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Communicating on the web
 

Communicating on the web

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HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol) regulates simple conversations between clients and servers, like placing an order in a restaurant. However, there are some gotchas like the server having short term ...

HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol) regulates simple conversations between clients and servers, like placing an order in a restaurant. However, there are some gotchas like the server having short term memory requiring the client to repeat themselves. But don’t despair, HTTP helps reduce confusion with standardized requests and responses. By following these conventions developers are able to create amazing things not possible with just POST requests and 200 OK responses.

In this talk Adrian Cardenas will review examples of clients and servers, as well as the stateless nature of HTTP. He will then go into more detail about headers discussing request methods, and common request headers. Good conversations cannot be one sided, so he will also cover common response headers as well as useful response status codes.

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    Communicating on the web Communicating on the web Presentation Transcript

    • Communicating on the Web This talk at: http://joind.in/10392
    • About Me ● Developer at ServerGrove ● All around nerd ● Systems Administrator for 7 years ● @aramonc in all the places
    • CAN’T COMMUNICATE WELL WITHOUT COMMON GROUND
    • HYPERTEXT TRANSFER PROTOCOL ● ● ● ● Designed side by side with HTML Before were the bulletin boards Question & Answer style 2 way communication M2M communication method composed of text documents
    • THE CLIENT The client is any application that initiates an HTTP communication
    • THE SERVER Servers are any application that receives a request and terminates with a response
    • HTTP IS STATELESS
    • STATELESS IS THE OPPOSITE OF STATEFUL ● Stateless, in this context, is short term memory ● Stateless communication allows for ○ distributed system ○ load balancing ○ manage state separately ● Makes caching more difficult ● Makes real time apps more difficult ● Application is responsible for preserving state
    • SHORT/LONG POLLING ● Used to update client side application state in “real time” applications ● Usually initiated by JavaScript ● Can be initiated by any client side technology like Objective C. ● Short polling initiates short lived connections to check if state changed ● Long polling initiates long lived connections until state changes
    • THE REQUEST GET https://www.google.com/ HTTP/1.1 :version: HTTP/1.1 :method: GET :scheme: https :host: www.google.com user-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_8_5) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/31.0.1650.57 Safari/537.36 accept-encoding: gzip,deflate,sdch accept-language: en-US,en;q=0.8,es-419;q=0.6,es;q=0.4 accept: text/html,application/xhtml+xml, application/xml;q=0.9,image/webp,*/*;q=0.8 cookie: OGP=-3904011:; HSID=A0hmwhHriSEJzPSI; SSID=AKHSzv76RXaggJwJ; APISID=PXmCmOabqgrdcm_z/A7eIE7i4enNC0Hn0;
    • THE REQUEST ● Human readable text document ● Composed of the request, a set of headers, and an optional content body ● Headers are key value pairs separated by a colon & terminated by a new line ● Headers describe the request and offer additional metadata
    • THE REQUEST LINE GET https://www.google.com/ HTTP/1.1 ● The request is the first line of the document ● Composed of 3 parts ● From the right: HTTP version ○ Let’s the server know which headers it can expect
    • THE REQUEST GET https://www.google.com/ HTTP/1.1 http://server/path/?query=string ● ● ● ● URL (Universal Resource Locator) Every request is for a resource Like interacting with a bank teller Composed of the scheme, the host, the path, and optionally a query string
    • THE REQUEST GET https://www.google.com/ HTTP/1.1 ● A verb indicating what you would like to do with the resource ● Withdraw money, create a new account, deposit money, or even rob the bank
    • COMMON METHODS GET, POST, PUT, DELETE HEAD, OPTIONS ● ● ● ● ● Also called verbs Describe the intent of the request CRUD is most common Small subset Some, like patch, still in draft form
    • COMMON HEADERS user-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_8_5) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/31.0.1650.57 Safari/537.36 ● ● ● ● Describes the client Set by the client Can be changed programmatically Mozilla/5.0 compatible hold over from Netscape years
    • COMMON HEADERS accept-encoding: gzip,deflate,sdch accept-language: en-US,en;q=0.8,es-419; q=0.6,es;q=0.4 accept-charset: utf-8 accept: text/html,application/xhtml+xml, application/xml;q=0.9,image/webp,*/*;q=0.8
    • ACCEPT FAMILY ● Describes the type of content the client can understand ● accept headers is a list of MIME types ● ;q= indicates preference level
    • COMMON MIME TYPES ● ● ● ● ● ● ● text/html text/css text/javascript text/xml text/plain application/json application/rss+xml ● ● ● ● ● ● ● multipart/form-data image/jpeg image/gif image/png audio/mpeg video/mpeg video/x-flv
    • COMMON HEADERS cookie: SSID=AKHSzv76RXaggJwJ; ● Describes the contents of a cookie file set by a previous connection to the same host ● Used to persist data across HTTP connections ● Stored in files locally or in memory in the client process
    • NOT SO COMMON authorization: Basic QWpIlc2FtZQ== ● Describes login credentials to password protected URLs ● Two methods, Basic and Digest ● Digest more secure, but more complicated to set up ● If not included, response is to request a set of credentials ● Best if used in combination with TLS/SSL
    • NOT SO COMMON x-hello: world hello: world ● ● ● ● ● x- used to describe a custom header Deprecated by one of the latest RFCs Still used by some APIs New form is not to use the xFuture proof
    • REQUEST BODY Content-Type: multipart/form-data; boundary=AaB03x --AaB03x Content-Disposition: form-data; name="submit-name" Larry --AaB03x Content-Disposition: form-data; name="files"; filename="file1.txt" Content-Type: text/plain ... contents of file1.txt ... --AaB03x--
    • REQUEST BODY ● Optional content for POST, PUT, etc requests ● Typically used to send data from HTML forms ● Form data formatted as key value pairs with no boundary ● Multipart is most complicated ● Form data is separated by boundaries & terminated by the boundary plus -● File uploads need to be done with multipart ● Content-Type is a MIME type describing the contents of the file ● Could be base64 representation of binary data
    • THE RESPONSE HTTP/1.1 200 OK status: 200 OK version: HTTP/1.1 content-encoding: gzip content-type: text/html; charset=UTF-8 date: Wed, 20 Nov 2013 01:48:58 GMT set-cookie: PREF=ID=26af7b02617ef537:U=9bc26b9e4; expires=Fri, 20-Nov-2015 01:48:58 GMT; path=/; domain=.google.com
    • COMMON HEADERS content-encoding: gzip content-type: text/html; charset=UTF-8 ● The content body can be anything from binary, to json, to html ● The content returned is described by the contenttype & content enconding ● Related to the accept-header
    • COMMON HEADERS set-cookie: PREF=ID=26af7b02617ef537: U=9bc26b9e4; expires=Fri, 20-Nov2015 01:48:58 GMT; path=/; domain=.google.com ● ● ● ● ● Sets or overrides a cookie in the client’s system Cookie content Optional expiration date Path & Domain cookie applies to Localhost is not a valid domain. When testing it’s preferable not to set the domain
    • THE RESPONSE HTTP/1.1 200 OK ● Only thing required to be sent back ● Sometimes the only thing sent back ● Apache always sends back all the SHOULD headers
    • STATUS CODES 200 OK, 404 NOT FOUND, 500 INTERNAL SERVER ERROR
    • STATUS CODE FAMILIES ● ● ● ● ● 1xx: Informational Messages 2xx: Success Messages 3xx: Redirection Messages 4xx: Client Error 5xx: Server Error ● Specific codes convey specific messages ● Sometimes sending the status code is enough to communicate a message
    • 1XX STATUS CODES ● 100 CONTINUE ● 101 SWITCHING PROTOCOL ● Not very common ● Perfect for use with polling techniques for asynchronous tasks
    • 2XX STATUS CODES ● 201 CREATED ● 202 ACCEPTED
    • 3XX STATUS CODES ● ● ● ● 301 MOVED PERMANENTLY 302 FOUND 304 NOT MODIFIED 305 USE PROXY
    • 4XX STATUS CODES ● ● ● ● 401 NOT AUTHORIZED 402 PAYMENT REQUIRED 403 FORBIDDEN 429 TOO MANY REQUESTS
    • 5XX STATUS CODES ● 501 NOT IMPLEMENTED ● 502 BAD GATEWAY ● 503 SERVICE UNAVAILABLE
    • NOT JUST STANDARD 418 & 420 ● 418 is I AM A TEAPOT, IETF April Fool’s Joke ● 420 used by Twitter for a while to indicate too many connections
    • WHY DOES ANY OF IT MATTER?
    • FORMS ● POST request are marginally more secure, but not really ● Requests that carry content can carry more content on the body than on the query string ● Forms can send both query strings and content ● Can submit forms through XMLHTTPRequests with extra headers
    • BETTER SECURITY ● Use of Auth headers ● Use of custom headers ○ Server can reply with CSRF Tokens ○ Client can send OAuth Tokens ● Still not as secure as using SSL, but better than nothing at all.
    • APIs ● Not just about HyperMedia, all is important ● Well documented ● URLs that point to actual resources ● Use of Request methods & Headers ● Use of proper Response codes ● Standard communication without vendor sponsorship
    • WHAT WE LEFT OUT ● ● ● ● Caching Proxies Load balancing TLS
    • THE FUTURE ● New RFCs and specifications ○ Patch method ○ New status codes ○ HTTP 2.0 ● SPDY ○ Experimental protocol for a faster web ○ Pronounced speedy ○ Implementation before standardization ○ claims of 64% page load reduction over HTTP in lab tests ○ Many concurrent connections over one TCP channel
    • RESOURCES ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● http://net.tutsplus.com/tutorials/tools-and-tips/http-theprotocol-every-web-developer-must-know-part-1/ http://net.tutsplus.com/sessions/http-succinctly/ http://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/List_of_HTTP_status_codes#1xx_Informational http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_media_type http://www.nczonline.net/blog/2009/05/05/http-cookiesexplained/ http://www.chromium.org/spdy/spdy-whitepaper http://http2.github.io/ http://xkcd.com/869/ http://blog.servergrove.com/2013/12/16/talking-http/
    • THANK YOU http://joind.in/10392