Re: expire header

From: David J Woolley <>
Date: Fri, 9 Apr 1999 14:32:49 +0100

> <META HTTP-EQUIV="Expires" CONTENT="Thu, 08 Apr 1999 18:30:00 +0200">

That isn't an expires header; it is a hint to the origin server to
add an expires header. The origin server obviously ignored the hint.

Proxies generally obey the layering and do not look at the content of
the body.

I think this sort of thing has come about through a combination of
commercial and security considerations preventing content providers
from configuring the server properly and a tendency for people to
only be able to cope with one technology at a time (i.e. HTML rather
than HTTP).

Proxies work according to the HTTP specification, which nowhere
mentions HTML META elements.

And from the HTML 4.0 Specification:

http-equiv = name [p.44] [CI] [p.43]
This attribute may be used in place of the name attribute. HTTP
servers use this attribute to gather information for HTTP response
message headers.

There is also a specific exception that allows browsers to act on the
character set if and only if there is no character set in the HTTP
headers, and, of course, only for HTML.

This subject should be in the list archives, but not recently.

David Woolley - Office: David Woolley <>
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Received on Fri Apr 09 1999 - 08:17:57 MDT

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