Re: Performance analysis questions

Daniel W. Connolly (
Sat, 28 May 1994 12:39:07 -0500

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.