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Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP/1.1): Conditional Requests
RFC 7232

Document type: RFC - Proposed Standard (June 2014; No errata)
Obsoletes RFC 2616
Document stream: IETF
Last updated: 2014-06-06
Other versions: plain text, pdf, html

IETF State: Submitted to IESG for Publication Sep 2013
Consensus: Yes
Document shepherd: Mark Nottingham
Shepherd Write-Up: Last changed 2013-10-07

IESG State: RFC 7232 (Proposed Standard)
IANA Action State: RFC-Ed-Ack
Responsible AD: Barry Leiba
Send notices to: httpbis-chairs@tools.ietf.org, draft-ietf-httpbis-p4-conditional@tools.ietf.org

Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)                  R. Fielding, Ed.
Request for Comments: 7232                                         Adobe
Obsoletes: 2616                                          J. Reschke, Ed.
Category: Standards Track                                     greenbytes
ISSN: 2070-1721                                                June 2014

      Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP/1.1): Conditional Requests

Abstract

   The Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is a stateless application-
   level protocol for distributed, collaborative, hypertext information
   systems.  This document defines HTTP/1.1 conditional requests,
   including metadata header fields for indicating state changes,
   request header fields for making preconditions on such state, and
   rules for constructing the responses to a conditional request when
   one or more preconditions evaluate to false.

Status of This Memo

   This is an Internet Standards Track document.

   This document is a product of the Internet Engineering Task Force
   (IETF).  It represents the consensus of the IETF community.  It has
   received public review and has been approved for publication by the
   Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG).  Further information on
   Internet Standards is available in Section 2 of RFC 5741.

   Information about the current status of this document, any errata,
   and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at
   http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc7232.

Fielding & Reschke           Standards Track                    [Page 1]
RFC 7232              HTTP/1.1 Conditional Requests            June 2014

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2014 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
   (http://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of
   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
   to this document.  Code Components extracted from this document must
   include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of
   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the Simplified BSD License.

   This document may contain material from IETF Documents or IETF
   Contributions published or made publicly available before November
   10, 2008.  The person(s) controlling the copyright in some of this
   material may not have granted the IETF Trust the right to allow
   modifications of such material outside the IETF Standards Process.
   Without obtaining an adequate license from the person(s) controlling
   the copyright in such materials, this document may not be modified
   outside the IETF Standards Process, and derivative works of it may
   not be created outside the IETF Standards Process, except to format
   it for publication as an RFC or to translate it into languages other
   than English.

Fielding & Reschke           Standards Track                    [Page 2]
RFC 7232              HTTP/1.1 Conditional Requests            June 2014

Table of Contents

   1. Introduction ....................................................4
      1.1. Conformance and Error Handling .............................4
      1.2. Syntax Notation ............................................4
   2. Validators ......................................................5
      2.1. Weak versus Strong .........................................5
      2.2. Last-Modified ..............................................7
           2.2.1. Generation ..........................................7
           2.2.2. Comparison ..........................................8
      2.3. ETag .......................................................9
           2.3.1. Generation .........................................10
           2.3.2. Comparison .........................................10
           2.3.3. Example: Entity-Tags Varying on
                  Content-Negotiated Resources .......................11
      2.4. When to Use Entity-Tags and Last-Modified Dates ...........12
   3. Precondition Header Fields .....................................13
      3.1. If-Match ..................................................13
      3.2. If-None-Match .............................................14
      3.3. If-Modified-Since .........................................16
      3.4. If-Unmodified-Since .......................................17
      3.5. If-Range ..................................................18
   4. Status Code Definitions ........................................18
      4.1. 304 Not Modified ..........................................18

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