Debian Bug report logs - #41594
lynx: ridiculously long Accept: headers

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Package: lynx; Maintainer for lynx is Atsuhito KOHDA <kohda@debian.org>; Source for lynx is src:lynx-cur.

Reported by: <amu@mit.edu>

Date: Mon, 19 Jul 1999 04:48:00 UTC

Severity: wishlist

Found in version 2.8.2-1

Done: Adrian Bunk <bunk@fs.tum.de>

Bug is archived. No further changes may be made.

Forwarded to lynx-dev@sig.net

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Report forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Christian Hudon <chrish@debian.org>:
Bug#41594; Package lynx. Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to <amu@mit.edu>:
New bug report received and forwarded. Copy sent to Christian Hudon <chrish@debian.org>. Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #5 received at submit@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: <amu@mit.edu>
To: submit@bugs.debian.org
Subject: lynx: ridiculously long Accept: headers
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 1999 00:41:23 -0400
Package: lynx
Version: 2.8.2-1
Severity: wishlist

Lynx generates HTTP Accept: headers listing every MIME type in
/etc/mailcap.  Since there are well over 100 of these on my system,
this list is much longer than it is useful.  Moreover, it seems to
confuse at least one server (www.dogpile.com).  There should be a way
to make Lynx omit these headers but otherwise handle /etc/mailcap
normally.

-- System Information
Debian Release: potato
Kernel Version: Linux dorm-s-059-m.fdu.edu 2.2.10 #2 Sun Jun 27 16:37:57 EDT 1999 i586 unknown

Versions of the packages lynx depends on:
ii  libc6           2.1.1-13       GNU C Library: Shared libraries and timezone
ii  slang1          1.2.2-2.1      The S-Lang programming library - runtime ver
ii  zlib1g          1.1.3-3        compression library - runtime

--- Begin /etc/lynx.cfg (modified conffile)
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STARTFILE:file:/usr/share/doc/HTML/index.html
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HELPFILE:file://localhost/usr/doc/lynx/lynx_help/lynx_help_main.html
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DEFAULT_INDEX_FILE:http://www.ncsa.uiuc.edu/SDG/Software/Mosaic/MetaIndex.html
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LOCAL_EXECUTION_LINKS_ALWAYS_ON:FALSE
LOCAL_EXECUTION_LINKS_ON_BUT_NOT_REMOTE:FALSE
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TRUSTED_EXEC:none
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ALWAYS_TRUSTED_EXEC:none
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TRUSTED_LYNXCGI:none
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NNTPSERVER:news.mit.edu
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USE_MOUSE:TRUE
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NO_DOT_FILES:FALSE
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MINIMAL_COMMENTS:TRUE
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GLOBAL_EXTENSION_MAP:/etc/mime.types
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PERSONAL_EXTENSION_MAP:.mime.types
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XLOADIMAGE_COMMAND:
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GLOBAL_MAILCAP:/etc/mailcap
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PERSONAL_MAILCAP:.mailcap
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COLOR:0:lightgray:black
COLOR:1:blue:black
COLOR:2:yellow:blue
COLOR:3:green:black
COLOR:4:magenta:black
COLOR:5:blue:black
COLOR:6:red:black
COLOR:7:magenta:cyan
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--- End /etc/lynx.cfg


Reply sent to Robert Bihlmeyer <robbe@orcus.priv.at>:
You have marked Bug as forwarded. Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #8 received at 41594-forwarded@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Robert Bihlmeyer <robbe@orcus.priv.at>
To: lynx-dev@sig.net
Cc: 41594-forwarded@bugs.debian.org
Subject: HTTP_ACCEPT
Date: 21 Feb 2001 14:31:45 +0100
I'm writing this both on behalf of myself, and to forward a bug in the
Debian BTS <URL:http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=41594>

Lynx 2.8.3rel.1 seems to construct its Accept: header essentially
by pasting all entries from user and system mailcaps together,
prefixed and suffixed by some internal entries (e.g. text/html).

This simple approach has some problems. First, multiple entries
from the mailcaps (different programs handling the same mime-type)
will cause duplicates in the header. This is incorrect, and wasteful,
but relatively harmless.

The second issue comes from bug 41594. <amu@mit.edu> writes:

> Lynx generates HTTP Accept: headers listing every MIME type in
> /etc/mailcap.  Since there are well over 100 of these on my system,
> this list is much longer than it is useful.  Moreover, it seems to
> confuse at least one server (www.dogpile.com).

Debian systems usually have a very well updated /etc/mailcap (e.g. 146
entries here, 85 unique mime-types), so this is perhaps more of a
problem than on other platforms. The Accept header is simply blown out
of proportion by this ... one GET request I just checked was 2432
bytes, 2267 (93 %) of which comprised the Accept lines.

I can't reproduce the problem with www.dogpile.com, though.

Third, and IMHO most grave, is the privacy angle. A quick perusal of
this header will give pretty strong indications of what software I
have installed:

application/x-debian-package    oh, it's a Debian system
application/x-freeamp-theme     Freeamp is installed
application/ghostview           GNU Ghostscript, too
audio/x-pn-realaudio            RealPlayer or friends
...

Many more applications have their own fileformats, these could be
spotted as easy as above. Since one of my reasons to use Lynx is for
increased privacy, this is a serious concern for me.

What could be done? aum again:

> There should be a way to make Lynx omit these headers but otherwise
> handle /etc/mailcap normally.

I concur that internally, mailcap handling should continue as before.
But what is sent out to servers should be modified.

At the very least, duplicates should be dropped. That would solve
issue one, and go some way for two. It's also dubious whether an
image/png entry is useful after an image/* or */*. I take it
that most servers will still prefer to hand out a png rather than a
jpeg in this cases ...

Finally one could always output just a few mime-types. Let's see what
others do:

| User-Agent: Mozilla/4.76 [en]
| Accept: image/gif, image/x-xbitmap, image/jpeg, image/pjpeg, image/png, */*

Kinda stupid, prefers image/gif to text/html ...

| User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0
| Accept: */*

Forget content-negotiation, here comes the all-singing, all-dancing
kitchen sink.

Because its a decision of privacy vs features (cf cookie situation),
my proposed solution is to give the user the choice: either provide an
automatic Accept header (with duplicates removed!), or let the user
specify one.

What do you think?

[Please keep Cc:ing me and the @bugs.debian.org address. The latter
is for archival in the Debian bug archive.]

-- 
Robbe



Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Adrian Bunk <bunk@fs.tum.de>:
Bug#41594; Package lynx. Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to dickey@herndon4.his.com:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Adrian Bunk <bunk@fs.tum.de>. Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #13 received at 41594@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: dickey@herndon4.his.com
To: 41594@bugs.debian.org
Cc: dickey@herndon4.his.com
Subject: http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=41594&repeatmerged=y
Date: Wed, 3 Oct 2001 14:28:14 -0400
This was addressed in lynx 2.8.4, which I understand is available in an NMU.

                        Debian Bug report logs - #41594
>                    lynx: ridiculously long Accept: headers
>
>   Severity:   wishlist;  Package:  lynx;  ;Reported  by:  <amu@mit.edu>;
>   Forwarded  to  lynx-dev@sig.net;  dated Mon, 19 Jul 1999 04:48:00 UTC;
>   Maintainer for lynx is Adrian Bunk <bunk@fs.tum.de>.
-- 
Thomas E. Dickey <dickey@invisible-island.net>
http://invisible-island.net
ftp://invisible-island.net



Reply sent to Adrian Bunk <bunk@fs.tum.de>:
You have taken responsibility. Full text and rfc822 format available.

Notification sent to <amu@mit.edu>:
Bug acknowledged by developer. Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #18 received at 41594-done@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Adrian Bunk <bunk@fs.tum.de>
To: dickey@herndon4.his.com, <41594-done@bugs.debian.org>
Subject: Re: Bug#41594: http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=41594&repeatmerged=y
Date: Wed, 10 Oct 2001 15:59:45 +0200 (CEST)
On Wed, 3 Oct 2001 dickey@herndon4.his.com wrote:

> This was addressed in lynx 2.8.4, which I understand is available in an NMU.
>
>                         Debian Bug report logs - #41594
> >                    lynx: ridiculously long Accept: headers
> >
> >   Severity:   wishlist;  Package:  lynx;  ;Reported  by:  <amu@mit.edu>;
> >   Forwarded  to  lynx-dev@sig.net;  dated Mon, 19 Jul 1999 04:48:00 UTC;
> >   Maintainer for lynx is Adrian Bunk <bunk@fs.tum.de>.

2.8.4-1 isn't a NMU (new-maintainer upload) because I'm the new maintainer
but it's right that I simply forgot to close this bug.

cu
Adrian

-- 

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