This document is obsolete. Please
refer to RFC 7538.
Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) J. Reschke Request for Comments: 7238 greenbytes Category: Experimental June 2014 ISSN: 2070-1721
The Hypertext Transfer Protocol Status Code 308 (Permanent Redirect)
This document specifies the additional Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) status code 308 (Permanent Redirect).
Status of This Memo
This document is not an Internet Standards Track specification; it is published for examination, experimental implementation, and evaluation.
This document defines an Experimental Protocol for the Internet community. This document is a product of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). It represents the consensus of the IETF community. It has received public review and has been approved for publication by the Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG). Not all documents approved by the IESG are a candidate for any level of Internet Standard; see Section 2 of RFC 5741.
Copyright (c) 2014 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the document authors. All rights reserved.
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HTTP defines a set of status codes for the purpose of redirecting a request to a different URI ([RFC3986]). The history of these status codes is summarized in Section 6.4 of [RFC7231], which also classifies the existing status codes into four categories.
The first of these categories contains the status codes 301 (Moved Permanently), 302 (Found), and 307 (Temporary Redirect), which can be classified as below:
+-------------------------------------------+-----------+-----------+ | | Permanent | Temporary | +-------------------------------------------+-----------+-----------+ | Allows changing the request method from | 301 | 302 | | POST to GET | | | | Does not allow changing the request | - | 307 | | method from POST to GET | | | +-------------------------------------------+-----------+-----------+
Section 6.4.7 of [RFC7231] states that HTTP does not define a permanent variant of status code 307; this specification adds the status code 308, defining this missing variant (Section 3).
The 308 (Permanent Redirect) status code indicates that the target resource has been assigned a new permanent URI and any future references to this resource ought to use one of the enclosed URIs.
Reschke Experimental [Page 2]
RFC 7238 HTTP Status Code 308 June 2014
Clients with link editing capabilities ought to automatically re-link references to the effective request URI (Section 5.5 of [RFC7230]) to one or more of the new references sent by the server, where possible.
The server SHOULD generate a Location header field ([RFC7231], Section 7.1.2) in the response containing a preferred URI reference for the new permanent URI. The user agent MAY use the Location field value for automatic redirection. The server's response payload usually contains a short hypertext note with a hyperlink to the new URI(s).
A 308 response is cacheable by default; i.e., unless otherwise indicated by the method definition or explicit cache controls (see [RFC7234], Section 4.2.2).
Note: This status code is similar to 301 (Moved Permanently) ([RFC7231], Section 6.4.2), except that it does not allow changing the request method from POST to GET.
Section 6 of [RFC7231] requires recipients to treat unknown 3xx status codes the same way as status code 300 Multiple Choices ([RFC7231], Section 6.4.1). Thus, servers will not be able to rely on automatic redirection happening similar to status codes 301, 302, or 307.
Therefore, initial use of status code 308 will be restricted to cases where the server has sufficient confidence in the client's understanding the new code or when a fallback to the semantics of status code 300 is not problematic. Server implementers are advised not to vary the status code based on characteristics of the request, such as the User-Agent header field ("User-Agent Sniffing") -- doing so usually results in code that is both hard to maintain and hard to debug and would also require special attention to caching (i.e., setting a "Vary" response header field, as defined in Section 7.1.4 of [RFC7231]).
Note that many existing HTML-based user agents will emulate a refresh when encountering an HTML <meta> refresh directive ([HTML]). This can be used as another fallback. For example: