Although this set can be expanded, additional methods cannot be assumed to share the same semantics for separately extended clients and servers.
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The Host request-header field section These methods ought to be considered "safe". Naturally, it is not possible to ensure that the server does not generate side-effects as a result of performing a GET request; in fact, some dynamic resources consider that a feature.
The important distinction here is that the user did not request the side-effects, so therefore cannot be held accountable for them. However, it is possible that a sequence of several requests is non- idempotent, even if all of the methods executed in that sequence are idempotent. A sequence is idempotent if a single execution of the entire sequence always yields a result that is not changed by a reexecution of all, or part, of that sequence.
For example, a sequence is non-idempotent if its result depends on a value that is later modified in the same sequence.
A sequence that never has side effects is idempotent, option method is definition provided that no concurrent operations are being executed on the same set of resources. Responses to this method are not cacheable.
Hypertext Transfer Protocol
A server that does not support such an extension MAY discard the request body. A response SHOULD include any header fields that indicate optional features implemented by the server and applicable to that resource e.
The format for such a body is not defined by this specification, but might be defined by future extensions to HTTP. Content negotiation MAY be used to select the appropriate response format.
If the Max-Forwards field-value option method is an integer greater than zero, the proxy MUST decrement the field-value when it forwards the request.
If the Request-URI refers to a data-producing process, it is the produced data which shall be returned as the entity in the response and not the source text of the process, unless that text happens to be the output of the process.
A conditional GET method requests that the entity be transferred only under the circumstances described by the conditional header field s. The conditional GET method is intended to reduce unnecessary network usage by allowing cached entities to be refreshed without requiring multiple requests or transferring data already held by the client.
A partial GET requests that only part of the entity be transferred, as described in section The partial GET method is intended to reduce unnecessary network usage by allowing partially-retrieved entities to be completed without transferring data already held by the client.
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See section This method can be used for obtaining metainformation about the entity implied by the request without transferring the entity-body itself. This method is often used for testing hypertext links for validity, accessibility, and recent modification.
POST option method is designed to allow a uniform method to cover the following functions: - Annotation of existing resources; - Posting a message to a bulletin board, newsgroup, mailing list, or similar group of articles; - Providing a block of data, such as the result of submitting a form, to a data-handling process; - Extending a database through an append operation.
The posted entity is subordinate to that URI in the same way that a file is subordinate to a directory containing it, a news article is subordinate to a newsgroup to which it is posted, or a record is subordinate to option method is database. In this case, either OK or No Content is the appropriate response status, depending on whether or not option method is response includes an entity that describes the result. If a resource has been created on the origin server, the response SHOULD be Created and contain an entity which describes the status of the request and refers to the new resource, and a Location header see section Responses to this method are not cacheable, unless the response includes appropriate Cache-Control or Expires header fields.
Ira Reid on the Option Method
However, the See Other response can be used to direct the user agent to retrieve a cacheable resource. If the Request-URI does not point to an existing resource, and that URI is capable of being defined as a new resource by the requesting user agent, the origin server can create the resource with that URI.
If a new resource is created, the origin server MUST inform the user agent via the Created response. That resource might be a option method is process, a gateway to some other protocol, or a separate entity that accepts annotations. For example, an article might have a URI for identifying "the current version" which is separate from the URI identifying each particular version.
This method MAY be overridden by human intervention or other means on the origin server.
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option method is The client cannot be guaranteed that the operation has been carried out, even if the status code returned from the origin server indicates that the action has been completed successfully.
A successful response SHOULD be OK if the response includes an entity describing the status, Accepted if the action has not yet been enacted, or No Content if the action has been enacted but the response does not include an entity. The final recipient is either the origin server or the first proxy or gateway to receive a Max-Forwards value of zero 0 in the request see section TRACE allows the client to see what is being received at the other end of the request chain and use that data for testing or diagnostic information.
The value of the Via header field section Use of the Max-Forwards how the internet makes millions field allows the client to limit the length of the request chain, which is useful for testing a chain of proxies forwarding messages in an infinite loop.
SSL tunneling .