HTTP problem or Mosaic problem?

Alan (
Thu, 16 Jun 94 09:46:21 -0400

In response to my arguments for a state-ful HTTP protocol, Jon Knight says:
> you do stop the servers from tying up resources waiting for clients to
> make the next move in a stateful protocol.

This is preciesly the sort of thing I was ranting about. *Obviously* a
server which ties up resources in this way is badly written. To make life
easier for bad server-writers, HTTP throws the whole burden off onto the
clients and the info providers.

I don't think we need to throw away ("subvert") HTTP -- there are provisions
in the protocol for sneaking state in already, but they're so clunky no one
ever uses them. BUt I do think we need to look at the patterns of use that
we are seeing in the real world today and try to figure how to minimize the
burden. It seems to me that today we have a lot of cases where downloading
whole documents is both painful and unnecessary (and goodness knows we don't
need to create more unnecessary bandwidth!).

--Alan Wexelblat, Reality Hacker, Author, and Cyberspace Bard
Media Lab - Advanced Human Interface Group
Voice: 617-258-9168 Page: 617-945-1842
"To sacrifice strength and flexibility on the altar of backwards-
compatibility is like asking the human being to express the DNA for
cyanobacteria just because he's evolved from them." --Mark Pesce