HTTP Headers vs. link rel=

ydnar ydnar at
Tue May 24 01:15:09 PDT 2005

At this point, the likelyhood of something replacing SGML as the primary 
format for a web root is about as high as replacing HTTP. Alternatively, 
you can think of OpenID as rather than asserting the URL, it asserts the 
/data/ at the end of that URL, including the link and whatever else the 
user (or host/server) put there. Right now, that's HTML.

Martin Atkins wrote:

> ydnar wrote:
>> HTTP headers are nontrivial to edit for some hosting environments, 
>> and subject to poisoning on the part of the ISP. Parsing the output 
>> of a GET request as SGML and looking for <head><link 
>> rel="openid.server"> is trivial.
>> TypePad users (certain user levels) can control their own HTML 
>> templates. Everything from the doctype to </html>. For this user 
>> class it would in theory make sense to have an HTTP header. But what 
>> happens when a page specifies a link rel as well? Which one overrides 
>> the other?
> If your hosting provider is "poisoning" your content, then you need to 
> get a better hosting provider since they obviously cannot be trusted. 
> Even if the hosting provider does do something like this, presumably 
> they will then vouch for the URL, which doesn't really have any 
> negative result unless they start rejecting identity requests 
> outright. If they provide a working identity server, then you get 
> validated as being the owner of that URL just as you would have done 
> anyway.
> We already discussed multiple LINK elements and decided that the 
> consumer is free to pick any one. I don't see why this is any 
> different. The consumer can decide which one beats what depending on 
> the relationships it has with all of the listed servers. They should 
> all work.
> The main reason *I* proposed allowing a header was to avoid tying 
> OpenID to a particular document format. The ability to optimise to 
> using HEAD to make the request is a nice side-effect, but not one I 
> care a great deal about.
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