Re: Performance analysis questions

"Daniel W. Connolly" <>
Date: Sun, 29 May 1994 05:48:50 +0200
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From: "Daniel W. Connolly" <>
To: Multiple recipients of list <>
Subject: Re: Performance analysis questions 
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In message <>, Rick Troth 
>	I'm surprised and crushed by Dan's response. 

Gee... I didn't mean to crush anybody!

>> HTTP is not Internet Mail. 
>	Right.   And Internet Mail is broken.   Let's not see HTTP 
>break because someone misinterpreted the spec.   We need to clarify this. 
>I say that we should clarify it in the looser direction w/r/t plain 
>text and trailing whitespace in particular.   I see no reason to 
>penalize clients and servers that have platform limitations ... 
>unless it's just out of spite.   What's the deal, Dan? 

I don't consider it spite. I just consider it clean design.

We clearly disagree. I think both sides of the argument have
been presented. I don't plan on writing any code in this area
any time soon, so it's really up to somebody else to decide
what to deploy. I might try to influence the HTTP spec editor,
though :-)

>> HTTP is not for the human eye: it's for a piece of software that groks
>> TCP (or perhaps some other reliable transport eventually...).
>	If by this statement you're pointing out a misimplication 
>in my note,  I accept the correction.   I didn't mean to suggest 
>that HTTP is for human consumption.   What I *did* (still do) 
>mean to suggest is that,  to the greatest extent possible, 
>HTTP be clearly defined as a  PLAIN TEXT  protocol. 

I disagree. Internet mail and USENET news serve a community
that is not tied together by reliable 8-bit protocols. HTTP
does. I see no reason to support multiple representations
of the same information in HTTP headers.

For example, look at XDR (part of NFS, etc.). Some systems
are little-endian and some are big-endian, but they all write
the bytes on the wire in the same order.