On Thu, Mar 28, 2013 at 11:41:20AM -0700, Jonathan Nieder wrote:

> Jeff King wrote:
> > One problem is that the content body sent along with the error is not
> > necessarily appropriate for showing to the user (e.g., if it is HTML, it
> > is probably not a good idea to show it on the terminal). So I think we
> > would want to only show it when the server has indicated via the
> > content-type that the message is meant to be shown to the user. I'm
> > thinking the server would generate something like:
> >
> >    HTTP/1.1 403 Forbidden
> >    Content-type: application/x-git-error-message
> >
> >    User 'me' does not have enough permission to access the repository.
> >
> > which would produce the example you showed above.
> Would it make sense to use text/plain this way?

Maybe. But I would worry somewhat about sites which provide a useless
and verbose text/plain message. Ideally an x-git-error-message would be
no more than few lines, suitable for the error message of a terminal
program. I would not want a site-branded "Your page cannot be found.
Here's a complete navigation bar" page to be spewed to the terminal.
Those tend to be text/html, though, so we may be safe. It's just that
we're gambling on what random servers do, and if we show useless spew
even some of the time, that would be a regression.

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