Re: Future of meta-indices: site indexing proposal and Perl script

Roy T. Fielding (fielding@simplon.ICS.UCI.EDU)
Wed, 23 Mar 1994 06:09:23 --100

Robert S. Thau writes:

> One open question here (on which there is perhaps some disagreement between
> your note and Dave Raggett's earlier one) is the intended purpose of the
> <meta ...> tag. If it's a general-purpose hook for all sorts of
> metainformation (some of which may not be appropriate to be sent out as
> headers for every GET request), one set of tradeoffs are appropriate; if
> it's simply a hook to get things into the headers, then another.

The definition in the HMTL+ DTD reflects the latter purpose in that it
specifically says the server should make a header out of that element.
However, it does seem reasonable to make that an option instead.

How about this:

The META element can be used to embed document metainformation not
defined by other HTML+ elements for use by servers/clients capable
of extracting that information.

Servers should read the document head to generate HTTP headers
corresponding to any META elements with the HEADER attribute,
e.g. if the document contains:

<meta header name="Expires" value="Tue, 04 Dec 1993 21:29:02 GMT">

The server should include the header:

Expires: Tue, 04 Dec 1993 21:29:02 GMT

as part of the HTTP response to a GET or HEAD request for that document.
When the HEADER attribute is not present, the server should not generate
an HTTP header for this metainformation; e.g.

<meta name="IndexType" value="Service">

would not generate an HTTP header but would still allow clients or
other tools to make use of that metainformation.

Other likely names are "Keywords", "Created", "Owner" (a name)
and "Reply-To" (an email address).

id ID #IMPLIED -- to allow meta info --
nohead (nohead) #IMPLIED -- don't generate HTTP header --
name CDATA #IMPLIED -- HTTP header e.g. "Expires" --
value CDATA #IMPLIED -- associated value -->


...Roy Fielding ICS Grad Student, University of California, Irvine USA
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