I-D ACTION:draft-kristol-http-state-info-00.txt, .ps

Dave Kristol (dmk@allegra.att.com)
Thu, 24 Aug 95 15:40:37 EDT


A New Internet-Draft is available from the on-line Internet-Drafts

Title : Proposed HTTP State-Info Mechanism
Author(s) : D. Kristol
Filename : draft-kristol-http-state-info-00.txt, .ps
Pages : 7
Date : 08/23/1995

HTTP, the protocol that underpins the World-Wide Web (WWW), is stateless.
That is, each request stands on its own; origin servers don't need to
remember what happened with previous requests to service a new one.
Statelessness is a mixed blessing, because there are potential WWW
applications, like ``shopping baskets'' and library browsing, for which the
history of a user's actions is useful or essential.

This proposal outlines a way to introduce state into HTTP. A new
request/response header, State-Info, carries the state back and forth, thus
relieving the origin server from needing to keep an extensive per-user or
per-connection database. The changes required to user agents, origin
servers, and proxy servers to support State-Info are very modest.

Internet-Drafts are available by anonymous FTP. Login with the username
"anonymous" and a password of your e-mail address. After logging in,
type "cd internet-drafts" and then
"get draft-kristol-http-state-info-00.txt".
"get draft-kristol-http-state-info-00.ps".
A URL for the Internet-Draft is:

Internet-Drafts directories are located at:

o Africa
Address: ftp.is.co.za (

o Europe
Address: nic.nordu.net (
Address: ftp.nis.garr.it (

o Pacific Rim
Address: munnari.oz.au (

o US East Coast
Address: ds.internic.net (

o US West Coast
Address: ftp.isi.edu (

Internet-Drafts are also available by mail.

Send a message to: mailserv@ds.internic.net. In the body type:
"FILE /internet-drafts/draft-kristol-http-state-info-00.txt".
"FILE /internet-drafts/draft-kristol-http-state-info-00.ps".

NOTE: The mail server at ds.internic.net can return the document in
MIME-encoded form by using the "mpack" utility. To use this
feature, insert the command "ENCODING mime" before the "FILE"
command. To decode the response(s), you will need "munpack" or
a MIME-compliant mail reader. Different MIME-compliant mail readers
exhibit different behavior, especially when dealing with
"multipart" MIME messages (i.e., documents which have been split
up into multiple messages), so check your local documentation on
how to manipulate these messages.

For questions, please mail to Internet-Drafts@cnri.reston.va.us.

Below is the data which will enable a MIME compliant mail reader
implementation to automatically retrieve the ASCII version
of the Internet-Draft.

Content-Type: Multipart/Alternative; Boundary="OtherAccess"

Content-Type: Message/External-body;

Content-Type: text/plain
Content-ID: <19950823161652.I-D@CNRI.Reston.VA.US>

FILE /internet-drafts/draft-kristol-http-state-info-00.txt

Content-Type: Message/External-body;

Content-Type: text/plain
Content-ID: <19950823161652.I-D@CNRI.Reston.VA.US>