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Gisle Aas

NAME

HTTP::Response - Class encapsulating HTTP Responses

SYNOPSIS

 require HTTP::Response;

DESCRIPTION

The HTTP::Response class encapsulates HTTP style responses. A response consists of a response line, some headers, and (potentially empty) content. Note that the LWP library also uses HTTP style responses for non-HTTP protocol schemes.

Instances of this class are usually created and returned by the request() method of an LWP::UserAgent object:

 #...
 $response = $ua->request($request)
 if ($response->is_success) {
     print $response->content;
 } else {
     print $response->error_as_HTML;
 }

HTTP::Response is a subclass of HTTP::Message and therefore inherits its methods. The inherited methods most often used are header(), push_header(), remove_header(), headers_as_string(), and content(). The header convenience methods are also available. See HTTP::Message for details.

The following additional methods are available:

$r = HTTP::Response->new($rc, [$msg, [$header, [$content]]])

Constructs a new HTTP::Response object describing a response with response code $rc and optional message $msg. The message is a short human readable single line string that explains the response code.

$r->code([$code])
$r->message([$message])
$r->request([$request])
$r->previous([$previousResponse])

These methods provide public access to the object attributes. The first two contain respectively the response code and the message of the response.

The request attribute is a reference the request that caused this response. It does not have to be the same request as passed to the $ua->request() method, because there might have been redirects and authorization retries in between.

The previous attribute is used to link together chains of responses. You get chains of responses if the first response is redirect or unauthorized.

$r->status_line

Returns the string "<code> <message>". If the message attribute is not set then the official name of <code> (see HTTP::Status) is substituted.

$r->base

Returns the base URI for this response. The return value will be a reference to a URI object.

The base URI is obtained from one the following sources (in priority order):

  1. Embedded in the document content, for instance <BASE HREF="..."> in HTML documents.

  2. A "Content-Base:" or a "Content-Location:" header in the response.

    For backwards compatability with older HTTP implementations we will also look for the "Base:" header.

  3. The URI used to request this response. This might not be the original URI that was passed to $ua->request() method, because we might have received some redirect responses first.

When the LWP protocol modules produce the HTTP::Response object, then any base URI embedded in the document (step 1) will already have initialized the "Content-Base:" header. This means that this method only performs the last 2 steps (the content is not always available either).

$r->as_string

Returns a textual representation of the response. Mainly useful for debugging purposes. It takes no arguments.

$r->is_info
$r->is_success
$r->is_redirect
$r->is_error

These methods indicate if the response was informational, sucessful, a redirection, or an error.

$r->error_as_HTML()

Returns a string containing a complete HTML document indicating what error occurred. This method should only be called when $r->is_error is TRUE.

$r->current_age

Calculates the "current age" of the response as specified by <draft-ietf-http-v11-spec-07> section 13.2.3. The age of a response is the time since it was sent by the origin server. The returned value is a number representing the age in seconds.

$r->freshness_lifetime

Calculates the "freshness lifetime" of the response as specified by <draft-ietf-http-v11-spec-07> section 13.2.4. The "freshness lifetime" is the length of time between the generation of a response and its expiration time. The returned value is a number representing the freshness lifetime in seconds.

If the response does not contain an "Expires" or a "Cache-Control" header, then this function will apply some simple heuristic based on 'Last-Modified' to determine a suitable lifetime.

$r->is_fresh

Returns TRUE if the response is fresh, based on the values of freshness_lifetime() and current_age(). If the response is no longer fresh, then it has to be refetched or revalidated by the origin server.

$r->fresh_until

Returns the time when this entiy is no longer fresh.

COPYRIGHT

Copyright 1995-1997 Gisle Aas.

This library is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.