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RFC 2616

 
 
 

Hypertext Transfer Protocol -- HTTP/1.1

Part 3 of 7, p. 44 to 70
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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 require 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 (section 14.10). 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.

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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.

   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 section
   14.10.

   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
   discussion 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 existence) of
   this time-out for either the client or the server.

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   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). Confirmation by
   user-agent software with semantic understanding of the application
   MAY substitute for user confirmation. The automatic retry SHOULD NOT
   be repeated if the second sequence of requests fails.

   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 NOT maintain more than 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.

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.

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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 Use of the 100 (Continue) Status

   The purpose of the 100 (Continue) status (see section 10.1.1) is to
   allow a 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 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.

   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 a final status code. The
        origin server MUST NOT wait for the request body before sending
        the 100 (Continue) response. If it responds with a final status
        code, it MAY close the transport connection or it MAY continue

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        to read and discard the rest of the request.  It MUST NOT
        perform the requested method if it returns a final status code.

      - 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.

      - 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 a final status code 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.

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      - 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).

8.2.4 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.  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.

      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.

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   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.

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.

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   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 cacheable.

   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

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   body 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 cacheable 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.

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

   The response to a HEAD request MAY be cacheable 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.

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   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 cacheable, 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 cacheable resource.

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

   See section 15.1.3 for security considerations.

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 cacheable.

   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,

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   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
   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 cacheable.

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

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   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 with a
   proxy that can dynamically switch to being a tunnel (e.g. 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.

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 code. 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

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   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 8.2.3 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.

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;

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   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 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. 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 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).

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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, its
        value 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

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      - 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 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

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   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 cacheable unless indicated otherwise.

10.3.2 301 Moved Permanently

   The requested resource has been assigned a new permanent URI and any
   future references to this resource SHOULD use one of the returned
   URIs.  Clients with link editing capabilities ought to 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
   cacheable 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 cacheable 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).

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   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
   substitute reference for the originally requested resource. The 303
   response MUST NOT be cached, but the response to the second
   (redirected) request might be cacheable.

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

   The response MUST include the following header fields:

      - Date, unless its omission is required by section 14.18.1

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   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.

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 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, is no longer used, and the code is reserved.

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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 cacheable 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) , since many pre-HTTP/1.1 user agents do not
   understand the 307 status. Therefore, the note SHOULD contain the
   information necessary for a user to repeat the original request on
   the new URI.

   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.

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.

   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.

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.

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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" [43].

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"
   [43].

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

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   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 (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 cacheable 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.

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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.

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.

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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.



(page 70 continued on part 4)

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