[bittorrent] Combining conventional mirrors with BT

Kenneth Porter shiva at sewingwitch.com
Fri May 27 16:02:06 EDT 2005


--On Friday, May 27, 2005 12:15 PM -0700 Charles Iliya Krempeaux 
<supercanadian at gmail.com> wrote:

> Does HTTP and FTP allow you to download fragments of a file?  (I.e.,
> can you ask an HTTP or FTP serer to give you a piece of a file
> starting the offset "X" and with length "Y"?)
>
> (For HTTP, perhaps the WebDAV extension [to HTTP] does.  But don't
> know for sure.)

This was added in the 1.1 spec of HTTP. I believe it was instigated by 
Adobe to support Acrobat web pages, which tend to be huge (compared to most 
HTML).

If you use wget or another "smart" downloader to fetch large binaries via 
HTTP, this is the protocol feature that lets you resume an interrupted 
download. It's what finally made it practical to share large binaries by 
HTTP instead of FTP (which already had this feature at the time the Web 
came into existence).



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