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

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"Thomas B. Passin" <tpassin@comcast.net> writes:

> Tim Bray wrote:
> > On Mar 5, 2004, at 6:19 PM, K. Ari Krupnikov wrote:
> >
> >> The question boils down to whether an HTTP URI is opaque or if the
> >> question mark has predefined semantics. (The specs would have me
> >> believe the former, but the practice seems to be the latter).
> > 404.  The URI is opaque.  There is no such resource.  -Tim
> 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.

There is further support to this notion in the fact that relative URIs
are interpreted relative to the last slash before the "?"; all
slashes in the query string are ignored. If the document at
http://example.com/archives/lists/xml-dev?date=2004/03/06 contains a
link to "../newsgroups", I'd expect it to resolve to
http://example.com/archives/newsgroups. Tim, are you saying it should
resolve to http://example.com/archives/lists/xml-dev?date=2004/newsgroups

> 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

The server may wish to make a suggestion about other resource on it
has that may be of use. It may even say what it thinks the error was:
if you requested information on the 44th US president, the server may
tell you that the valid range is 1-43.

> 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. It's like saying 404 doesn't need a response body.

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betting on the outcome.


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