September 07, 2005

How to watch HTTP headers

I suspect I am the only person who will ever need this, but I'm sufficiently pleased with it to make a permanent record here:

will print the HTTP headers for each request/response pair, without any of the HTML guff (which, lets face it, is rarely interesting).

The awk trickery came from this useful reference page

postscript: textile doesn't seem to be making a very good job of rendering the hat characters. I'll see if I can entify them or something…

post-postscript: HAH! I spurn textile. from now on I'm going to make all my posts in .png format. maybe.


- 9 comments by 3 or more people Not publicly viewable

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  1. ethereal floats my boat :-)
    Incidentally, are you a filthy mac user? Looks like that line was in a semi-transparent window with your blog behind it ;;-)

    07 Sep 2005, 17:31

  2. John Dale

    You get today's star prize for brilliant deduction; Chris is indeed a Mac user (though I believe he washes at least occasionally) and is therefore the king of semi-transparency.

    07 Sep 2005, 18:14

  3. I should get a mac, so I can play with Safari. It'll also give me superpowers.

    07 Sep 2005, 20:31

  4. Chris May

    Ethereal doesn't really do it for me, for this job. By the time I've fired it up, marvelled at how awful it looks, remebered how to work it and captured what I want, I could have run tcpflow a dozen times, and if (as in this case) you want to just see the headers, you've either got to copy-and-paste the output of "follow TCP stream" and awk it, or open-and-close each of the packet views in turn to inspect the header. boooring :-)

    However, I do like the fact that ethereal groks lots of protocols I don't (LDAP, or IMAP for instance) and gives me a nice structured view of each packet. It's just HTTP (where I more-or-less know the protocol) that it feels a bit to clunky for.

    Playing with Safari won't (AFAICS) give you superpowers, Andy. It may give you a headache, or just a fit of uncontrollable giggles at how stupid it can be.

    FWIW, I bat for as many sides as possible* when it comes to OSes. My desk currently houses a powermac, a Fedora Core 4 box and an XP laptop (apologies if that sounds rather profligate, all but the mac were rescued from the skip though).

    * Shut it, Finbarr

    07 Sep 2005, 21:35

  5. but it does render css3 better than any other browser :p

    07 Sep 2005, 21:57

  6. Chris May

    True. (though 'better than any other browser' could be construed as 'damning with faint praise')

    But I'm reliably informed that it's javascript implementation is a bit shonky, it's RSS parser certainly seems less reliable than firefox's, and I know from experience that it has a big problem with conditional GET requests (it seems to abhor if-modified-since, and oscillates between fetching stuff for which it should send a HEAD with an IMS, or just not bothering to fetch stuff which is actually stale).

    That probably doesn't matter too much if what you care about is funky visuals, though.

    07 Sep 2005, 22:50

  7. max@drakensberg ~ 
    $ uname -a
    SunOS drakensberg 5.10 Generic i86pc i386 i86pc
    max@drakensberg ~
    $
    god help me, I'm a geek too.

    08 Sep 2005, 08:30

  8. Chris May

    I can't quite bring myself to use solaris on the desktop. It's great for servers (all but 3 of the web arch. servers are solaris), but it's just such a PIA trying to find desktop software for it.

    If it helps to redeem my geek credentials, though, I'm quite looking forward to starting to use solaris 10, though – particularly dtrace.

    08 Sep 2005, 09:23

  9. Blastwave – apt for solaris! Make it usable! :-)

    08 Sep 2005, 09:38


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