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So there's a way to hang the connection that won't be caught by a `timeout` setting in most HTTP clients? Or the bot writers were just too lazy to add timeouts in their bots?

I suspect the bot writers were too lazy to add timeouts.

He had no way to know if they were acutally still waiting months later. Just because the peer has not sent a RST doesn't mean remote end still has a process/machine still in existence.

As one data point, Python feed parser has no timeout. I've seen it sit for days when the remote end disappeared.

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