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Expect

Last modified 18:32, 22 Jul 2008
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The Expect request-header field is used to indicate that particular server behaviors are required by the client.

      Expect       =  "Expect" ":" 1#expectation
      expectation  =  "100-continue" | expectation-extension
      expectation-extension =  token [ "=" ( token | quoted-string )
                               *expect-params ]
      expect-params =  ";" token [ "=" ( token | quoted-string ) ]

A server that does not understand or is unable to comply with any of the expectation values in the Expect field of a request MUST respond with appropriate error status. The server MUST respond with a 417 (Expectation Failed) status if any of the expectations cannot be met or, if there are other problems with the request, some other 4xx status.

This header field is defined with extensible syntax to allow for future extensions. If a server receives a request containing an Expect field that includes an expectation-extension that it does not support, it MUST respond with a 417 (Expectation Failed) status.

Comparison of expectation values is case-insensitive for unquoted tokens (including the 100-continue token), and is case-sensitive for quoted-string expectation-extensions.

The Expect mechanism is hop-by-hop: that is, an HTTP/1.1 proxy MUST return a 417 (Expectation Failed) status if it receives a request with an expectation that it cannot meet. However, the Expect request-header itself is end-to-end; it MUST be forwarded if the request is forwarded.

Many older HTTP/1.0 and HTTP/1.1 applications do not understand the Expect header.

See section 8.2.3 for the use of the 100 (continue) status.

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