htdig: Update digs using Apache?

Geoff Hutchison (
Sat, 21 Mar 1998 21:40:47 -0500


Recently I've been looking at the logs to see exactly what htdig is
retrieving. I normally run "update" digs (i.e. without the -i flag). But
htdig retrieves *everything*, no matter whether it has changed or not.

I think I see the problem but don't know enough about the HTTP protocol to
make heads or tails. I'm running Apache (1.3b5, though I'm confident it
doesn't matter what version). When htdig does an update dig, it does a
"GET" command (off the topic, perhaps update digs should start with a HEAD
command?). If it has a date available, it sends it in the request.

If the server returns status "304" then htdig skips the document.

My questions are:
1) What is status code 304?
2) Does Apache support the "If-Modified-Since:" query?
3) Do people doing update digs see debug messages of "not changed" when
running in verbose mode? (I don't.)


-Geoff Hutchison
Williams Students Online

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