HTTP Message Flow and Message Parts - Part 1 of Chapter 3 from HTTP: The Definitive Guide (1/7) | WebReference

HTTP Message Flow and Message Parts - Part 1 of Chapter 3 from HTTP: The Definitive Guide (1/7)

current pageTo page 2To page 3To page 4To page 5To page 6To page 7
[next]

HTTP: The Definitive Guide, Chapter 3: HTTP Messages

The Flow of Messages

HTTP messages are the blocks of data sent between HTTP applications. These blocks of data begin with some text meta-information describing the message contents and meaning, followed by optional data. These messages flow between clients, servers, and proxies. The terms "inbound," "outbound," "upstream," and "downstream" describe message direction.

Messages Commute Inbound to the Origin Server

HTTP uses the terms inbound and outbound to describe transactional direction. Messages travel inbound to the origin server, and when their work is done, they travel outbound back to the user agent (see Figure 3-1).

Messages travel inbound to the origin server and outbound back to the client
Figure 3-1. Messages travel inbound to the origin server and outbound back to the client

Messages Flow Downstream

HTTP messages flow like rivers. All messages flow downstream, regardless of whether they are request messages or response messages (see Figure 3-2). The sender of any message is upstream of the receiver. In Figure 3-2, proxy 1 is upstream of proxy 3 for the request but downstream of proxy 3 for the response.[1]

All messages flow downstream
Figure 3-2. All messages flow downstream


1. The terms "upstream" and "downstream" relate only to the sender and receiver. We can't tell whether a message is heading to the origin server or the client, because both are downstream. Back


current pageTo page 2To page 3To page 4To page 5To page 6To page 7
[next]

Created: January 13, 2003
Revised: January 13, 2003

URL: http://webreference.com/programming/http/chap3/1/