Re: Byte ranges -- formal spec proposal

Jon Mittelhauser (
Thu, 18 May 1995 16:46:36 +0500

At 5:06 AM 5/18/95, Larry Masinter wrote:
>Ari's proposal said:
>but I still ask:
>Can PDF documents be retrieved partially?


>A priori?


>How many bytes
>would you know to ask for in the first place?

You would have to ask the PDF experts (e.g. Adobe). However, if you saw the
demo (or heard about it) at the Seybold publishing conference, it was done
there. We (Adobe & Netscape) demonstrated a prototype browser implementation
which treated PDF as a first class object and included streaming and byte range
retreival via server CGI. Ari is simply attempting (for Netscape) to help
create a standard means of doing this very common procedure so that there are
not 100's of different implementations -- the other very positive aspect
(especially from Ari's point of view) is that if there is a standard way of
doing it, his proxy can understand it...(and cache it...etc...etc...)

>I think these are both scenarios that might benefit from a GET-PARTIAL
>or some kind of modification to GET in HTTP, but I don't see either of
>these scenarios being justification for a new feature in URLs.

One problem with a new method or a Header based method is that it breaks
all existing proxy setups...