What Is a 208 Status Code?
Used inside a DAV: propstat response element to avoid enumerating the internal members of multiple bindings to the same collection repeatedly.
For each binding to a collection inside the request’s scope, only one will be reported with a 200 status, while subsequent DAV:response elements for all other bindings will use the 208 status, and no DAV:response elements for their descendants are included.
Note that the 208 status will only occur for “Depth: infinity” requests, and that it is of particular importance when the multiple collection bindings cause a bind loop1.
A client can request the DAV:resource-id property in a PROPFIND request to guarantee that they can accurately reconstruct the binding structure of a collection with multiple bindings to a single resource.
For backward compatibility with clients not aware of the 208 status code appearing in multistatus response bodies, it SHOULD NOT be used unless the client has signaled support for this specification using the “DAV” request headerd2. Instead, a 508 Loop Detected status should be returned when a binding loop is discovered. This allows the server to return the 508 as the top-level return status, if it discovers it before it started the response, or in the middle of a multistatus, if it discovers it in the middle of streaming out a multistatus response.
- 1 URI Mappings Created by a New Binding RFC5842 Section 2.2
- 2 ‘DAV’ Request Header RFC5842 Section 8.2
- Source: RFC5842 Section 7.1
208 CODE REFERENCES
Symfony HTTP Status Constant
Apache HttpComponents Core
How does a 208 status code work?
When a client requests a resource, it can include a set of conditions in the request headers, such as ETag or Last-Modified, that the server uses to determine whether the resource has been modified since the client last accessed it.
If the server detects that the requested resource has been modified, it can respond with a 200 status code and the updated resource. However, in some cases, the server may be unable to return the modified resource due to internal constraints, such as bandwidth limitations.
In such cases, the server can use a 208 status code to return a list of available resources that match the requested conditions, along with the modified resource, allowing the client to retrieve the resources as needed.
208 status code example
Check out the following example of a 208 status code:
GET /resource HTTP/1.1
HTTP/1.1 208 Already Reported
Date: Wed, 17 Mar 2023 15:31:08 GMT
Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8
Link: </resource-meta-data>; rel="alternate"; type="application/json"
<title>208 Already Reported</title>
<h1>208 Already Reported</h1>
<p>The server has already fulfilled the request for this resource, and the response is not a representation of any updated content on the server. Instead, the response is a representation of the status of the request.</p>
<p>Link: </resource-meta-data>; rel="alternate"; type="application/json"</p>
How to troubleshoot a 208 status code
If you receive a 208 status code, it generally means the server processed your request successfully. However, it’s still possible to encounter issues that prevent you from accessing the modified resource or other resources listed in the response.
Here are some common troubleshooting steps you can take:
- Check the request headers: Ensure you’ve included the correct conditional headers, such as ETag or Last-Modified, in your request. If the server doesn’t receive these headers, it won’t be able to determine the resource’s modification status and may return a different status code.
- Verify resource accessibility: Confirm you can access the resource and other resources listed in the response. If you’re unable to access the resources, it could indicate a server-side issue, such as an authentication error.
- Check server configuration: Verify the server is correctly configured to handle conditional requests and that it’s capable of returning a 208 status code. If the server isn’t configured correctly, it may return a different status code or fail to respond.
By following these troubleshooting steps, you can quickly identify and resolve any issues that prevent you from accessing the modified resource or other resources listed in the response.
- Learn about web development
- Learn about SEO
- Web development services from WebFX
- SEO services from WebFX
- MDN Web Docs