teapot with the art of tea written

If you’ve spent any time browsing the web, chances are pretty good you’ve run into a page with an error code on it.

You’ve likely seen numbers 404 (“not found”) or 403 (“forbidden”).

Less commonly spotted is error code 418, which makes your browser proclaim “I’m a teapot.”

If it sounds like a joke, it is: Way back on April Fool’s Day in 1998, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) — a group that sets internet standards — proposed “a protocol for controlling, monitoring, and diagnosing coffee pots.” That document defined status 418 thusly: “Any attempt to brew coffee with a teapot should result in the error code ‘418 I’m a teapot.’ The resulting entity body MAY be short and stout.”

The error code has since become a running gag.

Go to Google.com/teapot, and see for yourself. Programming languages like Node.js and Google’s Go both include the 418 error as a little Easter egg, as does Microsoft’s ASP.NET framework. Someone even rigged a teapot to act as a web server, just so it can proudly display error 418 when you visit it.

On Thursday, however, the future of code 418 was briefly called into doubt. In a GitHub thread, Mark Nottingham, the chairman of the IETF working group that oversees hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP), argued that the 418 error was never a part of the standard, which governs how web browsers communicate with web servers.

People should stop treating 418 as a core part of the HTTP standard, and free up the error number for more serious concerns, he said in his post.

“I know it’s amusing, I know that a few people have knocked up implementations for fun, but it shouldn’t pollute the core protocol,” Nottingham wrote.

This prompted a swift, but fiery, debate of the future of the …read more

Source:: Business Insider

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