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RFC 7231, "Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP/1.1): Semantics and Content", June 2014

Source of RFC: httpbis (app)

Errata ID: 4436
Status: Held for Document Update
Type: Editorial

Reported By: Aron Duby
Date Reported: 2015-08-06
Held for Document Update by: Barry Leiba
Date Held: 2015-08-07

Section 4.3.5 says:

If a DELETE method is successfully applied, the origin server SHOULD
send a 202 (Accepted) status code if the action will likely succeed
but has not yet been enacted, a 204 (No Content) status code if the
action has been enacted and no further information is to be supplied,
or a 200 (OK) status code if the action has been enacted and the
response message includes a representation describing the status.

It should say:

If a DELETE method is successfully applied, the origin server SHOULD
send a 202 (Accepted) status code if the action will likely succeed
but has not yet been enacted; a 204 (No Content) status code if the
action has been enacted and no further information is to be supplied;
or a 200 (OK) status code if the action has been enacted and the
response message includes a representation describing the status.

Notes:

Using a semicolon creates a stronger delineation of the different options. If you are just quickly trying to parse what status to return if the delete hasn't happened yet and you quickly read "has not yet been enacted, a 204 (No Content)" you could incorrectly read that as return a 204. The semicolon makes it more obvious that "enacted" is the end of that thought and to scan backwards where as the comma in this instance requires knowing the structure of the rest of the paragraph.

----- Verifier Notes -----
There's no reason to use semicolons to delimit this list, because the list items themselves don't contain commas. Still, the reporter's confusion is noted. Perhaps a bullet list would be better in this case:

-------
If a DELETE method is successfully applied, the origin server SHOULD
send

- a 202 (Accepted) status code if the action will likely succeed
but has not yet been enacted,

- a 204 (No Content) status code if the action has been enacted and
no further information is to be supplied, or

- a 200 (OK) status code if the action has been enacted and the
response message includes a representation describing the status.
-------

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