URL/META length

Phil Leblanc philanc at gmail.com
Sat Jul 4 20:17:37 BST 2020


I read a very interesting discussion between Petite Abeille,
Solderpunk, Luke Emmet 2-3 weeks ago, regarding how to upload small
content to Gemini servers (eg. wiki page updates, comments,...)

The idea revolves around using the URL to upload small content (or
chunked content in several requests)

Petite Abeille
https://lists.orbitalfox.eu/archives/gemini/2020/001644.html

Solderpunk reply
https://lists.orbitalfox.eu/archives/gemini/2020/001672.html

and Luke Emmet
https://lists.orbitalfox.eu/archives/gemini/2020/001681.html

Quoting Solderpunk:

>Well, look - 1024 bytes as a maximum URL length is a value I more or
less plucked out of the air without deep consideration, simply because
the elements passed around by a protocol *should* have a well-defined
maximum length so people can allocate appropriately sized memory
buffers, etc.  I certainly *wasn't* thinking about using queries to
upload content, I was thinking of "ordinary URLs" and so 1024 bytes
seemed hugely generous.

> According to GUS, currently more than half of the text/gemini content
out there is less than 1.2 KiB in size.  If URLs were allowed to be 2048
bytes long, all that content could be uploaded as a query.

> Can we solve a lot of these issues by bumping up our maximum URL length?

I suggest bumping the URL maximum length to 8KB.

- it allows creative uses of _mechanisms already in place_ in Gemini,
- it doesn't change the definition of the protocol and protocol elements,
- it doesn't impact existing clients,
- the impact on existing servers is very limited (allocating a 8K
instead of 1K buffer...), and an existing server should just refuse
too long a request.
- 8K vs 1K doesn't make a difference for a client today in terms of
RAM footprint - after all, let's not forget that TLS is mandatory here
;-)

What do you think?

Phil


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