Re: uh oh -- halp! (Marc Andreessen)
Date: Thu, 9 Sep 93 00:36:04 -0500
From: (Marc Andreessen)
Message-id: <>
Subject: Re: uh oh -- halp! 
In-reply-to: <>
References: <>
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Status: RO writes:
> In private conversation with me, Marc has convinced me that HTTP0 is
> useful enough for quick shell script special purpose servers that we need
> to keep it around as a viable protocol.  That being the case.  It is also
> vital that HTTP/1.0 clients still be able to talk to these servers.
> I feel we need to bite the bullet and be willing to change one of these
> protocols.  Both are already somewhat established, and changing either
> of them will require the cooperation of all the current browser and server
> writers.
> 1)  To change the HTTP/1.0 protocol to use a different separator between 
>     accept fields, and to use CR LF as a terminator.  This means getting new
>     versions of all the servers and clients, and also means getting all
>     existing HTTP/1.0 servers upgraded.  Anyone know the install base
>     out there?  This will cause lots of user headaches until all the servers
>     get upgraded.
> 2)  Change HTTP0.  As I understand it, an HTTP0 server right now, to
>     process an HTTP/1.0 request reads first the command (Usually GET),
>     Then the URL.  It throws away everything from the URL to CR LF.
>     We could modify this slightly to instead throw away eveything up
>     to the terminator for HTTP/1.0 (Which I think is CR LF CR LF).
>     This would mean upgrading all the current HTTP0 servers and shell
>     scripts.  It should be an easy update, just change the terminating
>     sequence.  The biggest headache here is what to do about old HTTP0
>     clients.  They would hang on the new HTTP0 servers, because they would
>     never send the right terminating sequence.  Are their any browsers
>     out there that are not planning to move to HTTP/1.0 in the coming year?
> If the number of HTTP/1.0 servers is small (less than 200), then I would
> prefer option 1.  If both have about equal server numbers I would prefer
> option 2, because I would rather cause headaches for users of old
> (out-of-date) software than for users of our new stuff. (I.E.  Everyone
> we have already sold on HTTP/1.0).  For document writers who have to deal
> with stubborn old servers who refuse to upgrade, we could add a http0://
> url type to the browser that would always talk that protocol.  Of course
> this will break all the current documents that assume all http is created
> equal.

So, of course, after sending my note of a few minutes ("I know Eric
disagrees with me"), I see he pretty much agrees with me... (we had a
pretty volatile lunchtime discussion over this today, at the end of
which I was convinced we weren't agreeing on anything :-).  So yeah, I
like (2) and (if necessary) the http0 URL type.

That's what I get for reading my mail backwards...