From: Brad Templeton (email@example.com)
Date: Tue Sep 16 1997 - 00:30:31 CDT
On Sep 15, 1997 at 11:44:50PM -0500, Jonathan Grobe wrote:
> I disagree with this last statement. The default one-date form should
> retain its current meaning--which is a "please keep until".
> Considering the lengthy transition period until everybody implements
> a revised RFC1036, Brad's suggestion would result in large numbers of
> posts not being archived while the poster in fact wanted them archived.
Well, I would agree that you can't get it perfectly, but I'm not sure
we can say which people mean right now. Often expiration is used to
mean, "this is not valid after this date". It almost always shortens
the life of an article today. There was a time when it would
lengthen the life of an article, but that got abused by Chuq von Rospach
and some others who were seen as saying, "My articles are more valuable,
keep them longer" with their long expire. People didn't like that and
many tuned systems to not keep articles for very long even if they had
a long expire.
Which is a shame. Now while it's always true that a site can delete an
article early, that's all you can really ask for nowadays with expires.
But you are correct in that we don't have quite enough info here, and
thus may need an archive header. Though a "keep no more than 4 weeks"
is a nice no-archive header, as it makes it fairly clear what you can
do with an article, and doesn't stop search engines from indexing it
while it is current, the way a "no-archive" header would.
I'm not sure we can add more to Expires. It occurs to me that in order
to make our headers more extensible, we should, wherever possible,
try to define a way to specify extra information that's ignored by
old software, so that new extensions can be put there. For example, we
should define this on all the structured headers, like path, from,
newsgoups, expires, date. It saves you from adding a whole new header
just to add one or two bits of information like a flag.
We could define it now and start using it in a few years if we needed to.
Now we at clarinet issue material with expires that must be deleted by
the expire time, and can't be archived. So there are certainly some
people using it that way. But also people doing calls for votes etc.
don't want them around after the deadline.