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Re: lynx-dev Why doesn't lynx cache HTML source?

From: David Woolley
Subject: Re: lynx-dev Why doesn't lynx cache HTML source?
Date: Tue, 17 Nov 1998 08:33:30 +0000 (GMT)

> It was a problem in HTTP/1.0 with different contents, i.e. the same document
> may be available in different forms for different charset or user agant, etc,

Very few web site creators have the technical competence to even know that
content negotiation is possible.  Most browser dependent content is done
using Microsoft's ASP application level code.  Other content negotiation
is very unlikely (the only confirmed siting is that will serve PNG
to anyone admitting to be able to handle it, but this is rare and caused
confusion because the resulting object didn't have a .png extension and
couldn't be handled by a Windows browser locally.

> I hope HTML form submits as POST and the responce usually have ? to indicate
> info on submitting to made URL unique enough, also this is plain wasting of
> cache capacity because too many different submit request may be possible...

There are legitimate reasons for using GET mode forms (basically to make
the results cacheable because there are no side effects - this applies to
most search engines although some are uncacheable for other reasons).
However, because the GET/POST distinction was too subtle for many designers
there are a lot of GET mode forms with side effects.  Another factor, is
that is some environments it is slightly easier to program the handling
of GET than POST form parameters, and, as should be obvious to Lynx users,
many designers aren't interested in correctness, only the immediate 
commercial objectives.

If GET mode forms were used properly, caching policies would depend on
the nature of the traffic and the position of the cache in the hierarchy.
A browser would probably want to cache.

Incidentally, one use of GET mode forms is with SELECTION elements to
provide and alternative presentation for a menu (without using JavaScript),
or for a two dimensional menu.

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