Server-push dynamic documents are driven from the server side. The client/server connection remains open after an initial transfer of data, and the server periodically sends new data to the client, updating the document’s display. Server-push is made possible by some special programming on the server side and is enabled by the multipart/mixed-media type feature of Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME), the computer industry’s standard for multimedia document transmission over the Internet.
Server-push documents currently are not supported by Internet Explorer.
As we mentioned earlier in this chapter, in the discussion of client-pull dynamic documents, the HTTP server sends a two-part transmission to the client browser: a header describing the document, followed by the document itself. The document’s MIME type is part of the HTTP header field. Normally, the server includes “Content-Type: text/html” in an HTML document’s header before sending its actual contents. By changing that content type to “multipart/mixed,” you can send an HTML document or several documents in several pieces, rather than in a single chunk. Only Netscape, though, understands and responds to the multipart header field; other browsers either ignore additional parts or refuse the document altogether.
form of the MIME multipart/mixed-media
Content-Type header looks like this:
This HTTP ...