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406 Not Acceptable - The new frames!

P: n/a
Remember the "Get a better browser!" messages that you used to run into when
people thought frames were cool? Well, there is a new version of it. It's
called 406 - Not Acceptable!
--
Lars Eighner us****@larseighner.com http://www.larseighner.com/
War On Terrorism: Joe McCarthy Brigade
"The decadent left in its enclaves on the coasts is not dead -- and may well
mount a fifth column." Andrew Sullivan, _The New Republic_
Feb 26 '06 #1
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25 Replies


P: n/a
On Sun, 26 Feb 2006, Lars Eighner wrote:
Remember the "Get a better browser!" messages that you used to run
into when people thought frames were cool? Well, there is a new
version of it. It's called 406 - Not Acceptable!


I don't think you've grasped the meaning of 406 yet; but feel free to
expand on your observations, and then it should become clear.
Feb 26 '06 #2

P: n/a
In our last episode,
<Pi*******************************@ppepc55.ph.gla. ac.uk>,
the lovely and talented Alan J. Flavell
broadcast on comp.infosystems.www.authoring.html:
On Sun, 26 Feb 2006, Lars Eighner wrote:
Remember the "Get a better browser!" messages that you used to run
into when people thought frames were cool? Well, there is a new
version of it. It's called 406 - Not Acceptable!

I don't think you've grasped the meaning of 406 yet; but feel free to
expand on your observations, and then it should become clear.


So far as I can tell, it means "Get a better browser!"
--
Lars Eighner us****@larseighner.com http://www.larseighner.com/
That was Zen; this is Tao.
Feb 26 '06 #3

P: n/a

On Sun, 26 Feb 2006, Lars Eighner wrote:
I don't think you've grasped the meaning of 406 yet; but feel free to
expand on your observations, and then it should become clear.


So far as I can tell, it means "Get a better browser!"


Au contraire: it's the server admitting that it doesn't have anything
that fits your demands.
Feb 26 '06 #4

P: n/a
In our last episode,
<Pine.WNT.4.64.0602262143040.1880@ZORIN>,
the lovely and talented Alan J. Flavell
broadcast on comp.infosystems.www.authoring.html:

On Sun, 26 Feb 2006, Lars Eighner wrote:
> I don't think you've grasped the meaning of 406 yet; but feel free to
> expand on your observations, and then it should become clear.


So far as I can tell, it means "Get a better browser!"

Au contraire: it's the server admitting that it doesn't have anything
that fits your demands.


That's what "Get a better browser!" meant. It meant there wasn't
a no frames version or that the author wouldn't tell you where it was.
It comes from the same elitist place that "Get a better browser!" came from.
You don't have the latest and greatest character set, so get out of here.

--
Lars Eighner us****@larseighner.com http://www.larseighner.com/
War on Terrorism: History a Mystery
"He's busy making history, but doesn't look back at his own, or the
world's.... Bush would rather look forward than backward." --_Newsweek_
Feb 26 '06 #5

P: n/a
On Sun, 26 Feb 2006, Lars Eighner wrote:
Au contraire: it's the server admitting that it doesn't have
anything that fits your demands.
That's what "Get a better browser!" meant. It meant there wasn't a
no frames version or that the author wouldn't tell you where it was.


Extract from RFC2616 section 10.4.7 - 406 "Not Acceptable"

Unless it was a HEAD request, the response SHOULD include an entity
containing a list of available entity characteristics and location(s)
from which the user or user agent can choose the one most
appropriate.
It comes from the same elitist place that "Get a better browser!"
came from.
The definition of status 406 certainly didn't come from any such
place. It's part of a mechanism that is *designed* to serve you with
the variant which best meets YOUR demands (as expressed by YOUR http
Accept* headers).
You don't have the latest and greatest character set, so get out of
here.


You might well have found an inappropriate use of status 406; but,
as long as you won't go into detail about what you found, you'll
continue to give the impression that you don't really know what status
406 is meant for.
Feb 26 '06 #6

P: n/a
In our last episode,
<Pi*******************************@ppepc55.ph.gla. ac.uk>,
the lovely and talented Alan J. Flavell
broadcast on comp.infosystems.www.authoring.html:
On Sun, 26 Feb 2006, Lars Eighner wrote:
> Au contraire: it's the server admitting that it doesn't have
> anything that fits your demands.


That's what "Get a better browser!" meant. It meant there wasn't a
no frames version or that the author wouldn't tell you where it was. Extract from RFC2616 section 10.4.7 - 406 "Not Acceptable" Unless it was a HEAD request, the response SHOULD include an entity
containing a list of available entity characteristics and location(s)
from which the user or user agent can choose the one most
appropriate.
Let's see, so snottiness is now an RFC. Well, I guess that makes it okay.

It comes from the same elitist place that "Get a better browser!"
came from. The definition of status 406 certainly didn't come from any such
place. It's part of a mechanism that is *designed* to serve you with
the variant which best meets YOUR demands (as expressed by YOUR http
Accept* headers).
You don't have the latest and greatest character set, so get out of
here.

You might well have found an inappropriate use of status 406; but,
as long as you won't go into detail about what you found, you'll
continue to give the impression that you don't really know what status
406 is meant for.


I find it at http://www.w3.org/ . It used to serve me a page. Now
it serves 406. That is not progress. It is "Get a better browser!"
--
Lars Eighner us****@larseighner.com http://www.larseighner.com/
I have not seen as far as others because giants were standing on my shoulders.
Feb 27 '06 #7

P: n/a
Lars Eighner wrote:
In our last episode,
<Pi*******************************@ppepc55.ph.gla. ac.uk>,
the lovely and talented Alan J. Flavell
broadcast on comp.infosystems.www.authoring.html:
On Sun, 26 Feb 2006, Lars Eighner wrote:

Remember the "Get a better browser!" messages that you used to run
into when people thought frames were cool? Well, there is a new
version of it. It's called 406 - Not Acceptable!

I don't think you've grasped the meaning of 406 yet; but feel free to
expand on your observations, and then it should become clear.


So far as I can tell, it means "Get a better browser!"


Isn't "Get a better browser" rendered by including it between NOFRAMES
tags? That works by sending it as part of the regular response--the
server doesn't have any idea that the browser doesn't support frames.
Even if that's what 406 was for, to send a 406 *instead of* a 200 or
some other code would require the server to know that the browser
doesn't support frames.
Feb 27 '06 #8

P: n/a
Lars Eighner wrote:
In our last episode,
<Pi*******************************@ppepc55.ph.gla. ac.uk>,
the lovely and talented Alan J. Flavell
broadcast on comp.infosystems.www.authoring.html:
You might well have found an inappropriate use of status 406; but,
as long as you won't go into detail about what you found, you'll
continue to give the impression that you don't really know what status
406 is meant for.


I find it at http://www.w3.org/ . It used to serve me a page. Now
it serves 406. That is not progress. It is "Get a better browser!"


The only way I could replicate this status was to send either of these:

Accept: text/html;q=0,application/xhtml+xml;q=0
Accept-Charset: utf-8;q=0

The 406 status told me that there are two available variants:
* Home.html , type text/html, charset utf-8
* Home.xhtml , type application/xhtml+xml, charset utf-8

So, if your using a web browser that doesn't accept either text/html or
application/xhtml+xml, and doesn't support UTF-8, what hope have you got
to browse the rest of the web?

--
Lachlan Hunt
http://lachy.id.au/
http://GetFirefox.com/ Rediscover the Web
http://GetThunderbird.com/ Reclaim your Inbox
Feb 27 '06 #9

P: n/a
In our last episode,
<th******************@news-server.bigpond.net.au>,
the lovely and talented Lachlan Hunt
broadcast on comp.infosystems.www.authoring.html:
Lars Eighner wrote:
In our last episode,
<Pi*******************************@ppepc55.ph.gla. ac.uk>,
the lovely and talented Alan J. Flavell
broadcast on comp.infosystems.www.authoring.html:
You might well have found an inappropriate use of status 406; but,
as long as you won't go into detail about what you found, you'll
continue to give the impression that you don't really know what status
406 is meant for.
I find it at http://www.w3.org/ . It used to serve me a page. Now
it serves 406. That is not progress. It is "Get a better browser!"

The only way I could replicate this status was to send either of these: Accept: text/html;q=0,application/xhtml+xml;q=0
Accept-Charset: utf-8;q=0 The 406 status told me that there are two available variants:
* Home.html , type text/html, charset utf-8
* Home.xhtml , type application/xhtml+xml, charset utf-8 So, if your using a web browser that doesn't accept either text/html or
application/xhtml+xml, and doesn't support UTF-8, what hope have you got
to browse the rest of the web?


I guess I must have hallucinating all of these years when it seemed to me
I would get the page I pointed my browser at.

--
Lars Eighner us****@larseighner.com http://www.larseighner.com/
It's important for us to explain to our nation that life is important. It's
not only life of babies, but it's life of children living in, you know, the
dark dungeons of the Internet.--G.W. Bush, Arlington Heights, Ill.,10/24/00
Feb 27 '06 #10

P: n/a
__/ [ Harlan Messinger ] on Monday 27 February 2006 01:56 \__
Lars Eighner wrote:
In our last episode,
<Pi*******************************@ppepc55.ph.gla. ac.uk>,
the lovely and talented Alan J. Flavell
broadcast on comp.infosystems.www.authoring.html:
On Sun, 26 Feb 2006, Lars Eighner wrote:
Remember the "Get a better browser!" messages that you used to run
into when people thought frames were cool? Well, there is a new
version of it. It's called 406 - Not Acceptable!

....Recently seen a site that rejects Firefox simply for being Firefox. I have
also come across sites that openly reject IE or show an offensive icon while
rendering pages with transparent PNG's. I have also seen sites that reject
anything that is not Firefox (though I am not entirely sure about this one).

Certain Web sites avoid bad layout or wish to pass on the same message as
above in a more subtle way, but intentionally blocking button based on user
agent sniffing. This can lead to a lot of confusion, which in turn burns
time, fields more support queries, and promotes frustration and nervous
yelling at the monitor.

Browser racism must end.

I don't think you've grasped the meaning of 406 yet; but feel free to
expand on your observations, and then it should become clear.


So far as I can tell, it means "Get a better browser!"


Isn't "Get a better browser" rendered by including it between NOFRAMES
tags? ...

That's *exactly* what *I* thought.

... That works by sending it as part of the regular response--the
server doesn't have any idea that the browser doesn't support frames.
Even if that's what 406 was for, to send a 406 *instead of* a 200 or
some other code would require the server to know that the browser
doesn't support frames.

While on the subject of user-agent spoofing, I can never get very far on the
Web with my default user-agent string:

Use Agent: Roy Schestowitz's telepathic mind
App Name: None of your business
App Version: 1.0b
Platform: GNU/Linux
vendor: Mom & Dad

This is never ever good enough for on-line banking, among other Web sites
that sniff these and deny service rather than remain impartial.

Related links: User Agent Switcher Extension for Firefox:
http://chrispederick.com/work/useragentswitcher/

^^^

Useful if you can't bother installing Opera for sites that require IE.

Roy
Feb 27 '06 #11

P: n/a
On Mon, 27 Feb 2006, Roy Schestowitz wrote:
...Recently seen a site that rejects Firefox simply for being
Firefox. I have also come across sites that openly reject IE or show
an offensive icon while rendering pages with transparent PNG's. I
have also seen sites that reject anything that is not Firefox
(though I am not entirely sure about this one).


It looks as if Lars is deliberately going to drag this out bit by bit,
instead of telling us frankly and honestly what he did and what he
got; but I *very* much doubt that W3C is doing their content
negotiation on the basis of a user agent string.

Such misguided behaviour has been seen often enough elsewhere, but
(whatever faults I might find with the W3C) I don't think they would
be *that* perverse (other than perhaps as part of a demonstration of
how not to do it).

Let's see:

Not Acceptable

An appropriate representation of the requested resource /Home.var
could not be found on this server.

Available variants:
* Home.html , type text/html, charset utf-8
* Home.xhtml , type application/xhtml+xml, charset utf-8

Their only available versions are encoded in utf-8. My hunch is that
Lars told them via his Accept-charset that utf-8 was not acceptable to
him. If so, they've sent him the correct response. He can still try
viewing either of the available variants explicitly, from the menu
provided.

Anyhow, if/when Lars finally gets tired of spinning this out, and puts
his cards on the table, we shall see. Meantime I don't think it's
fair to accuse the W3C of mischief unless/until proven. A browser
which really doesn't accept utf-8 is not a great deal of use on the
web these days, I'd have thought.
Feb 27 '06 #12

P: n/a

Lars Eighner wrote:
I guess I must have hallucinating all of these years when it seemed to me
I would get the page I pointed my browser at.


You need to understand the meaning of "point". If you "point" your
browser there, you get the page. If you sharpen your browser so that it
_demands_ a particular encoding, or else nothing, then don't be
surprised if it 406s you.

You've asked for something impossible (from that server's viewpoint)
and as the spec requires, it has told you that it can't deliver it,
rather than sending an approximation.

You're confusing subject and object here. I'ts not your browser or your
request that is unacceptable, it's the server's opinion of how you
would find the limited content and encdoings it has available to offer
you. From the detailed request your browser made, it would see the only
available content as "unacceptable"

Feb 27 '06 #13

P: n/a
In our last episode,
<11*********************@v46g2000cwv.googlegroups. com>,
the lovely and talented Andy Dingley
broadcast on comp.infosystems.www.authoring.html:

Lars Eighner wrote:
I guess I must have hallucinating all of these years when it seemed to me
I would get the page I pointed my browser at.

You need to understand the meaning of "point". If you "point" your
browser there, you get the page. If you sharpen your browser so that it
_demands_ a particular encoding, or else nothing, then don't be
surprised if it 406s you. You've asked for something impossible (from that server's viewpoint)
and as the spec requires, it has told you that it can't deliver it,
rather than sending an approximation. You're confusing subject and object here. I'ts not your browser or your
request that is unacceptable, it's the server's opinion of how you
would find the limited content and encdoings it has available to offer
you. From the detailed request your browser made, it would see the only
available content as "unacceptable"


Things were better when servers would just serve documents and would let you
make up your own mind if it were acceptable. Somehow the world-wide web
gets narrower day by day.

--
Lars Eighner us****@larseighner.com http://www.larseighner.com/
"I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: 'O Lord,
make my enemies ridiculous.' And God granted it." --Voltaire
Feb 27 '06 #14

P: n/a
Lars Eighner wrote:
Things were better when servers would just serve documents and would let you
make up your own mind if it were acceptable. Somehow the world-wide web
gets narrower day by day.


Say hi to Luigi down in the 3rd circle of the killfile, the abode of
the clue-impermeable.

Feb 27 '06 #15

P: n/a
On Mon, 27 Feb 2006, Lars Eighner wrote:
Things were better when servers would just serve documents and would
let you make up your own mind if it were acceptable.
Then stop telling it beforehand that you're not willing to accept what
it has to offer. Sheesh.
Somehow the world-wide web gets narrower day by day.


Confusious[1] say: "One can lead the horse to water, but one cannot
make it drink."

[1] sic.
Feb 27 '06 #16

P: n/a
In our last episode,
<Pi*******************************@ppepc62.ph.gla. ac.uk>,
the lovely and talented Alan J. Flavell
broadcast on comp.infosystems.www.authoring.html:
On Mon, 27 Feb 2006, Lars Eighner wrote:
Things were better when servers would just serve documents and would
let you make up your own mind if it were acceptable. Then stop telling it beforehand that you're not willing to accept what
it has to offer. Sheesh.
I do no such thing. I use the same Lynx configuration I have always used.
It is the servers that have changed.
Somehow the world-wide web gets narrower day by day.

Confusious[1] say: "One can lead the horse to water, but one cannot
make it drink." [1] sic.

--
Lars Eighner us****@larseighner.com http://www.larseighner.com/
Nine out of ten doctors agree that one out of ten doctors is an idiot.
Feb 27 '06 #17

P: n/a
Lars Eighner wrote:
In our last episode,
<11*********************@v46g2000cwv.googlegroups. com>,
the lovely and talented Andy Dingley
broadcast on comp.infosystems.www.authoring.html:
You're confusing subject and object here. I'ts not your browser or your
request that is unacceptable, it's the server's opinion of how you
would find the limited content and encdoings it has available to offer
you. From the detailed request your browser made, it would see the only
available content as "unacceptable"


Things were better when servers would just serve documents and would let you
make up your own mind if it were acceptable.


It's not a question of the server letting the client decide. Sending a
restricted acceptance header means the client has ALREADY decided and is
telling the server to send a resource if and only if it can do so in the
manner that client has indicated.

The way 406 works is like going into a bar, ordering a Heineken, and
having the bartender tell you, "Sorry, we don't have Heineken." What
would YOU expect? That not having Heineken on hand, the bartender should
serve you a Guiness instead and let you decide whether you want to drink
it or not?
Feb 27 '06 #18

P: n/a
Mon, 27 Feb 2006 11:59:45 +0000 from Alan J. Flavell
<fl*****@physics.gla.ac.uk>:
It looks as if Lars is deliberately going to drag this out bit by bit,
instead of telling us frankly and honestly what he did and what he
got; but I *very* much doubt that W3C is doing their content
negotiation on the basis of a user agent string.


I've been watching this thread, trying to figure out what the point
of contention is. Now at least I know it's not just me having
trouble!

--
Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Tompkins County, New York, USA
http://OakRoadSystems.com/
HTML 4.01 spec: http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/
validator: http://validator.w3.org/
CSS 2.1 spec: http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS21/
validator: http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/
Why We Won't Help You:
http://diveintomark.org/archives/200..._wont_help_you
Feb 27 '06 #19

P: n/a

On Mon, 27 Feb 2006, Lars Eighner wrote:
Then stop telling it beforehand that you're not willing to accept what
it has to offer. Sheesh.
I do no such thing.


The evidence is clear that you do.
I use the same Lynx configuration I have always used.
That's your mistake, then. I've kept my Lynx configuration abreast of
my requirements. I had to deliberately misconfigure it (temporarily)
in order to reproduce your reported symptoms.
It is the servers that have changed.


The servers are now offering a choice - and you're stubbornly refusing
it, and complaining about the consequences of what you did.

bye.
Feb 27 '06 #20

P: n/a
Mon, 27 Feb 2006 18:08:02 +0000 from Alan J. Flavell
<fl*****@physics.gla.ac.uk>:
Confusious[1] say: "One can lead the horse to water, but one cannot
make it drink."


Or, in Heinlein's[1] version: "You can lead a student to knowledge,
but you cannot make him think."
[1] I _think_ it was Heinlein. Google seems to agree. Search terms:
"lead a student to knowledge" heinlein

--
Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Tompkins County, New York, USA
http://OakRoadSystems.com/
HTML 4.01 spec: http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/
validator: http://validator.w3.org/
CSS 2.1 spec: http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS21/
validator: http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/
Why We Won't Help You:
http://diveintomark.org/archives/200..._wont_help_you
Feb 27 '06 #21

P: n/a
Lars Eighner wrote:
In our last episode,
<Pi*******************************@ppepc62.ph.gla. ac.uk>,
the lovely and talented Alan J. Flavell
broadcast on comp.infosystems.www.authoring.html:
On Mon, 27 Feb 2006, Lars Eighner wrote:

Things were better when servers would just serve documents and would
let you make up your own mind if it were acceptable.


Then stop telling it beforehand that you're not willing to accept what
it has to offer. Sheesh.


I do no such thing. I use the same Lynx configuration I have always used.
It is the servers that have changed.


It happens. Nevertheless, it means you've got some odd acceptance thing
going on, and they used to accommodate it, but now they don't. Just like
Netscape 7 doesn't recognize LAYER tags.

What headers ARE you sending?
Feb 27 '06 #22

P: n/a
Lars Eighner <us****@larseighner.com> wrote:
Things were better when servers would just serve documents and would
let you make up your own mind if it were acceptable.

Alan J. Flavell wrote: Then stop telling it beforehand that you're not willing to accept what
it has to offer. Sheesh.

Lars Eighner <us****@larseighner.com> wrote: I do no such thing. I use the same Lynx configuration I have always used.
It is the servers that have changed.


It used to be that you could order "a Coke" in a restaurant that had only
Pepsi (or some other cola brand), and the server would just give you a
Pepsi, without mentioning that it wasn't what you asked for.

Now, if you ask for "a Coke" in a restaurant has only Pepsi, the server
will ask if Pepsi is okay before bringing you something that isn't what you
asked for.

Of course, if you ask for "a Coke or a Pepsi", or if you ask for "whatever
cola you have", then you'll avoid the extra step.
--
Darin McGrew, mc****@stanfordalumni.org, http://www.rahul.net/mcgrew/
Web Design Group, da***@htmlhelp.com, http://www.HTMLHelp.com/

"I can take one day at a time, but sometimes several days attack me at once."
Feb 27 '06 #23

P: n/a
Stan Brown wrote:
Mon, 27 Feb 2006 18:08:02 +0000 from Alan J. Flavell
<fl*****@physics.gla.ac.uk>:

Confusious[1] say: "One can lead the horse to water, but one cannot
make it drink."

Or, in Heinlein's[1] version: "You can lead a student to knowledge,
but you cannot make him think."


Hehe. Reminds me of a witticism, which I think was originally
Muir or Norden (the Grand Old Men of radio comedy in my youth).
When tasked with coming up with a proverb punning on the word
"horticulture", the reply was "You can lead a whore to culture,
but you can't make her think".

If only today's ISIHAC had half the wit. </grumpy old man>
(Non-UK readers, please ignore the radio references).

--
not me guv
Feb 28 '06 #24

P: n/a
Nick Kew wrote:
When tasked with coming up with a proverb punning on the word
"horticulture", the reply was "You can lead a whore to culture,
but you can't make her think".


Stolen from Dorothy Parker

(Try only listening to broadcasts that include Stephen Fry)

Feb 28 '06 #25

P: n/a
Andy Dingley wrote:
Nick Kew wrote:

When tasked with coming up with a proverb punning on the word
"horticulture", the reply was "You can lead a whore to culture,
but you can't make her think".

Stolen from Dorothy Parker


OK, that's entirely plausible. And it's almost certainly my
memory that's at fault in attributing it.
(Try only listening to broadcasts that include Stephen Fry)


hehe. Well, "absolute power" can be amusing:-)

--
not me guv
Feb 28 '06 #26

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