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Apache Web Server Forum

Etags in apache headers
what are they, what are best settings?

 5:05 am on Oct 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

I noticed one of my shared hosting server just started showing Etags in the headers
ETag "1e40c7-4f2f-3f78f85d"

I found this documentation to control them (not sure if htaccess can override the httpd.conf in this case)

but I don't completely understand how browsers/proxies use them?

Stuff like this only confuses me further:

Thanks for any help!



 4:26 pm on Oct 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

I don't either! But this from the Apache directive you linked to:
The ETag value is used in cache management to save network bandwidth.
I'm inclined to think that it will be up to each browser/proxy to decide if or how to use ETags. Perhaps some "conventions" will or have emerged as to their use but I have no idea where to look or how to find them.

From your other link:
An ETag is an HTTP response header returned by an HTTP/1.1 compliant Web server such as Apache 1.3x.
ETags are "new." They first became available with the HTML/1.1 spec.


 4:35 am on Oct 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

More research shows they are appearing when I use the mod_expires directive.

Apache must auto-integrate the two (or my host has some options doing this).

Etags seem to show the file size and time as an origination stamp, so maybe the proxies/caches can determine when to update if they ignore the expires info?

Oh and apparently I *can* override their display and format in htaccess.

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