been returned in the response to a similar GET request (without the
If-None-Match header) on that resource, or if "*" is given and any
current entity exists for that resource, then the server MUST NOT
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perform the requested method, unless required to do so because the
resource's modification date fails to match that supplied in an If-
Modified-Since header field in the request. Instead, if the request
method was GET or HEAD, the server SHOULD respond with a 304 (Not
Modified) response, including the cache-related header fields
(particularly ETag) of one of the entities that matched. For all other
request methods, the server MUST respond with a status of 412
(Precondition Failed).

See section 13.3.3 for rules on how to determine if two entity tags
match. The weak comparison function can only be used with GET or HEAD
requests.

If none of the entity tags match, then the server MAY perform the
requested method as if the If-None-Match header field did not exist, but
MUST also ignore any If-Modified-Since header field(s) in the request.
That is, if no entity tags match, then the server MUST not return a 304
(Not Modified) response.

If "*" is given and no current entity exists, then the server MAY
perform the requested method as if the If-None-Match header field did
not exist.

If the request would, without the If-None-Match header field, result in
anything other than a 2xx or 304 status, then the If-None-Match header
MUST be ignored. (See section 13.3.4 for a discussion of server behavior
when both If-Modified-Since and If-None-Match appear in the same
request.)

The meaning of "If-None-Match: *" is that the method MUST NOT be
performed if the representation selected by the origin server (or by a
cache, possibly using the Vary mechanism, see section 14.44) exists, and
SHOULD be performed if the representation does not exist. This feature
is intended to be useful in preventing races between PUT operations.

Examples:

       If-None-Match: "xyzzy"
       If-None-Match: W/"xyzzy"
       If-None-Match: "xyzzy", "r2d2xxxx", "c3piozzzz"
       If-None-Match: W/"xyzzy", W/"r2d2xxxx", W/"c3piozzzz"
       If-None-Match: *
The result of a request having both an If-None-Match header field and
either an If-Match or an If-Unmodified-Since header fields is undefined
by this specification.


14.27 If-Range

If a client has a partial copy of an entity in its cache, and wishes to
have an up-to-date copy of the entire entity in its cache, it could use
the Range request-header with a conditional GET (using either or both of
If-Unmodified-Since and If-Match.) However, if the condition fails
because the entity has been modified, the client would then have to make
a second request to obtain the entire current entity-body.

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The If-Range header allows a client to "short-circuit" the second
request. Informally, its meaning is `if the entity is unchanged, send me
the part(s) that I am missing; otherwise, send me the entire new
entity.'

        If-Range = "If-Range" ":" ( entity-tag | HTTP-date )
If the client has no entity tag for an entity, but does have a Last-
Modified date, it MAY use that date in a If-Range header. (The server
can distinguish between a valid HTTP-date and any form of entity-tag by
examining no more than two characters.) The If-Range header SHOULD only
be used together with a Range header, and MUST be ignored if the request
does not include a Range header, or if the server does not support the
sub-range operation.

If the entity tag given in the If-Range header matches the current
entity tag for the entity, then the server SHOULD provide the specified
sub-range of the entity using a 206 (Partial content) response. If the
entity tag does not match, then the server SHOULD return the entire
entity using a 200 (OK) response.


14.28 If-Unmodified-Since

The If-Unmodified-Since request-header field is used with a method to
make it conditional. If the requested resource has not been modified
since the time specified in this field, the server SHOULD perform the
requested operation as if the If-Unmodified-Since header were not
present.

If the requested variant has been modified since the specified time, the
server MUST NOT perform the requested operation, and MUST return a 412
(Precondition Failed).

      If-Unmodified-Since = "If-Unmodified-Since" ":" HTTP-date
An example of the field is:

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

If the request normally (i.e., without the If-Unmodified-Since header)
would result in anything other than a 2xx or 412 status, the If-
Unmodified-Since header SHOULD be ignored.

If the specified date is invalid, the header is ignored.

The result of a request having both an If-Unmodified-Since header field
and either an If-None-Match or an If-Modified-Since header fields is
undefined by this specification.


14.29 Last-Modified

The Last-Modified entity-header field indicates the date and time at
which the origin server believes the variant was last modified.

       Last-Modified  = "Last-Modified" ":" HTTP-date
An example of its use is
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       Last-Modified: Tue, 15 Nov 1994 12:45:26 GMT
The exact meaning of this header field depends on the implementation of
the origin server and the nature of the original resource. For files, it
may be just the file system last-modified time. For entities with
dynamically included parts, it may be the most recent of the set of
last-modify times for its component parts. For database gateways, it may
be the last-update time stamp of the record. For virtual objects, it may
be the last time the internal state changed.

An origin server MUST NOT send a Last-Modified date which is later than
the server's time of message origination. In such cases, where the
resource's last modification would indicate some time in the future, the
server MUST replace that date with the message origination date.

An origin server SHOULD obtain the Last-Modified value of the entity as
close as possible to the time that it generates the Date value of its
response. This allows a recipient to make an accurate assessment of the
entity's modification time, especially if the entity changes near the
time that the response is generated.

HTTP/1.1 servers SHOULD send Last-Modified whenever feasible.


14.30 Location

The Location response-header field is used to redirect the recipient to
a location other than the Request-URI for completion of the request or
identification of a new resource. For 201 (Created) responses, the
Location is that of the new resource which was created by the request.
For 3xx responses, the location SHOULD indicate the server's preferred
URI for automatic redirection to the resource. The field value consists
of a single absolute URI.

       Location       = "Location" ":" absoluteURI
An example is:

       Location: http://www.w3.org/pub/WWW/People.html
  Note: The Content-Location header field (section 14.14) differs
  from Location in that the Content-Location identifies the original
  location of the entity enclosed in the request. It is therefore
  possible for a response to contain header fields for both Location
  and Content-Location. Also see section 13.10 for cache requirements
  of some methods.


14.31 Max-Forwards

The Max-Forwards request-header field provides a meachanism with the
TRACE (section 14.31) and OPTIONS (section 9.2) methods to limit the
number of proxies or gateways that can forward the request to the next
inbound server. This can be useful when the client is attempting to
trace a request chain which appears to be failing or looping in mid-
chain.

       Max-Forwards   = "Max-Forwards" ":" 1*DIGIT

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The Max-Forwards value is a decimal integer indicating the remaining
number of times this request message may be forwarded.

Each proxy or gateway recipient of a TRACE or OPTIONS request containing
a Max-Forwards header field MUST check and update its value prior to
forwarding the request. If the received value is zero (0), the recipient
MUST NOT forward the request; instead, it MUST respond as the final
recipient. If the received Max-Forwards value is greater than zero, then
the forwarded message MUST contain an updated Max-Forwards field with a
value decremented by one (1).

The Max-Forwards header field MAY be ignored for all other methods
defined by this specification and for any extension methods for which it
is not explicitly referred to as part of that method definition.


14.32 Pragma

The Pragma general-header field is used to include implementation-
specific directives that might apply to any recipient along the
request/response chain. All pragma directives specify optional behavior
from the viewpoint of the protocol; however, some systems MAY require
that behavior be consistent with the directives.

       Pragma            = "Pragma" ":" 1#pragma-directive
       pragma-directive  = "no-cache" | extension-pragma
       extension-pragma  = token [ "=" ( token | quoted-string ) ]
When the no-cache directive is present in a request message, an
application SHOULD forward the request toward the origin server even if
it has a cached copy of what is being requested. This pragma directive
has the same semantics as the no-cache cache-directive (see section
14.9) and is defined here for backwards compatibility with HTTP/1.0.
Clients SHOULD include both header fields when a no-cache request is
sent to a server not known to be HTTP/1.1 compliant.

Pragma directives MUST be passed through by a proxy or gateway
application, regardless of their significance to that application, since
the directives might be applicable to all recipients along the
request/response chain. It is not possible to specify a pragma for a
specific recipient; however, any pragma directive not relevant to a
recipient SHOULD be ignored by that recipient.

HTTP/1.1 caches SHOULD treat "Pragma: no-cache" as if the client had
sent "Cache-Control: no-cache". No new Pragma directives will be defined
in HTTP.


14.33 Proxy-Authenticate

The Proxy-Authenticate response-header field MUST be included as part of
a 407 (Proxy Authentication Required) response. The field value consists
of a challenge that indicates the authentication scheme and parameters
applicable to the proxy for this Request-URI.

       Proxy-Authenticate  = "Proxy-Authenticate" ":" challenge

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The HTTP access authentication process is described in "HTTP
Authentication: Basic and Digest Access Authentication" . Unlike WWW-
Authenticate, the Proxy-Authenticate header field applies only to the
current connection and SHOULD NOT be passed on to downstream clients.
However, an intermediate proxy might need to obtain its own credentials
by requesting them from the downstream client, which in some
circumstances will appear as if the proxy is forwarding the Proxy-
Authenticate header field.


14.34 Proxy-Authorization

The Proxy-Authorization request-header field allows the client to
identify itself (or its user) to a proxy which requires authentication.
The Proxy-Authorization field value consists of credentials containing
the authentication information of the user agent for the proxy and/or
realm of the resource being requested.

       Proxy-Authorization     = "Proxy-Authorization" ":" credentials
The HTTP access authentication process is described in "HTTP
Authentication: Basic and Digest Access Authentication" . Unlike
Authorization, the Proxy-Authorization header field applies only to the
next outbound proxy that demanded authentication using the Proxy-
Authenticate field. When multiple proxies are used in a chain, the
Proxy-Authorization header field is consumed by the first outbound proxy
that was expecting to receive credentials. A proxy MAY relay the
credentials from the client request to the next proxy if that is the
mechanism by which the proxies cooperatively authenticate a given
request.


14.35 Range


14.35.1 Byte Ranges

Since all HTTP entities are represented in HTTP messages as sequences of
bytes, the concept of a byte range is meaningful for any HTTP entity.
(However, not all clients and servers need to support byte-range
operations.)

Byte range specifications in HTTP apply to the sequence of bytes in the
entity-body (not necessarily the same as the message-body).

A byte range operation MAY specify a single range of bytes, or a set of
ranges within a single entity.

       ranges-specifier = byte-ranges-specifier
       byte-ranges-specifier = bytes-unit "=" byte-range-set
       byte-range-set  = 1#( byte-range-spec | suffix-byte-range-spec )
       byte-range-spec = first-byte-pos "-" [last-byte-pos]
       first-byte-pos  = 1*DIGIT
       last-byte-pos   = 1*DIGIT
The first-byte-pos value in a byte-range-spec gives the byte-offset of
the first byte in a range. The last-byte-pos value gives the byte-offset

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of the last byte in the range; that is, the byte positions specified are
inclusive. Byte offsets start at zero.

If the last-byte-pos value is present, it MUST be greater than or equal
to the first-byte-pos in that byte-range-spec, or the byte-range-spec is
syntactically invalid. The recipient of a byte-range-set that includes
one or more syntactically invalid byte-range-spec values MUST ignore the
header field that includes that byte-range-set.

If the last-byte-pos value is absent, or if the value is greater than or
equal to the current length of the entity-body, last-byte-pos is taken
to be equal to one less than the current length of the entity-body in
bytes.

By its choice of last-byte-pos, a client can limit the number of bytes
retrieved without knowing the size of the entity.

       suffix-byte-range-spec = "-" suffix-length
       suffix-length = 1*DIGIT
A suffix-byte-range-spec is used to specify the suffix of the entity-
body, of a length given by the suffix-length value. (That is, this form
specifies the last N bytes of an entity-body.) If the entity is shorter
than the specified suffix-length, the entire entity-body is used.

If a syntactically valid byte-range-set includes at least one byte-
range-spec whose first-byte-pos is less than the current length of the
entity-body, or at least one suffix-byte-range-spec with a non-zero
suffix-length, then the byte-range-set is satisfiable. Otherwise, the
byte-range-set is unsatisfiable. If the byte-range-set is unsatisfiable,
the server SHOULD return a response with a status of 416 (Requested
range not satisfiable). Otherwise, the server SHOULD return a response
with a status of 206 (Partial Content) containing the satisfiable ranges
of the entity-body.

Examples of byte-ranges-specifier values (assuming an entity-body of
length 10000):

  .  The first 500 bytes (byte offsets 0-499, inclusive):
       bytes=0-499
  .  The second 500 bytes (byte offsets 500-999, inclusive):
       bytes=500-999
  .  The final 500 bytes (byte offsets 9500-9999, inclusive):
       bytes=-500
  .  Or
       bytes=9500-
  .  The first and last bytes only (bytes 0 and 9999):
       bytes=0-0,-1
  .  Several legal but not canonical specifications of the second 500
     bytes (byte offsets 500-999, inclusive):
       bytes=500-600,601-999
       bytes=500-700,601-999

14.35.2 Range Retrieval Requests

HTTP retrieval requests using conditional or unconditional GET methods
MAY request one or more sub-ranges of the entity, instead of the entire
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entity, using the Range request header, which applies to the entity
returned as the result of the request:

      Range = "Range" ":" ranges-specifier
A server MAY ignore the Range header. However, HTTP/1.1 origin servers
and intermediate caches ought tosupport byte ranges when possible, since
Range supports efficient recovery from partially failed transfers, and
supports efficient partial retrieval of large entities.

If the server supports the Range header and the specified range or
ranges are appropriate for the entity:

  .  The presence of a Range header in an unconditional GET modifies
     what is returned if the GET is otherwise successful. In other
     words, the response carries a status code of 206 (Partial Content)
     instead of 200 (OK).
  .  The presence of a Range header in a conditional GET (a request
     using one or both of If-Modified-Since and If-None-Match, or one or
     both of If-Unmodified-Since and If-Match) modifies what is returned
     if the GET is otherwise successful and the condition is true. It
     does not affect the 304 (Not Modified) response returned if the
     conditional is false.
In some cases, it might be more appropriate to use the If-Range header
(see section 14.27) in addition to the Range header.

If a proxy that supports ranges receives a Range request, forwards the
request to an inbound server, and receives an entire entity in reply, it
SHOULD only return the requested range to its client. It SHOULD store
the entire received response in its cache, if that is consistent with
its cache allocation policies.


14.36 Referer

The Referer[sic] request-header field allows the client to specify, for
the server's benefit, the address (URI) of the resource from which the
Request-URI was obtained (the "referrer", although the header field is
misspelled.) The Referer request-header allows a server to generate
lists of back-links to resources for interest, logging, optimized
caching, etc. It also allows obsolete or mistyped links to be traced for
maintenance. The Referer field MUST NOT be sent if the Request-URI was
obtained from a source that does not have its own URI, such as input
from the user keyboard.

       Referer        = "Referer" ":" ( absoluteURI | relativeURI )
Example:

       Referer: http://www.w3.org/hypertext/DataSources/Overview.html
If the field value is a partial URI, it SHOULD be interpreted relative
to the Request-URI. The URI MUST NOT include a fragment. See section
15.1.3 for security considerations.





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14.37 Retry-After

The Retry-After response-header field can be used with a 503 (Service
Unavailable) response to indicate how long the service is expected to be
unavailable to the requesting client. This field MAY also be used with
any 3xx (Redirection) response to indicate the minimum time the user-
agent is asked wait before issuing the redirected request. The value of
this field can be either an HTTP-date or an integer number of seconds
(in decimal) after the time of the response.

       Retry-After  = "Retry-After" ":" ( HTTP-date | delta-seconds )
Two examples of its use are

       Retry-After: Fri, 31 Dec 1999 23:59:59 GMT
       Retry-After: 120
In the latter example, the delay is 2 minutes.


14.38 Server

The Server response-header field contains information about the software
used by the origin server to handle the request. The field can contain
multiple product tokens (section 3.8) and comments identifying the
server and any significant subproducts. The product tokens are listed in
order of their significance for identifying the application.

       Server         = "Server" ":" 1*( product | comment )
Example:

       Server: CERN/3.0 libwww/2.17
If the response is being forwarded through a proxy, the proxy
application MUST NOT modify the Server response-header. Instead, it
SHOULD include a Via field (as described in section 14.45).

  Note: Revealing the specific software version of the server might
  allow the server machine to become more vulnerable to attacks
  against software that is known to contain security holes. Server
  implementors are encouraged to make this field a configurable
  option.


14.39 TE

The TE request-header field is similar to Accept-Encoding, but indicates
the transfer-codings (section 3.6) that are preferred in the response.
The client is not guaranteed that the server recognises the information
in the TE request header field.

       TE           = "TE" ":" #( t-codings )
       t-codings   = "chunked" | ( transfer-extension [ accept-params ]
)
Examples of its use are:

       TE: deflate
       TE:
       TE: chunked, deflate;q=0.5
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The TE header field only applies to the immediate connection. Therefore,
the keyword MUST be supplied within a Connection header field (section
14.10) whenever TE is present in an HTTP/1.1 message.

A server tests whether a transfer-coding is acceptable, according to a
TE field, using these rules:

  1. If the transfer-coding is one of the transfer-codings listed in the
     TE field, then it is acceptable, unless it is accompanied by a
     qvalue of 0. (As defined in section 3.9, a qvalue of 0 means "not
     acceptable.")

  2. If multiple transfer-codings are acceptable, then the acceptable
     transfer-coding with the highest non-zero qvalue is preferred.

  3. The "identity" transfer-coding is always acceptable, unless
     specifically refused because the TE field includes "identity;q=0".
     The "chunked" transfer-coding is always acceptable. The Trailer
     header field (section 14.40) can be used to indicate the set of
     header fields included in the trailer.

  4.    If the TE field-value is empty, only the "identity" and the
     "chunked" transfer-codings are acceptable.

If an TE field is present in a request, and if a server cannot send a
response which is acceptable according to the TE header field, then the
server SHOULD send an error response with the 406 (Not Acceptable)
status code.

If no TE field is present, the sender MAY assume that the recipient will
accept the "identity" and "chunked" transfer-codings.

A server using chunked transfer-coding in a response MUST NOT use the
trailer for header fields other than Content-MD5 and Authentication-Info
unless the "chunked" transfer-coding is present in the request as an
accepted transfer-coding in the TE field.

  Note: Because of backwards compatibility considerations with RFC
  2068, neither parameter or accept-params can be used with the
  "chunked" transfer-coding.


14.40 Trailer

The Trailer general field value indicates that the given set of header
fields are present in the trailer of a message encoded with chunked
transfer-coding.

       Trailer  = "Trailer" ":" 1#field-name
An HTTP/1.1 sender SHOULD include a Trailer header field in a message
using chunked transfer-coding with a non-empty trailer. Doing so allows
the recipient to know which header fields to expect in the trailer.

If no Trailer header field is present, the trailer SHOULD NOT include
any header fields other than Content-MD5 and Authentication-Info.

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A server MUST NOT include any other header fields unless the "chunked"
transfer-coding is present in the request as an accepted transfer-coding
in the TE field.

Message header fields listed in the Trailer header field MUST NOT
include the following header fields:

  .  Transfer-Encoding

  .  Content-Length

  .  Trailer


14.41 Transfer-Encoding

The Transfer-Encoding general-header field indicates what (if any) type
of transformation has been applied to the message body in order to
safely transfer it between the sender and the recipient. This differs
from the content-coding in that the transfer-coding is a property of the
message, not of the entity.

       Transfer-Encoding       = "Transfer-Encoding" ":" 1#transfer-
coding
Transfer-codings are defined in section 3.6. An example is:

       Transfer-Encoding: chunked
If multiple encodings have been applied to an entity, the transfer-
codings MUST be listed in the order in which they were applied.
Additional information about the encoding parameters MAY be provided by
other entity-header fields not defined by this specification.

Many older HTTP/1.0 applications do not understand the Transfer-Encoding
header.


14.42 Upgrade

The Upgrade general-header allows the client to specify what additional
communication protocols it supports and would like to use if the server
finds it appropriate to switch protocols. The server MUST use the
Upgrade header field within a 101 (Switching Protocols) response to
indicate which protocol(s) are being switched.

       Upgrade        = "Upgrade" ":" 1#product
For example,

       Upgrade: HTTP/2.0, SHTTP/1.3, IRC/6.9, RTA/x11
The Upgrade header field is intended to provide a simple mechanism for
transition from HTTP/1.1 to some other, incompatible protocol. It does
so by allowing the client to advertise its desire to use another
protocol, such as a later version of HTTP with a higher major version
number, even though the current request has been made using HTTP/1.1.
This eases the difficult transition between incompatible protocols by
allowing the client to initiate a request in the more commonly supported
protocol while indicating to the server that it would like to use a
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"better" protocol if available (where "better" is determined by the
server, possibly according to the nature of the method and/or resource
being requested).

The Upgrade header field only applies to switching application-layer
protocols upon the existing transport-layer connection. Upgrade cannot
be used to insist on a protocol change; its acceptance and use by the
server is optional. The capabilities and nature of the application-layer
communication after the protocol change is entirely dependent upon the
new protocol chosen, although the first action after changing the
protocol MUST be a response to the initial HTTP request containing the
Upgrade header field.

The Upgrade header field only applies to the immediate connection.
Therefore, the upgrade keyword MUST be supplied within a Connection
header field (section 14.10) whenever Upgrade is present in an HTTP/1.1
message.

The Upgrade header field cannot be used to indicate a switch to a
protocol on a different connection. For that purpose, it is more
appropriate to use a 301, 302, 303, or 305 redirection response.

This specification only defines the protocol name "HTTP" for use by the
family of Hypertext Transfer Protocols, as defined by the HTTP version
rules of section 3.1 and future updates to this specification. Any token
can be used as a protocol name; however, it will only be useful if both
the client and server associate the name with the same protocol.


14.43 User-Agent

The User-Agent request-header 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. User agents SHOULD include this field with requests. The
field can contain multiple product tokens (section 3.8) and comments
identifying the agent and any subproducts which form a significant part
of the user agent. By convention, the product tokens are listed in order
of their significance for identifying the application.

       User-Agent     = "User-Agent" ":" 1*( product | comment )
Example:

       User-Agent: CERN-LineMode/2.15 libwww/2.17b3

14.44 Vary

The Vary field value indicates the set of request-header fields that
fully determines, while the response is fresh, whether a cache is
permitted to use the response to reply to a subsequent request without
revalidation. For uncachable or stale responses, the Vary field value
advises the user agent about the criteria that were used to select the
representation. A Vary field value of "*" implies that a cache cannot
determine from the request headers of a subsequent request whether this

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response is the appropriate representation. See section 13.6 for use of
the Vary header field by caches.

       Vary  = "Vary" ":" ( "*" | 1#field-name )
An HTTP/1.1 server SHOULD include a Vary header field with any cachable
response that is subject to server-driven negotiation. Doing so allows a
cache to properly interpret future requests on that resource and informs
the user agent about the presence of negotiation on that resource. A
server MAY include a Vary header field with a non-cachable response that
is subject to server-driven negotiation, since this might provide the
user agent with useful information about the dimensions over which the
response varies at the time of the response.

A Vary field value consisting of a list of field-names signals that the
representation selected for the response is based on a selection
algorithm which considers ONLY the listed request-header field values in
selecting the most appropriate representation. A cache MAY assume that
the same selection will be made for future requests with the same values
for the listed field names, for the duration of time for which the
response is fresh.

The field-names given are not limited to the set of standard request-
header fields defined by this specification. Field names are case-
insensitive.

A Vary field value of "*" signals that unspecified parameters not
limited to the request-headers (e.g., the network address of the
client), play a role in the selection of the response representation.
The "*" value MUST NOT be generated by a proxy server; it may only be
generated by an origin server.


14.45  Via

The Via general-header field MUST be used by gateways and proxies to
indicate the intermediate protocols and recipients 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
      [9] and is intended to be used for tracking message forwards, avoiding
request loops, and identifying the protocol capabilities of all senders
along the request/response chain.

      Via =  "Via" ":" 1#( received-protocol received-by [ comment ] )
      received-protocol = [ protocol-name "/" ] protocol-version
      protocol-name     = token
      protocol-version  = token
      received-by       = ( host [ ":" port ] ) | pseudonym
      pseudonym         = token
The received-protocol indicates the protocol version of the message
received by the server or client along each segment of the
request/response chain. The received-protocol version is appended to the
Via field value when the message is forwarded so that information about
the protocol capabilities of upstream applications remains visible to
all recipients.


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The protocol-name is optional if and only if it would be "HTTP". The
received-by field is normally the host and optional port number of a
recipient server or client that subsequently forwarded the message.
However, if the real host is considered to be sensitive information, it
MAY be replaced by a pseudonym. If the port is not given, it MAY be
assumed to be the default port of the received-protocol.

Multiple Via field values represents each proxy or gateway that has
forwarded the message. Each recipient MUST append its information such
that the end result is ordered according to the sequence of forwarding
applications.

Comments MAY be used in the Via header field to identify the software of
the recipient proxy or gateway, analogous to the User-Agent and Server
header fields. However, all comments in the Via field are optional and
MAY be removed by any recipient prior to forwarding the message.

For example, a request message could be sent from an HTTP/1.0 user agent
to an internal proxy code-named "fred", which uses HTTP/1.1 to forward
the request to a public proxy at nowhere.com, which completes the
request by forwarding it to the origin server at www.ics.uci.edu. The
request received by www.ics.uci.edu would then have the following Via
header field:

       Via: 1.0 fred, 1.1 nowhere.com (Apache/1.1)
Proxies and gateways used as a portal through a network firewall SHOULD
NOT, by default, forward the names and ports of hosts within the
firewall region. This information SHOULD only be propagated if
explicitly enabled. If not enabled, the received-by host of any host
behind the firewall SHOULD be replaced by an appropriate pseudonym for
that host.

For organizations that have strong privacy requirements for hiding
internal structures, a proxy MAY combine an ordered subsequence of Via
header field entries with identical received-protocol values into a
single such entry. For example,

       Via: 1.0 ricky, 1.1 ethel, 1.1 fred, 1.0 lucy
        could be collapsed to

       Via: 1.0 ricky, 1.1 mertz, 1.0 lucy
Applications SHOULD NOT combine multiple entries unless they are all
under the same organizational control and the hosts have already been
replaced by pseudonyms. Applications MUST NOT combine entries which have
different received-protocol values.


14.46 Warning

The Warning general-header field is used to carry additional information
about the status or transformation of a message whichmight not be
reflected in the message. This information is typically used to warn
about a possible lack of semantic transparency from caching operations
or transformations applied to the entity body of the message.

Warning headers are sent with responses using:
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       Warning    = "Warning" ":" 1#warning-value
       warning-value = warn-code SP warn-agent SP warn-text
                                             [SP warn-date]

       warn-code  = 3DIGIT
       warn-agent = ( host [ ":" port ] ) | pseudonym
                       ; the name or pseudonym of the server adding
                       ; the Warning header, for use in debugging
       warn-text  = quoted-string
       warn-date  = <"> HTTP-date <">
A response MAY carry more than one Warning header.

The warn-text SHOULD be in a natural language and character set that is
most likely to be intelligible to the human user receiving the response.
This decision MAY be based on any available knowledge, such as the
location of the cache or user, the Accept-Language field in a request,
the Content-Language field in a response, etc. The default language is
English and the default character set is ISO-8859-1.

If a character set other than ISO-8859-1 is used, it MUST be encoded in
the warn-text using the method described in RFC 2047 [14].

 Warning headers can in general be applied to any message, however some
specific warn-codes are specific to caches and can only be applied to
response messages. New Warning headers SHOULD be added after any
existing Warning headers. A cache MUST NOT delete any Warning header
that it received with a message. However, if a cache successfully
validates a cache entry, it SHOULD remove any Warning headers previously
attached to that entry except as specified for specific Warning codes.
It MUST then add any Warning headers received in the validating
response. In other words, Warning headers are those that would be
attached to the most recent relevant response.

When multiple Warning headers are attached to a response, the user agent
ought to inform the user of as many of them as possible, in the order
that they appear in the response. If it is not possible to inform the
user of all of the warnings, the user agent SHOULD follow these
heuristics:

  .  Warnings that appear early in the response take priority over those
     appearing later in the response.
  .  Warnings in the user's preferred character set take priority over
     warnings in other character sets but with identical warn-codes and
     warn-agents.
Systems that generate multiple Warning headers SHOULD order them with
this user agent behavior in mind.

The warn-code consists of three digits. The first digit indicates
whether the Warning MUST or MUST NOT be deleted from a stored cache
entry after a successful revalidation:

1XX     Warnings that describe the freshness or revalidation status of
  the response, and so MUST be deleted after a successful revalidation.
  1XX warn-codes MAY be generated by a cache only when validating a
  cached entry. It MUST NOT be generated by clients.

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2XX     Warnings that describe some aspect of the entity body or entity
  headers that is not rectified by a revalidation, and which MUST NOT
  be deleted after a successful revalidation.

This is a list of the currently-defined warn-codes, each with a
recommended warn-text in English, and a description of its meaning.

110 Response is stale
  MUST be included whenever the returned response is stale.

111 Revalidation failed
  MUST be included if a cache returns a stale response because an
  attempt to revalidate the response failed, due to an inability to
  reach the server.

112 Disconnected operation
   SHOULD be included if the cache is intentionally disconnected from
  the rest of the network for a period of time.

113 Heuristic expiration
  MUST be included if the cache heuristically chose a freshness
  lifetime greater than 24 hours and the response's age is greater than
  24 hours.

199 Miscellaneous warning
  The warning text MAY include arbitrary information to be presented to
  a human user, or logged. A system receiving this warning MUST NOT
  take any automated action, besides presenting the warning to the
  user.

214 Transformation applied
  MUST be added by an intermediate cache or proxy if it applies any
  transformation changing the content-coding (as specified in the
  Content-Encoding header) or media-type (as specified in the Content-
  Type header) of the response, unless this Warning code already
  appears in the response.

299 Miscellaneous persistent warning
  The warning text MAY include arbitrary information to be presented to
  a human user, or logged. A system receiving this warning MUST NOT
  take any automated action.

If an implementation sends a message with one or more Warning headers
whose version is HTTP/1.0 or lower, then the sender MUST include in each
warning-value a warn-date that matches the date in the response.

If an implementation receives a message with a warning-value that
includes a warn-date, and that warn-date is different from the Date
value in the response, then that warning-value MUST be deleted from the
message before storing, forwarding, or using it. (This prevents bad
consequences of naive caching of Warning header fields.) If all of the
warning-values are deleted for this reason, the Warning header MUST be
deleted as well.



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14.47 WWW-Authenticate

The WWW-Authenticate response-header field MUST be included in 401
(Unauthorized) response messages. The field value consists of at least
one challenge that indicates the authentication scheme(s) and parameters
applicable to the Request-URI.

       WWW-Authenticate  = "WWW-Authenticate" ":" 1#challenge
The HTTP access authentication process is described in "HTTP
Authentication: Basic and Digest Access Authentication" . User agents
are advised to take special care in parsing the WWW-Authenticate field
value as it might contain more than one challenge, or if more than one
WWW-Authenticate header field is provided, the contents of a challenge
itself can contain a comma-separated list of authentication parameters.


15 Security Considerations

This section is meant to inform application developers, information
providers, and users of the security limitations in HTTP/1.1 as
described by this document. The discussion does not include definitive
solutions to the problems revealed, though it does make some suggestions
for reducing security risks.


15.1 Personal Information

HTTP clients are often privy to large amounts of personal information
(e.g. the user's name, location, mail address, passwords, encryption
keys, etc.), and SHOULD be very careful to prevent unintentional leakage
of this information via the HTTP protocol to other sources. We very
strongly recommend that a convenient interface be provided for the user
to control dissemination of such information, and that designers and
implementors be particularly careful in this area. History shows that
errors in this area often create serious security and/or privacy
problems and generate highly adverse publicity for the implementor's
company.


15.1.1 Abuse of Server Log Information

A server is in the position to save personal data about a user's
requests which might identify their reading patterns or subjects of
interest. This information is clearly confidential in nature and its
handling can be constrained by law in certain countries. People using
the HTTP protocol to provide data are responsible for ensuring that such
material is not distributed without the permission of any individuals
that are identifiable by the published results.


15.1.2 Transfer of Sensitive Information

Like any generic data transfer protocol, HTTP cannot regulate the
content of the data that is transferred, nor is there any a priori
method of determining the sensitivity of any particular piece of
information within the context of any given request. Therefore,
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applications SHOULD supply as much control over this information as
possible to the provider of that information. Four header fields are
worth special mention in this context: Server, Via, Referer and From.

Revealing the specific software version of the server might allow the
server machine to become more vulnerable to attacks against software
that is known to contain security holes. Implementors SHOULD make the
Server header field a configurable option.

Proxies which serve as a portal through a network firewall SHOULD take
special precautions regarding the transfer of header information that
identifies the hosts behind the firewall. In particular, they SHOULD
remove, or replace with sanitized versions, any Via fields generated
behind the firewall.

The Referer header 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 header might indicate a private document's URI whose publication
would be inappropriate.

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. The user MUST be able to set the
contents of this field within a user preference or application defaults
configuration.

We suggest, though do not require, that a convenient toggle interface be
provided for the user to enable or disable the sending of From and
Referer information.


15.1.3 Encoding Sensitive Information in URI's

Because the source of a link might be private information or might
reveal an otherwise private information source, it is strongly
recommended that the user be able to select whether or not the Referer
field is sent. For example, a browser client could have a toggle switch
for browsing openly/anonymously, which would respectively enable/disable
the sending of Referer and From information.

Clients SHOULD NOT include a Referer header field in a (non-secure) HTTP
request if the referring page was transferred with a secure protocol.

Authors of services which use the HTTP protocol SHOULD NOT use GET based
forms for the submission of sensitive data, because this will cause this
data to be encoded in the request-URI. Many existing servers, proxies,
and user agents will log the request URI in some place where it might be
visible to third parties. Servers can use POST-based form submission
instead




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15.1.4 Privacy Issues Connected to Accept Headers

Accept request-headers can reveal information about the user to all
servers which are accessed. The Accept-Language header in particular can
reveal information the user would consider to be of a private nature,
because the understanding of particular languages is often strongly
correlated to the membership of a particular ethnic group. User agents
which offer the option to configure the contents of an Accept-Language
header to be sent in every request are strongly encouraged to let the
configuration process include a message which makes the user aware of
the loss of privacy involved.

An approach that limits the loss of privacy would be for a user agent to
omit the sending of Accept-Language headers by default, and to ask the
user whether or not to start sending Accept-Language headers to a server
if it detects, by looking for any Vary response-header fields generated
by the server, that such sending could improve the quality of service.

Elaborate user-customized accept header fields sent in every request, in
particular if these include quality values, can be used by servers as
relatively reliable and long-lived user identifiers. Such user
identifiers would allow content providers to do click-trail tracking,
and would allow collaborating content providers to match cross-server
click-trails or form submissions of individual users. Note that for many
users not behind a proxy, the network address of the host running the
user agent will also serve as a long-lived user identifier. In
environments where proxies are used to enhance privacy, user agents
ought to be conservative in offering accept header configuration options
to end users. As an extreme privacy measure, proxies could filter the
accept headers in relayed requests. General purpose user agents which
provide a high degree of header configurability SHOULD warn users about
the loss of privacy which can be involved.


15.2 Attacks Based On File and Path Names

Implementations of HTTP origin servers SHOULD be careful to restrict the
documents returned by HTTP requests to be only those that were intended
by the server administrators. If an HTTP server translates HTTP URIs
directly into file system calls, the server MUST take special care not
to serve files that were not intended to be delivered to HTTP clients.
For example, UNIX, Microsoft Windows, and other operating systems use
".." as a path component to indicate a directory level above the current
one. On such a system, an HTTP server MUST disallow any such construct
in the Request-URI if it would otherwise allow access to a resource
outside those intended to be accessible via the HTTP server. Similarly,
files intended for reference only internally to the server (such as
access control files, configuration files, and script code) MUST be
protected from inappropriate retrieval, since they might contain
sensitive information. Experience has shown that minor bugs in such HTTP
server implementations have turned into security risks.





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15.3 DNS Spoofing

Clients using HTTP rely heavily on the Domain Name Service, and are thus
generally prone to security attacks based on the deliberate mis-
association of IP addresses and DNS names. Clients need to be cautious
in assuming the continuing validity of an IP number/DNS name
association.

In particular, HTTP clients SHOULD rely on their name resolver for
confirmation of an IP number/DNS name association, rather than caching
the result of previous host name lookups. Many platforms already can
cache host name lookups locally when appropriate, and they SHOULD be
configured to do so. It is proper for these lookups to be cached,
however, only when the TTL (Time To Live) information reported by the
name server makes it likely that the cached information will remain
useful.

If HTTP clients cache the results of host name lookups in order to
achieve a performance improvement, they MUST observe the TTL information
reported by DNS.

If HTTP clients do not observe this rule, they could be spoofed when a
previously-accessed server's IP address changes. As network renumbering
is expected to become increasingly common [24], the possibility of this
form of attack will grow. Observing this requirement thus reduces this
potential security vulnerability.

This requirement also improves the load-balancing behavior of clients
for replicated servers using the same DNS name and reduces the
likelihood of a user's experiencing failure in accessing sites which use
that strategy.


15.4 Location Headers and Spoofing

If a single server supports multiple organizations that do not trust one
another, then it MUST check the values of Location and Content-Location
headers in responses that are generated under control of said
organizations to make sure that they do not attempt to invalidate
resources over which they have no authority.


15.5 Content-Disposition Issues

RFC 1806, from which the often implemented Content-Disposition (see
section 19.5.1) header in HTTP is derived, has a number of very serious
security considerations. Content-Disposition is not part of the HTTP
standard, but since it is widely implemented, we are documenting its use
and risks for implementors. See RFC 1806 [35] for details.


15.6 Authentication Credentials and Idle Clients

Existing HTTP clients and user agents typically retain authentication
information indefinately. HTTP/1.1. does not provide a method for a
server to direct clients to discard these cached credentials. This is a
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significant defect that requires further extensions to HTTP.
Circumstances under which credential caching can interfere with the
application's security model include but are not limited to:

. Clients which have been idle for an extended period following which
  the server might wish to cause the client to reprompt the user for
  credentials.

. Applications which include a session termination indication (such as
  a `logout' or `commit' button on a page) after which the server side
  of the application `knows' that there is no further reason for the
  client to retain the credentials.

This is currently under separate study. There are a number of work-
arounds to parts of this problem, and we encourage the use of password
protection in screen savers, idle time-outs, and other methods which
mitigate the security problems inherent in this problem. In particular,
user agents which cache credentials are encouraged to provide a readily
accessible mechanism for discarding cached credentials under user
control.


15.7 Proxies and Caching

By their very nature, HTTP proxies are men-in-the-middle, and represent
an opportunity for man-in-the-middle attacks. Compromise of the systems
on which the proxies run can result in serious security and privacy
problems. Proxies have access to security-related information, personal
information about individual users and organizations, and proprietary
information belonging to users and content providers. A compromised
proxy, or a proxy implemented or configured without regard to security
and privacy considerations, might be used in the commission of a wide
range of potential attacks.

Proxy operators should protect the systems on which proxies run as they
would protect any system that contains or transports sensitive
information. In particular, log information gathered at proxies often
contains highly sensitive personal information, and/or information about
organizations. Log information should be carefully guarded, and
appropriate guidelines for use developed and followed. (Section 15.1.1).

Caching proxies provide additional potential vulnerabilities, since the
contents of the cache represent an attractive target for malicious
exploitation. Because cache contents persist after an HTTP request is
complete, an attack on the cache can reveal information long after a
user believes that the information has been removed from the network.
Therefore, cache contents should be protected as sensitive information.

Proxy implementors should consider the privacy and security implications
of their design and coding decisions, and of the configuration options
they provide to proxy operators (especially the default configuration).

Users of a proxy need to be aware that they are no more trustworthy than
the people who run the proxy; HTTP itself cannot solve this problem.


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The judicious use of cryptography, when appropriate, may suffice to
protect against a broad range of security and privacy attacks. Such
cryptography is beyond the scope of the HTTP/1.1 specification.


16 Acknowledgments

This specification makes heavy use of the augmented BNF and generic
constructs defined by David H. Crocker for RFC 822 [9]. Similarly, it
reuses many of the definitions provided by Nathaniel Borenstein and Ned
Freed for MIME [7]. We hope that their inclusion in this specification
will help reduce past confusion over the relationship between HTTP and
Internet mail message formats.

The HTTP protocol has evolved considerably over the past seven 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. Marc Andreessen, Robert Cailliau,
Daniel W. Connolly, Bob Denny, John Franks, Jean-Francois Groff, Phillip
M. Hallam-Baker, Hakon W. Lie, Ari Luotonen, Rob McCool, Lou Montulli,
Dave Raggett, Tony Sanders, and Marc VanHeyningen deserve special
recognition for their efforts in defining early aspects of the protocol.

This document has benefited greatly from the comments of all those
participating in the HTTP-WG. In addition to those already mentioned,
the following individuals have contributed to this specification:

       Gary Adams                  Albert Lunde
       Harald Tveit Alvestrand     John C. Mallery
       Keith Ball                  Jean-Philippe Martin-Flatin
       Brian Behlendorf            Larry Masinter
       Paul Burchard               Mitra
       Maurizio Codogno            David Morris
       Mike Cowlishaw              Gavin Nicol
       Roman Czyborra              Bill Perry
       Michael A. Dolan            Jeffrey Perry
       David J. Fiander            Scott Powers
       Alan Freier                 Owen Rees
       Marc Hedlund                Luigi Rizzo
       Greg Herlihy                David Robinson
       Koen Holtman                Marc Salomon
       Alex Hopmann                Rich Salz
       Bob Jernigan                Allan M. Schiffman
       Shel Kaphan                 Jim Seidman
       Rohit Khare                 Chuck Shotton
       John Klensin                Eric W. Sink
       Martijn Koster              Simon E. Spero
       Alexei Kosut                Richard N. Taylor
       David M. Kristol            Robert S. Thau
       Daniel LaLiberte            Bill (BearHeart) Weinman
       Ben Laurie                  Francois Yergeau
       Paul J. Leach               Mary Ellen Zurko
       Daniel DuBois               Josh Cohen
       Ross Patterson

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Much of the content and presentation of the caching design is due to
suggestions and comments from individuals including: Shel Kaphan, Paul
Leach, Koen Holtman, David Morris, and Larry Masinter.

Most of the specification of ranges is based on work originally done by
Ari Luotonen and John Franks, with additional input from Steve Zilles.

Thanks to the "cave men" of Palo Alto. You know who you are.

Jim Gettys (the current editor of this document) wishes particularly to
thank Roy Fielding, the previous editor of this document, along with
John Klensin, Jeff Mogul, Paul Leach, Dave Kristol, Koen Holtman, John
Franks, Josh Cohen, Alex Hopmann, Scott Lawrence, and Larry Masinter for
their help.And thanks go particularly to Jeff Mogul and Scott Lawrence
for performing the "MUST/MAY/SHOULD" audit.

The Apache Group, Anselm Baird-Smith, author of Jigsaw, and Henrik
Frystyk implemented RFC 2068 early, and we wish to thank them for the
discovery of many of the problems that this document attempts to
rectify.


17 References


[1]     Alvestrand, H., "Tags for the Identification of Languages" RFC
  1766, UNINETT, March 1995.


[2]     Anklesaria, F., McCahill, M., Lindner, P., Johnson, D., Torrey,
  D., and B. Alberti. "The Internet Gopher Protocol (a distributed
  document search and retrieval protocol)", RFC 1436, University of
  Minnesota, March 1993.


[3]     Berners-Lee, T., "Universal Resource Identifiers in WWW," RFC
  1630, CERN, June 1994.


[4]     Berners-Lee, T., Masinter, L., and M. McCahill. "Uniform
  Resource Locators (URL)," RFC 1738, CERN, Xerox PARC, University of
  Minnesota, December 1994.


[5]     Berners-Lee, T. and D. Connolly. "Hypertext Markup Language -
  2.0," RFC 1866, MIT/LCS, November 1995.


[6]     Berners-Lee, T., Fielding, R. and H. Frystyk. "Hypertext
  Transfer Protocol -- HTTP/1.0," RFC 1945, MIT/LCS, UC Irvine, May
  1996.


[7]     Freed, N., and N. Borenstein. "Multipurpose Internet Mail
  Extensions (MIME) Part One: Format of Internet Message Bodies." RFC
  2045, Innosoft, First Virtual, November 1996.
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[8]     Braden, R., "Requirements for Internet Hosts -- Communication
  Layers," STD 3, RFC 1123, IETF, October 1989.


[9]     D. H. Crocker, "Standard for The Format of ARPA Internet Text
  Messages," STD 11, RFC 822, UDEL, August 1982.


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


[11]    Fielding, R., "Relative Uniform Resource Locators," RFC 1808, UC
  Irvine, June 1995.


[12]    Horton, M., and R. Adams. "Standard for Interchange of USENET
  Messages," RFC 1036 (Obsoletes RFC 850), AT&T Bell Laboratories,
  Center for Seismic Studies, December 1987.


[13]    Kantor, B. and P. Lapsley. "Network News Transfer Protocol," RFC
  977, UC San Diego, UC Berkeley, February 1986.

[14] Moore, K., "MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) Part
  Three: Message Header Extensions for Non-ASCII Text", RFC 2047,
  University of Tennessee, November 1996.


[15]    Nebel, E., and L. Masinter. "Form-based File Upload in HTML,"
  RFC 1867, Xerox Corporation, November 1995.


[16]    Postel, J., "Simple Mail Transfer Protocol," STD 10, RFC 821,
  USC/ISI, August 1982.


[17]    Postel, J., "Media Type Registration Procedure," RFC 1590,
  USC/ISI, November 1996.


[18]    Postel, J. and J. Reynolds. "File Transfer Protocol," STD 9, RFC
  959, USC/ISI, October 1985.


[19]    Reynolds, J. and J. Postel. "Assigned Numbers," STD 2, RFC 1700,
  USC/ISI, October 1994.


[20]    Sollins, K. and L. Masinter. "Functional Requirements for
  Uniform Resource Names," RFC 1737, MIT/LCS, Xerox Corporation,
  December 1994.


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


[22]    ISO-8859. International Standard -- Information Processing --
  8-bit Single-Byte Coded Graphic Character Sets --
  Part 1: Latin alphabet No. 1, ISO 8859-1:1987.
  Part 2: Latin alphabet No. 2, ISO 8859-2, 1987.
  Part 3: Latin alphabet No. 3, ISO 8859-3, 1988.
  Part 4: Latin alphabet No. 4, ISO 8859-4, 1988.
  Part 5: Latin/Cyrillic alphabet, ISO 8859-5, 1988.
  Part 6: Latin/Arabic alphabet, ISO 8859-6, 1987.
  Part 7: Latin/Greek alphabet, ISO 8859-7, 1987.
  Part 8: Latin/Hebrew alphabet, ISO 8859-8, 1988.
  Part 9: Latin alphabet No. 5, ISO 8859-9, 1990.


[23]    Meyers, J., and M. Rose. "The Content-MD5 Header Field," RFC
  1864, Carnegie Mellon, Dover Beach Consulting, October, 1995.


[24]    Carpenter, B. and Y. Rekhter. "Renumbering Needs Work," RFC
  1900, IAB, February 1996.


[25]    Deutsch, P., "GZIP file format specification version 4.3,." RFC
  1952, Aladdin Enterprises, May, 1996.


[26]    Venkata N. Padmanabhan, and Jeffrey C. Mogul. "Improving HTTP
  Latency", Computer Networks and ISDN Systems, v. 28, pp. 25-35, Dec.
  1995. Slightly revised version of paper in Proc. 2nd International
  WWW Conference '94: Mosaic and the Web, Oct. 1994, which is available
  at
  http://www.ncsa.uiuc.edu/SDG/IT94/Proceedings/DDay/mogul/HTTPLatency.
  html.


[27]    Joe Touch, John Heidemann, and Katia Obraczka. "Analysis of HTTP
  Performance", <URL: http://www.isi.edu/lsam/publications/http-
  perf/index.html>, USC/Information Sciences Institute, June 1996.


[28]    Mills, D., "Network Time Protocol (Version 3) Specification,
  Implementation and Analysis." RFC 1305, University of Delaware,
  March, 1992.


[29]    Deutsch, P., "DEFLATE Compressed Data Format Specification
  version 1.3." RFC 1951, Aladdin Enterprises, May 1996.

[30]    S. Spero, "Analysis of HTTP Performance Problems,"
  http://sunsite.unc.edu/mdma-release/http-prob.html.



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[31]    Deutsch, P. and J-L. Gailly. "ZLIB Compressed Data Format
  Specification version 3.3," RFC 1950, Aladdin Enterprises, Info-ZIP,
  May 1996.


[32] Franks, J., Hallam-Baker, P., Hostetler, J., Leach, P., Luotonen,
  A., Sink, E., and L. Stewart. "An Extension to HTTP: Digest Access
  Authentication," RFC 2069, January 1997.


[33] Fielding, R., Gettys, J., Mogul, J., Frystyk, H., Berners-Lee, T.,
  "Hypertext Transfer Protocol -- HTTP/1.1", RFC 2068, UC Irvine,
  Digital Equipment Corporation, M.I.T., January, 1997.


[34] Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement
  Levels," RFC 2119, Harvard University, March 1997.

[35]    Troost, R., and Dorner, S., "Communicating Presentation
  Information in Internet Messages: The Content-Disposition Header,"
  RFC 1806, New Century Systems, QUALCOMM, Inc., June 1995.

[36] Mogul, J.C., Fielding, R., Gettys, J, Frystyk, H., "Use and
  Interpretation of HTTP Version Numbers", RFC 2145, Digital Equipment
  Corporation, U.C. Irvine, M.I.T., May 1997.[jg589]

[37] Palme, J, "Common Internet Message Headers," RFC 2076, Stockholm
  University, KTH, February, 1997[jg590].

[38] Yergeau, F., "UTF-8, a transformation format of Unicode and ISO
  10646," RFC 2279 (obsoletes RFC 2044), Alis Technologies,.January
  1998. [jg591]

[39] Nielsen, H.F., Gettys, J., Baird-Smith, A., Prud'hommeaux, E., Lie,
  H., and C. Lilley. "Network Performance Effects of HTTP/1.1, CSS1,
  and PNG," Proceedings of ACM SIGCOMM '97, Cannes France, September
  1997.[jg592]

[40]    Freed, N., and N. Borenstein. "Multipurpose Internet Mail
  Extensions (MIME) Part Two: Media Types." RFC 2046, Innosoft, First
  Virtual, November 1996. [jg593]

[41] Alvestrand, H. T., "IETF Policy on Character Sets and Languages,"
  RFC 2277, BCP 18, UNINETT, January, 1998. [jg594]

[42] Berners-Lee, T., Fielding, R., Masinter, L., "Uniform Resource
  Identifiers (URI): Generic Syntax and Semantics," Work in Progress,
  March, 1998.[jg595]

[43] Franks, J., Hallam-Baker, P., Hostetler, J., Leach, P., Luotonen,
  A., Sink, E., Stewart, L., "HTTP Authentication: Basic and Digest
  Access Authentication," Work in Progress, March, 1998.[jg596]

[44] Luotonen, A., "Tunneling TCP based protocols through Web proxy
  servers," Work in Progress, February, 1998.[jg597]

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[45] Palme, J., Hopmann, A., "MIME E-mail Encapsulation of Aggregate
  Documents, such as HTML (MHTML)," RFC 2110, March 1997

[46] Bradner, S., "The Internet Standards Process -- Revision 3," BCP 9,
  RFC 2026, Harvard University, October, 1996.


18 Authors' Addresses

Roy T. Fielding
Department of Information and Computer Science
University of California
Irvine, CA 92697-3425, USA
Fax: +1 (714) 824-1715
Email: fielding@ics.uci.edu

James Gettys
MIT Laboratory for Computer Science
545 Technology Square
Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
Fax: +1 (617) 258 8682
Email: jg@w3.org

Jeffrey C. Mogul
Western Research Laboratory
Compaq Computer Corporation
250 University Avenue
Palo Alto, California, 94305, USA
Email: mogul@wrl.dec.com

Henrik Frystyk Nielsen
W3 Consortium
MIT Laboratory for Computer Science
545 Technology Square
Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
Fax: +1 (617) 258 8682
Email: frystyk@w3.org

Larry Masinter
Xerox PARC
3333 Coyote Hill Road
Palo Alto, CA 94034, USA
Fax:+1 (415) 812-4333
Email: masinter@parc.xerox.com

Paul J. Leach
Microsoft Corporation
1 Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052, USA
Email: paulle@microsoft.com

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


19 Appendices


19.1 Internet Media Type message/http and application/http

In addition to defining the HTTP/1.1 protocol, this document serves as
the specification for the Internet media type "message/http" and
"application/http". The message/http type can be used to enclose a
single HTTP request or response message, provided that it obeys the MIME
restrictions for all "message" types regarding line length and
encodings. The application/http type can be used to enclose a pipeline
of one or more HTTP request or response messages (not intermixed). The
following is to be registered with IANA [17].

       Media Type name:         message
       Media subtype name:      http
       Required parameters:     none
       Optional parameters:     version, msgtype
        version: The HTTP-Version number of the enclosed message
                 (e.g., "1.1"). If not present, the version can be
                 determined from the first line of the body.
        msgtype: The message type -- "request" or "response". If not
                 present, the type can be determined from the first
                 line of the body.
       Encoding considerations: only "7bit", "8bit", or "binary" are
                                permitted
       Security considerations: none

       Media Type name:         application
       Media subtype name:      http
       Required parameters:     none
       Optional parameters:     version, msgtype
        version: The HTTP-Version number of the enclosed messages
                 (e.g., "1.1"). If not present, the version can be
                 determined from the first line of the body.
        msgtype: The message type -- "request" or "response". If not
                 present, the type can be determined from the first
                 line of the body.
       Encoding considerations: HTTP messages enclosed by this type are
                                in "binary" format; use of an
appropriate
                                Content-Transfer-Encoding is required
when
                                transmitted via E-mail.
       Security considerations: none

19.2 Internet Media Type multipart/byteranges

When an HTTP 206 (Partial Content) response message includes the content
of multiple ranges (a response to a request for multiple non-overlapping
ranges), these are transmitted as a multipart message-body. The media
type for this purpose is called "multipart/byteranges".
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The multipart/byteranges media type includes two or more parts, each
with its own Content-Type and Content-Range fields. The required
boundary parameter specifies the boundary string used to separate each
body-part.

       Media Type name:         multipart
       Media subtype name:      byteranges
       Required parameters:     boundary
       Optional parameters:     none
       Encoding considerations: only "7bit", "8bit", or "binary" are
                                permitted
       Security considerations: none


For example:

   HTTP/1.1 206 Partial Content
   Date: Wed, 15 Nov 1995 06:25:24 GMT
   Last-modified: Wed, 15 Nov 1995 04:58:08 GMT
   Content-type: multipart/byteranges; boundary=THIS_STRING_SEPARATES

   --THIS_STRING_SEPARATES
   Content-type: application/pdf
   Content-range: bytes 500-999/8000

   ...the first range...
   --THIS_STRING_SEPARATES
   Content-type: application/pdf
   Content-range: bytes 7000-7999/8000

   ...the second range
   --THIS_STRING_SEPARATES--


  Notes:

  1) Additional CRLFs may precede the first boundary string in the
  entity.

  2) Although RFC 2046 [40] permits the boundary string to be quoted,
  some existing implementations handle a quoted boundary string
  incorrectly.

  3) A number of browsers and servers were coded to an early draft of
  the byteranges specification to use a media type of multipart/x-
  byteranges, which is almost, but not quite compatible with the
  version documented in HTTP/1.1.


19.3 Tolerant Applications

Although this document specifies the requirements for the generation of
HTTP/1.1 messages, not all applications will be correct in their
implementation. We therefore recommend that operational applications be
tolerant of deviations whenever those deviations can be interpreted
unambiguously.
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Clients SHOULD be tolerant in parsing the Status-Line and servers
tolerant when parsing the Request-Line. In particular, they SHOULD
accept any amount of SP or HT characters between fields, even though
only a single SP is required.

The line terminator for message-header fields is the sequence CRLF.
However, we recommend that applications, when parsing such headers,
recognize a single LF as a line terminator and ignore the leading CR.

The character set of an entity-body SHOULD be labeled as the lowest
common denominator of the character codes used within that body, with
the exception that not labeling the entity is preferred over labeling
the entity with the labels US-ASCII or ISO-8859-1. See section 3.7.1 and
3.4.1.

Additional rules for requirements on parsing and encoding of dates and
other potential problems with date encodings include:

  .  HTTP/1.1 clients and caches SHOULD assume that an RFC-850 date
     which appears to be more than 50 years in the future is in fact in
     the past (this helps solve the "year 2000" problem).
  .  An HTTP/1.1 implementation MAY internally represent a parsed
     Expires date as earlier than the proper value, but MUST NOT
     internally represent a parsed Expires date as later than the proper
     value.
  .  All expiration-related calculations MUST be done in GMT. The local
     time zone MUST NOT influence the calculation or comparison of an
     age or expiration time.
  .  If an HTTP header incorrectly carries a date value with a time zone
     other than GMT, it MUST be converted into GMT using the most
     conservative possible conversion.

19.4 Differences Between HTTP Entities and RFC 2045 Entities

HTTP/1.1 uses many of the constructs defined for Internet Mail (RFC 822
[9]) and the Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME [7]) to allow
entities to be transmitted in an open variety of representations and
with extensible mechanisms. However, RFC 2045 discusses mail, and HTTP
has a few features that are different from those described in RFC 2045.
These differences were carefully chosen to optimize performance over
binary connections, to allow greater freedom in the use of new media
types, to make date comparisons easier, and to acknowledge the practice
of some early HTTP servers and clients.

This appendix describes specific areas where HTTP differs from RFC 2045.
Proxies and gateways to strict MIME environments SHOULD be aware of
these differences and provide the appropriate conversions where
necessary. Proxies and gateways from MIME environments to HTTP also need
to be aware of the differences because some conversions might be
required.


19.4.1 MIME-Version

HTTP is not a MIME-compliant protocol (see appendix 19.4). However,
HTTP/1.1 messages MAY include a single MIME-Version general-header field
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to indicate what version of the MIME protocol was used to construct the
message. Use of the MIME-Version header field indicates that the message
is in full compliance with the MIME protocol (as defined in RFC
2045[7]). Proxies/gateways are responsible for ensuring full 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/1.1. However, HTTP/1.1
message parsing and semantics are defined by this document and not the
MIME specification.


19.4.2 Conversion to Canonical Form

RFC 2045 requires that an Internet mail entity be converted to canonical
form prior to being transferred, as described in Appendix G of RFC 2045
[7]. Section 3.7.1 of this document describes the forms allowed for
subtypes of the "text" media type when transmitted over HTTP. RFC 2045
requires that content with a type of "text" represent line breaks as
CRLF and forbids the use of CR or LF outside of line break sequences.
HTTP allows CRLF, bare CR, and bare LF to indicate a line break within
text content when a message is transmitted over HTTP.

Where it is possible, a proxy or gateway from HTTP to a strict RFC 2045
environment SHOULD translate all line breaks within the text media types
described in section 3.7.1 of this document to the RFC 2045 canonical
form of CRLF. Note, however, that this might be complicated by the
presence of a Content-Encoding and by the fact that HTTP allows the use
of some character sets which do not use octets 13 and 10 to represent CR
and LF, as is the case for some multi-byte character sets.

Implementors should note that conversion will break any cryptographic
checksums applied to the original content unless the original content is
already in canonical form. Therefore, the canonical form is recommended
for any content that uses such checksums in HTTP.


19.4.3 Conversion of Date Formats

HTTP/1.1 uses a restricted set of date formats (section 3.3.1) to
simplify the process of date comparison. Proxies and gateways from other
protocols SHOULD ensure that any Date header field present in a message
conforms to one of the HTTP/1.1 formats and rewrite the date if
necessary.


19.4.4 Introduction of Content-Encoding

RFC 2045 does not include any concept equivalent to HTTP/1.1's Content-
Encoding header field. Since this acts as a modifier on the media type,
proxies and gateways from HTTP to MIME-compliant protocols MUST either
change the value of the Content-Type header field or decode the entity-
body before forwarding the message. (Some experimental applications of
Content-Type for Internet mail have used a media-type parameter of

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";conversions=<content-coding>" to perform a function equivalent to
Content-Encoding. However, this parameter is not part of RFC 2045.)


19.4.5 No Content-Transfer-Encoding

HTTP does not use the Content-Transfer-Encoding (CTE) field of RFC 2045.
Proxies and gateways from MIME-compliant protocols to HTTP MUST remove
any non-identity CTE ("quoted-printable" or "base64") encoding prior to
delivering the response message to an HTTP client.

Proxies and gateways from HTTP to MIME-compliant protocols are
responsible for ensuring that the message is in the correct format and
encoding for safe transport on that protocol, where "safe transport" is
defined by the limitations of the protocol being used. Such a proxy or
gateway SHOULD label the data with an appropriate Content-Transfer-
Encoding if doing so will improve the likelihood of safe transport over
the destination protocol.


19.4.6 Introduction of Transfer-Encoding

HTTP/1.1 introduces the Transfer-Encoding header field (section 14.41).
Proxies/gateways MUST remove any transfer-coding prior to forwarding a
message via a MIME-compliant protocol.

A process for decoding the "chunked" transfer-coding (section 3.6) can
be represented in pseudo-code as:

       length := 0
       read chunk-size, chunk-extension (if any) and CRLF
       while (chunk-size > 0) {
          read chunk-data and CRLF
          append chunk-data to entity-body
          length := length + chunk-size
          read chunk-size and CRLF
       }
       read entity-header
       while (entity-header not empty) {
          append entity-header to existing header fields
          read entity-header
       }
       Content-Length := length
       Remove "chunked" from Transfer-Encoding

19.4.7 MHTML and Line Length Limitations

HTTP implementations which share code with MHTML [45] implementations
need to be aware of MIME line length limitations. Since HTTP does not
have this limitation, HTTP does not fold long lines. MHTML messages
being transported by HTTP follow all conventions of MHTML, including
line length limitations and folding, canonicalization, etc., since HTTP
transports all message-bodies as payload (see section 3.7.2) and does
not interpret the content or any MIME header lines that might be
contained therein.

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19.5 Additional Features

RFC 1945 and RFC 2068 document protocol elements used by some existing
HTTP implementations, but not consistently and correctly across most
HTTP/1.1 applications. Implementors are advised to be aware of these
features, but cannot rely upon their presence in, or interoperability
with, other HTTP/1.1 applications. Some of these describe proposed
experimental features, and some describe features that experimental
deployment found lacking that are now addressed in the base HTTP/1.1
specification.

A number of other headers, such as Content-Disposition and Title, from
SMTP and MIME are also often implemented (see RFC 2076 [37]).


19.5.1 Content-Disposition

The Content-Disposition response-header field has been proposed as a
means for the origin server to suggest a default filename if the user
requests that the content is saved to a file. This usage is derived from
the definition of Content-Disposition in RFC 1806 [35].

        content-disposition = "Content-Disposition" ":"
                              disposition-type *( ";" disposition-parm )
        disposition-type = "attachment" | disp-extension-token
        disposition-parm = filename-parm | disp-extension-parm
        filename-parm = "filename" "=" quoted-string
        disp-extension-token = token
        disp-extension-parm = token "=" ( token | quoted-string )
An example is

        Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="fname.ext"
The receiving user agent SHOULD NOT respect any directory path
information present in the filename-parm parameter, which is the only
parameter believed to apply to HTTP implementations at this time. The
filename SHOULD be treated as a terminal component only.

If this header is used in a response with the application/octet-stream
content-type, the implied suggestion is that the user agent should not
display the response, but directly enter a `save response as...' dialog.

See section 15.5 for Content-Disposition security issues.


19.5.2 Additional Request Methods and Headers

The PATCH, LINK, UNLINK methods were defined but not commonly
implemented in previous versions of this specification. See RFC 2068
[33].

The Alternates, Content-Version, Derived-From, Link, URI, Public and
Content-Base header fields were defined in previous versions of this
specification, but not commonly implemented. See RFC 2068 [33].



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19.6 Compatibility with Previous Versions

It is beyond the scope of a protocol specification to mandate compliance
with previous versions. HTTP/1.1 was deliberately designed, however, to
make supporting previous versions easy. It is worth noting that, at the
time of composing this specification (1996), we would expect commercial
HTTP/1.1 servers to:


  .  recognize the format of the Request-Line for HTTP/0.9, 1.0, and 1.1
     requests;

  .  understand any valid request in the format of HTTP/0.9, 1.0, or
     1.1;

  .  respond appropriately with a message in the same major version used
     by the client.
And we would expect HTTP/1.1 clients to:


  .  recognize the format of the Status-Line for HTTP/1.0 and 1.1
     responses;

  .  understand any valid response in the format of HTTP/0.9, 1.0, or
     1.1.
For most implementations of HTTP/1.0, each connection is established by
the client prior to the request and closed by the server after sending
the response. Some implementations implement the Keep-Alive version of
persistent connections described in section Error! Reference source not
found..


19.6.1 Changes from HTTP/1.0

This section summarizes major differences between versions HTTP/1.0 and
HTTP/1.1.


19.6.1.1 Changes to Simplify Multi-homed Web Servers and Conserve IP
Addresses

The requirements that clients and servers support the Host request-
header, report an error if the Host request-header (section 14.23) is
missing from an HTTP/1.1 request, and accept absolute URIs (section
5.1.2) are among the most important changes defined by this
specification.

Older HTTP/1.0 clients assumed a one-to-one relationship of IP addresses
and servers; there was no other established mechanism for distinguishing
the intended server of a request than the IP address to which that
request was directed. The changes outlined above will allow the
Internet, once older HTTP clients are no longer common, to support
multiple Web sites from a single IP address, greatly simplifying large
operational Web servers, where allocation of many IP addresses to a
single host has created serious problems. The Internet will also be able
to recover the IP addresses that have been allocated for the sole
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purpose of allowing special-purpose domain names to be used in root-
level HTTP URLs. Given the rate of growth of the Web, and the number of
servers already deployed, it is extremely important that all
implementations of HTTP (including updates to existing HTTP/1.0
applications) correctly implement these requirements:


  .  Both clients and servers MUST support the Host request-header.

  .  A client that sends an HTTP/1.1 request MUST send a Host header.

  .  Servers MUST report a 400 (Bad Request) error if an HTTP/1.1
     request does not include a Host request-header.

  .  Servers MUST accept absolute URIs.

19.6.2 Compatibility with HTTP/1.0 Persistent Connections

Some clients and servers might wish to be compatible with some previous
implementations of persistent connections in HTTP/1.0 clients and
servers. Persistent connections in HTTP/1.0 are explicitly negotiated as
they are not the default behavior. HTTP/1.0 experimental implementations
of persistent connections are faulty, and the new facilities in HTTP/1.1
are designed to rectify these problems. The problem was that some
existing 1.0 clients may be sending Keep-Alive to a proxy server that
doesn't understand Connection, which would then erroneously forward it
to the next inbound server, which would establish the Keep-Alive
connection and result in a hung HTTP/1.0 proxy waiting for the close on
the response. The result is that HTTP/1.0 clients must be prevented from
using Keep-Alive when talking to proxies.

However, talking to proxies is the most important use of persistent
connections, so that prohibition is clearly unacceptable. Therefore, we
need some other mechanism for indicating a persistent connection is
desired, which is safe to use even when talking to an old proxy that
ignores Connection. Persistent connections are the default for HTTP/1.1
messages; we introduce a new keyword (Connection: close) for declaring
non-persistence. See section 14.10.

The original HTTP/1.0 form of persistent connections (the Connection:
Keep-Alive and Keep-Alive header) is documented in RFC 2068. [33]


19.6.3 Changes from RFC 2068

This specification has now been carefully audited to to correct and
disambiguate key word usage; RFC 2068 had many problems in respect to
the conventions laid out in RFC 2119 [34].

Clarified which error code should be used for upstream server failures
(e.g. DNS failures). (Section 10.5.5)

CREATE had a race that required means  an Etag should be sent when a
resource is first created. (Section 10.2.2).


Fielding, et al                                              [Page 145]


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 Content-Base was deleted from the specification: it was not implemented
widely, and there is no simple, safe way to introduce it without a
robust extension mechanism. In addition, it is used in a similar, but
not identical fashion in MHTML [45].

Transfer-coding and message lengths all interact in ways that required
fixing exactly when chunked encoding is used (to allow for transfer
encoding that may not be self delimiting); it was important to
straighten out exactly how message lengths are computed. (Sections 3.6,
4.4, 7.2.2, 13.5.2, 14.13, 14.16)

A content-coding of "identity" was introduced, to solve problems
discovered in caching. (section 3.5)

Quality Values of zero should indicate that "I don't want something" to
allow clients to refuse a representation. (Section 3.9)

The use and interpretation of HTTP version numbers has been clarified by
RFC 2145. Require proxies to upgrade requests to highest protocol
version they support to deal with problems discovered in HTTP/1.0
implementations (Section 3.1)

Charset wildcarding is introduced to avoid explosion of character set
names in accept headers. (Section 14.2)

A case was missed in the Cache-Control model of HTTP/1.1; s-maxage was
introduced to add this missing case. (Sections 13.4, 14.8, 14.9, 14.9.3)

The Cache-Control: max-age directive was not properly defined for
responses. (Section 14.9.3)

There are situations where a server (especially a proxy) does not know
the full length of a response but is capable of serving a byterange
request. We therefore need a mechanism to allow byteranges with a
content-range not indicating the full length of the message. (Section
14.16)

Range request responses would become very verbose if all meta-data were
always returned; by allowing the server to only send needed headers in a
206 response, this problem can be avoided. (Section 10.2.7, 13.5.3, and
14.27)

A new error code (416))was needed to indicate an error for a byte range
request that falls outside of the actual contents of a document.
(Section 10.4.17)

Rewrite of message transmission requirements to make it much harder for
implementors to get it wrong, as the consequences of errors here can
have significant impact on the Internet, and to deal with the following
problems:

  1. Changing "HTTP/1.1 or later" to "HTTP/1.1", in contexts where this
     was incorrectly placing a requirement on the behavior of an
     implementation of a future version of HTTP/1.x


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  2. Made it clear that user-agents should retry requests, not "clients"
     in general.

  3. Converted requirements for clients to ignore unexpected 100
     (Continue) responses, and for proxies to forward 100 responses,
     into a general requirement for 1xx responses.

  4. Modified some TCP-specific language, to make it clearer that non-
     TCP transports are possible for HTTP.

  5. Require that the origin server MUST NOT wait for the request body
     before it sends a required 100 (Continue) response.

  6.      Allow, rather than require, a server to omit 100 (Continue) if it
     has already seen some of the request body.

  7.      Allow servers to defend against denial-of-service attacks and
     broken clients.

This change adds the Expect header and 417 status code. The message
transmission requirements fixes are in sections 8.2, 10.4.18, 8.1.2.2,
13.11, and 14.20.

Proxies should be able to add Content-Length when appropriate. (Section
13.5.2)

Clean up confusion between 403 and 404 responses. (Section 10.4.4,
10.4.5, and 10.4.11)

Warnings could be cached incorrectly, or not updated appropriately.
(Section 13.1.2, 13.2.4, 13.5.2, 13.5.3, 14.9.3, and 14.46) Warning also
needed to be a general header, as PUT or other methods may have need for
it in requests.

Fix problem with unsatisfiable range requests; there are two cases:
syntactic problems, and range doesn't exist in the document. The 416
status code was needed to resolve this ambiguity. (Section 10.4.17,
14.16)

Transfer-coding had significant problems, particularly with interactions
with chunked encoding. The solution is that transfer-codings become as
full fledged as content-codings. This involves adding an IANA registry
for transfer-codings (separate from content codings), a new header field
(TE) and enabling trailer headers in the future. Transfer encoding is a
major performance benefit, so it was worth fixing. (Section 3.6, 3.6.1,
and 14.39)


19.7 Notes to the RFC Editor and IANA

This section of the document should be DELETED! It calls for the RFC
editor and IANA to take some actions before the draft becomes a Draft
Standard. After those actions are taken, please delete this section of
the specification.


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19.7.1 Transfer-coding Values

This document defines a new class of registry for its transfer-coding
values as part of the solution to solve problems discovered in RFC 2068
with the caching of transfer encoded documents. Initially, the registry
should contain the following tokens: "chunked" (section 3.6.1),
"identity" (section 3.6.2), "gzip" (section 3.5), "compress" (section
3.5), and "deflate" (section 3.5). The registry should note that
"specifications of the transfer-coding algorithms needed to implement a
new value should be publicly available and adequate for independent
implementation, and conform to the purpose of content coding defined RFC
XXXX." where RFC XXXX is the number assigned to this document.


19.7.2 Definition of application/http

Appendix 19.1 defines Internet Media Type application/http in addition
to the Internet Media Type message/http defined by RFC 2068.


20 Full Copyright Statement

Copyright (C) The Internet Society (1998). All Rights Reserved.

This document and translations of it may be copied and furnished to
others, and derivative works that comment on or otherwise explain it or
assist in its implmentation may be prepared, copied, published and
distributed, in whole or in part, without restriction of any kind,
provided that the above copyright notice and this paragraph are included
on all such copies and derivative works. However, this document itself
may not be modified in any way, such as by removing the copyright notice
or references to the Internet Society or other Internet organizations,
except as needed for the purpose of developing Internet standards in
which case the procedures for copyrights defined in the Internet
Standards process must be followed, or as required to translate it into
languages other than English.

The limited permissions granted above are perpetual and will not be
revoked by the Internet Society or its successors or assigns.

This document and the information contained herein is provided on an "AS
IS" basis and THE INTERNET SOCIETY AND THE INTERNET ENGINEERING TASK
FORCE DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT
LIMITED TO ANY WARRANTY THAT THE USE OF THE INFORMATION HEREIN WILL NOT
INFRINGE ANY RIGHTS OR ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR
FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.










Fielding, et al                                              [Page 148]


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21 Index

While some care was taken producing this index, there is no guarantee
that all occurrences of an index term have been entered into the index.



"literal", 12                         414, 15, 28, 45
#rule, 13                             415, 28, 45, 74
(rule1 rule2), 12                     416, 28, 45, 77, 78, 87, 108
*rule, 12                             417, 28, 46, 79, 108
; comment, 13                         4xx Client Error Status Codes, 43
[rule], 12                            500, 28, 46, 78
<">, 13                               501, 18, 25, 28, 37, 46
100, 28, 33, 34, 38, 63, 78, 79,      502, 28, 46
 80                                   503, 28, 46, 78, 88
101, 28, 38, 78, 90                   504, 28, 46, 72
1xx Informational Status Codes,       505, 28, 46
 38                                   5xx Server Error Status Codes, 46
200, 28, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40,      abs_path, 15, 16, 25, 26
 42, 58, 62, 72, 77, 78, 82, 84,      absoluteURI, 15, 25, 26, 75, 85,
 87                                    88
201, 28, 37, 39, 84                   Accept, 19, 26, 47, 50, 63, 64,
202, 28, 37, 39                        65, 66, 95
203, 28, 39, 58                       acceptable-ranges, 67
204, 23, 28, 36, 37, 40               Accept-Charset, 26, 47, 65
205, 28, 40                           Accept-Encoding, 17, 18, 26, 47,
206, 28, 40, 58, 60, 62, 77, 84,       48, 65, 66, 88
 87, 103, 108                         accept-extension, 63
2xx, 83                               Accept-Language, 21, 26, 47, 48,
2xx Successful Status Codes, 39        66, 92, 95
300, 28, 41, 48, 58                   accept-params, 63, 88, 89
301, 28, 37, 41, 58, 90               Accept-Ranges, 29, 67
302, 28, 41, 43, 90                   Access Authentication, 47
303, 28, 37, 41, 42, 90                Basic and Digest. See [43]
304, 23, 28, 42, 49, 55, 57, 60,      Acknowlegements, 97
 61, 72, 82, 83, 87                   age, 10
305, 28, 42, 49, 90                   Age, 29, 52, 53, 67
306, 42                               age-value, 67
307, 28, 41, 43                       Allow, 25, 29, 35, 44, 67
3xx Redirection Status Codes, 40      ALPHA, 12, 13
400, 24, 26, 28, 43, 81, 107          Alternates. See RFC 2068
401, 28, 43, 44, 67, 94               ANSI X3.4-1986, 99
402, 28, 43                           asctime-date, 16
403, 28, 43, 108                      attribute, 18
404, 28, 43, 44, 45, 108              Authentication-Info, 89. See [43]
405, 25, 28, 44, 67                   authority, 15
406, 28, 44, 48, 64, 65               Authorization, 26, 43, 58, 67,
407, 28, 44, 86                        68, 69, 86
408, 28, 44                           Backus-Naur Form, 12
409, 28, 44                           Basic Authentication. See [43]
410, 28, 45, 58                       BCP 18, 100
411, 24, 28, 45                       BCP 9, 1
412, 28, 45, 81, 83, 84               byte-content-range-spec, 76, 77
413, 28, 45                           byte-range, 86
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byte-range-resp-spec, 76, 77           no-cache, 49, 54, 68, 69
byte-range-set, 86, 87                 no-store, 49, 68, 70
byte-ranges-specifier, 86              no-transform, 68, 73, 74
bytes, 67                              only-if-cached, 68, 72
bytes-unit, 22                         private, 58, 68, 69, 70, 73
          10                           proxy-revalidate, 58, 68, 72byte-range-spec, 45, 77, 86cachable,
cache, 10                              public, 50, 58, 68, 69, 70, 72
Cache                                  s-maxage, 54, 58, 68, 69, 70,
 cachability of responses, 58            108
 calculating the age of a             cache-directive, 68, 73, 85
  response, 52                        cache-request-directive, 49, 68
 combining byte ranges, 60            Changes from HTTP/1.0. See RFC
 combining headers, 60                 1945 and RFC 2068
 combining negotiated responses,       Host requirement, 107
  61                                  CHAR, 13
 constructing responses, 58           charset, 17, 65
 correctness, 49                      chunk, 19
 disambiguating expiration            chunk-data, 19
  values, 54                          chunked, 88
 disambiguating multiple              Chunked-Body, 19
  responses, 54                       chunk-extension, 19
 entity tags used as cache            chunk-ext-name, 19
  validators, 55                      chunk-ext-val, 19
 entry validation, 55                 chunk-size, 19
 errors or incomplete responses,      client, 9
  62                                  codings, 65
 expiration calculation, 53           comment, 14, 90, 91
 explicit expiration time, 51         Compatibility
 GET and HEAD cannot affect            CRLF in a quoted string, 14
  caching, 62                          missing charset, 17
 heuristic expiration, 52              multipart/x-byteranges, 103
 history list behavior, 63            Compatibility with previous HTTP
 invalidation cannot be complete,      versions, 106
  62                                  CONNECT, 25. See [44].
 Last-Modified values used as         connection, 9
  validators, 55                      Connection, 24, 31, 59, 73, 74,
 mechanisms, 50                        89, 90, 107
 replacement of cached responses,      close, 31, 74, 107
  63                                   Keep-Alive, 107. See RFC 2068
 shared and non-shared, 61            connection-token, 73, 74
 Warnings, 50                         Content Codings
 weak and strong cache                 compress, 18
  validators, 55                       deflate, 18
 write-through mandantory, 62          gzip, 18
Cache-Control, 24, 37, 40, 41,         identity, 18
 42, 43, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55,      content negotiation, 9
 58, 59, 62, 68, 69, 70, 71, 74,      Content Negotiation, 47
 80, 85                               Content-Base, 107. See RFC 2068
 cache-extension, 68                  content-cncoding, 74
 extensions, 73                       content-coding, 17, 18, 20, 47,
 max-age, 52, 53, 54, 58, 68, 69,      65, 66, 74, 89, 93, 108
  70, 71, 72, 80, 108                  new tokens SHOULD be registered
 max-stale, 50, 68, 71, 72               with IANA, 18
 min-fresh, 68, 71                     qvalues used with, 66
 must-revalidate, 68, 71, 72          content-codings
Fielding, et al                                              [Page 150]


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 identity, 108                        Entity, 29
content-disposition, 106              Entity body,
Content-Disposition, 96, 100,         Entity Tags, 21, 55
 105, 106                             entity-body, 29
                                      entity-header, 25, 27, 29
     74, 76, 93, 104                  Entity-header fields, 29
Content-Language, 21, 29, 74, 75,     entity-length, 30, 60
 92                                   entity-tag, 21, 83
Content-Length, 23, 24, 29, 32,       ETag, 21, 29, 36, 40, 42, 55, 59,
 35, 36, 40, 45, 60, 62, 75, 77,       60, 61, 79, 83
 89, 105, 108
Content-Encoding, 17, 18, 29, 30,
,                                  Expect, 27, 33, 34, 38, 46, 79,
Content-Location, 29, 40, 42, 59,      80, 108
 61, 62, 75, 85, 96                   expectation, 79
Content-MD5, 19, 29, 36, 59, 76,      expectation-extension, 79
 89, 99                               expect-params, 79
Content-Range, 40, 58, 76             Expires, 29, 37, 40, 41, 42, 43,
content-range-spec, 76                 52, 53, 54, 58, 59, 70, 71, 72,
Content-Transfer-Encoding, 18,         79, 80, 103
 76, 105                              explicit expiration time, 10
Content-Type, 17, 19, 29, 30, 35,     extension-code, 28
 38, 40, 41, 44, 59, 74, 77, 78,      extension-header, 29
 93, 102, 104                         extension-pragma, 85
Content-Version. See RFC 2068         field-content, 23
CR, 13, 20, 25, 27, 28, 103, 104      field-name, 23
CRLF, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 22, 23,     field-value, 23
 25, 27, 76, 103, 104                 filename-parm, 106
ctext, 14                             first-byte-pos, 45, 77, 86, 87
CTL, 13                               first-hand, 10
Date, 24, 40, 42, 52, 54, 56, 58,     fresh, 10
 61, 63, 70, 78, 80, 84, 93, 104      freshness lifetime, 10
date1, 16                             freshness_lifetime, 54
date2, 16                             From, 27, 32, 80, 81, 94, 95
date3, 16                             gateway, 10
DELETE, 25, 35, 37, 62                General Header Fields, 24
delta-seconds, 17, 88                 general-header, 24, 25, 27
Derived-From. See RFC 2068            generic-message, 22
Differences between MIME and          GET, 15, 25, 26, 34, 35, 36, 39,
 HTTP, 104                             40, 41, 42, 43, 45, 55, 56, 57,
 canonical form, 104                   62, 67, 75, 78, 81, 82, 83, 87,
 Content-Encoding, 104                 95
 Content-Transfer-Encoding, 105       HEAD, 23, 25, 34, 35, 36, 39, 41,
 date formats, 104                     42, 43, 44, 46, 62, 67, 75, 78,
 MIME-Version, 104                     83
 Transfer-Encoding, 105               Headers
Digest Authentication, 59. See         end-to-end, 59, 60, 74, 79
 [43]                                  hop-by-hop, 11, 59
DIGIT, 12, 13, 14, 16, 21, 85,         non-modifiable headers, 59
 104                                  Henrik Frystyk Nielsen, 101
disp-extension-token, 106             heuristic expiration time, 10
disposition-parm, 106                 HEX, 13, 16, 19
disposition-type, 106                 Hop-by-hop headers, 59
DNS, 96                               host, 15, 91, 92
 HTTP applications MUST obey TTL      Host, 26, 27, 34, 81, 107
  information, 96                     HT, 12, 13, 14, 22, 103
End-to-end headers, 59                http_URL, 15
entity, 9
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HTTP-date, 16, 78, 80, 82, 83,        Message Transmission
 84, 88, 92                              Requirements, 32
HTTP-message,                         Message Types,
HTTP-Version, 14, 25, 27              message-body, 22, 23, 25, 27, 30
IANA, 17, 18, 20, 21, 64, 102         message-header, 22, 23, 29
identity, 18, 19, 65, 66, 74, 89,     Method, 25, 67
 108                                  Method Definitions, 34
If-Match, 21, 27, 36, 57, 81, 82,     Methods
 83, 87                                Idempotent, 35
If-Modified-Since, 27, 36, 56,         Safe and Idempotent, 34
 57, 82, 83, 84, 87                   MIME, 8, 11, 17, 18, 20, 75, 76,
If-None-Match, 21, 27, 36, 57,         97, 98, 99, 100, 104, 105
 61, 82, 83, 84, 87                    multipart, 20
If-Range, 21, 27, 36, 40, 45, 57,     MIME-Version, 104
 77, 83, 84, 87                       month, 16
If-Unmodified-Since, 27, 36, 56,      multipart/byteranges, 20, 24, 40,
 57, 82, 83, 84, 87                    46, 77, 102, 103
If-Unmodified-Since, 84               multipart/mixed, 20
implied *LWS, 13                      multipart/x-byteranges, 103
instance-length, 77                   MUST, 8
ISO-8859, 99                          MUST NOT, 8
James Gettys, 101                     N rule, 12
Jeffrey C. Mogul, 101                 name, 12
Keep-Alive, 31, 59, 106, 107. See     non-shared cache, 61, 69, 73
 RFC 2068                             non-transparent proxy. See proxy:
Language Tags, 21                      non-transparent
language-range,                       OCTET, 13, 29
language-tag, 21                      opaque-tag, 22
                                      OPTIONAL,                 66Larry Masinter, 101                             8
last-byte-pos, 77, 86                 OPTIONS, 25, 35, 85
last-chunk, 19                        origin server, 10
Last-Modified, 11, 29, 36, 40,        other-range-unit, 22
 52, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60,      parameter, 18, 89
 79, 82, 84                           PATCH. See RFC 2068
LF, 13, 20, 25, 27, 28, 103, 104      Paul J. Leach, 101
lifetime, 10, 11, 52, 53, 54, 67,     Persistent Connections, 30
 71, 93                                Overall Operation, 31
Link. See RFC 2068                     Purpose, 30
LINK. See RFC 2068                     Use of Connection Header, 31
LOALPHA, 13                           Pipelining, 31
Location, 29, 37, 39, 41, 42, 43,     port, 15, 91, 92
 62, 84, 85, 96                       POST, 20, 22, 25, 33, 35, 36, 37,
LWS, 12, 13                            39, 41, 42, 45, 62, 78, 95
Max-Forwards, 27, 35, 38, 85          Pragma, 24, 68, 71, 85
MAY, 8                                 no-cache, 49, 54, 68, 85
media type, 13, 17, 20, 24, 30,       pragma-directive, 85
 41, 44, 47, 64, 73, 74, 75, 78,      primary-tag, 21
 102, 103, 104                        product, 21, 90
Media Types, 19                       Product tokens, 21
media-range, 63                       product-version, 21
media-type, 19, 20, 74, 76, 93        protocol-name, 91
message, 9                            protocol-version, 91
Message Body, 23                      proxy, 10
Message Headers, 22                    non-transparent, 10, 60, 73, 74
Message Length, 23                     transparent, 10, 26, 29, 59

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Proxy-Authenticate, 29, 44, 59,        end-to-end unspecific revalidation, 71
 99
Proxy-Authorization, 27, 44, 59,      RFC 1036, 16, 99
 86                                   RFC 1123, 16, 78, 80, 98
pseudonym, 91, 92                     RFC 1305, 100
Public. See RFC 2068                  RFC 1436, 98
public cache, 47, 48                  RFC 1590, 20, 99
PUT, 25, 33, 35, 37, 44, 62, 67,      RFC 1630, 98
 78, 81, 83                           RFC 1700, 99
qdtext, 14                            RFC 1737, 99
Quality Values, 21                    RFC 1738, 98
quoted-pair, 14                       RFC 1766, 21, 98
quoted-string, 13, 14, 19, 22,        RFC 1806, 96, 100, 106
 23, 63, 69, 79, 85, 92, 106          RFC 1808, 15, 99
qvalue, 21, 63, 65, 89                RFC 1864, 76, 99
Range, 22, 27, 29, 36, 37, 40,        RFC 1866, 98
 45, 46, 58, 59, 60, 77, 78, 82,      RFC 1867, 20, 99
 83, 86, 87, 102                      RFC 1900, 15, 99
Range Units, 22                       RFC 1945, 8, 41, 98, 105
ranges-specifier, 77, 86, 87          RFC 1950, 18, 100
range-unit, 22, 67                    RFC 1951, 18, 100
Reason-Phrase, 27, 28                 RFC 1952, 99
received-by, 91, 92                   RFC 2044, 100
received-protocol, 91, 92             RFC 2045, 98, 104, 105
RECOMMENDED, 8                        RFC 2046, 20, 100
References, 98                        RFC 2047, 13, 92, 99
Referer, 27, 88, 94, 95               RFC 2068, 15, 30, 33, 41, 42, 89,
rel_path, 15, 62                       98, 100, 105, 107, 108
relativeURI, 15, 75, 88                changes from, 107, 108
representation, 9                     RFC 2069, 19, 100
request, 9                            RFC 2076, 100, 105
Request, 24, 25                       RFC 2119, 8, 100
Request header fields, 26             RFC 2145, 14, 100, 108
request-header, 25, 26                RFC 2277, 100
Request-Line, 22, 25, 36, 44,         RFC 2279, 100
 103, 106                             RFC 821, 99
request-URI, 95                       RFC 822, 12, 16, 22, 78, 80, 91,
Request-URI, 15, 25, 26, 28, 29,       97, 98, 104
 35, 36, 37, 38, 41, 43, 44, 45,      RFC 850, 16, 99
 61, 62, 67, 74, 75, 84, 86, 88,      RFC 959, 99
 94, 95                               RFC 977, 99
REQUIRED, 8                           RFC XURI, 15
Requirements                          rfc1123-date, 16
 compliance, 8                        RFC-850, 103
 key words, 8                         rfc850-date, 16
resource, 9                           RFCs 1738, 15
response, 9                           Roy T. Fielding, 101
Response, 27                          rule1 | rule2, 12
Response Header Fields, 29            Safe and Idempotent Methods, 34
response-header, 27, 29               Security Considerations, 94
Retry-After, 29, 45, 46, 88            abuse of server logs, 94
Revalidation                           Accept header, 95
 end-to-end, 71                        Accept headers can reveal ethnic
 end-to-end reload, 71                   information, 95
 end-to-end specific                   attacks based on path names, 95
  revalidation, 71
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 Authentication Credentials and        should tolerate whitespace in
  Idle Clients, 96                       request and status lines, 103
 be careful about personal             tolerate LF and ignore CR in
  information, 94                        line terminators, 103
 Content-Disposition Header, 96        use lowest common denominator of
 Content-Location header, 96             character set, 103
 encoding information in URI's,       TRACE, 25, 35, 38, 39, 85
  95                                  trailer, 19
 From header, 94, 95                  Trailer, 19, 24, 89
 GET method, 95                       Transfer Encoding
 Location header, 96                   chunked, 18
 Location headers and spoofing,       transfer-coding, 18, 19, 23, 24,
  96                                   30, 89, 90, 105, 107, 108, 109
 Proxies and Caching, 97              transfer-codings, 88, 90
 Referer header, 94, 95               Transfer-Encoding
 sensitive headers, 94                 chunked, 18
 Server header, 94                     deflate, 18
 Transfer of Sensitive                 gzip, 18
  Information, 94                      identity, 18, 109
 Via header, 94                       Transfer-Encoding, 18, 19, 23,
selecting request-headers, 61          24, 30, 35, 59, 76, 79, 89, 90,
semantically transparent, 11           105
separators, 14                         chunked, 19
server, 9                              chunked, 18, 24, 32, 89, 105,
Server, 21, 29, 88, 91, 94               108, 109
SHALL, 8                               chunked REQUIRED, 24
SHALL NOT, 8                           compress, 18, 109
shared caches, 61, 70                  deflate, 109
SHOULD, 8                              gzip, 109
SHOULD NOT, 8                          identity, 24, 89
site, 26                              transfer-extension, 18, 88
SP, 12, 13, 14, 16, 22, 25, 27,       transfer-length, 30, 60
 76, 92, 103                          transparent
stale, 11                              proxy, 59
start-line, 22                        transparent proxy. See proxy:
Status Code Definitions, 38            transparent
Status-Code, 27, 28, 38               tunnel, 10
Status-Line, 22, 27, 29, 38, 103,     type, 19
 106                                  UNLINK. See RFC 2068
strong entity tag, 22                 UPALPHA, 13
strong validators, 56                 Upgrade, 24, 38, 59, 90
subtag, 21                            URI. See RFC 2068
subtype, 19                           URI-reference, 15
suffix-byte-range-spec, 86, 87        user agent, 9
suffix-length, 86, 87                 User-Agent, 21, 27, 48, 90, 91
T/TCP, 30                             validator, 11
t-codings, 88                         validators, 21, 50, 54, 55, 56,
TE, 19, 27, 88, 89, 108                57, 58, 60
TEXT, 13                               rules on use of, 57
Tim Berners-Lee, 101                  value, 18
time, 16                              variant, 9
token, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19,        Vary, 29, 40, 42, 48, 61, 81, 83,
 21, 22, 23, 25, 63, 69, 73, 79,       91, 95
 85, 90, 91, 106                      Via, 24, 38, 88, 91, 92, 94
Tolerant Applications, 103            warn-agent, 92
 bad dates, 103                       warn-code, 60, 92, 93
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warn-date, 92, 93                     warning-value, 92, 93
Warning, 24, 49, 50, 51, 54, 58,      warn-text, 92, 9
 60, 71, 92, 93, 108                  weak, 21
Warnings                              weak entity tag, 22
 110 Response is stale, 93            weak validators, 56
 111 Revalidation failed, 93          weekday, 16
 112 Disconnected operation, 93       wkday, 16
 113 Heuristic expiration, 93         WWW-Authenticate, 29, 43, 86, 94
 199 Miscellaneous warning, 93        x-compress, 66
 214 Transformation applied, 93       x-gzip, 66
 299 Miscellaneous persistent
  warning, 93












































Fielding, et al                                              [Page 155]


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