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   Re: [xml-dev] More on REST and HTTP status codes

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Thomas B. Passin wrote:

> I don't think so. Rfc 2396 says
> "The query component is a string of information to be interpreted by
>    the resource."
> This shows that the query string is not actually part of the resource 
> specification.
> In this case, there _is_ a resource, but there is nothing to return 
> about the view (or whatever) of the resource indicated by the query string.
> I think a better return would be a 204 -
> 204 No Content
> An HTML or XML document saying there was no result and why would also 
> seem to be OK, but 204 ought to be better.

I disagree:

204 (<http://greenbytes.de/tech/webdav/rfc2616.html#status.204>):

"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 

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."

Note the second paragraph.

404 (<http://greenbytes.de/tech/webdav/rfc2616.html#status.404>):

"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."

This seems to be exactly right (unless 410 is more precise).


<green/>bytes GmbH -- http://www.greenbytes.de -- tel:+492512807760


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