An HTTP/1.1 server MAY assume that a HTTP/1.1 client intends to maintain a persistent connection unless a Connection header including the connection-token "close" was sent in the request. If the server chooses to close the connection immediately after sending the response, it SHOULD send a Connection header including the connection-token close.
An HTTP/1.1 client MAY expect a connection to remain open, but would decide to keep it open based on whether the response from a server contains a Connection header with the connection-token close. In case the client does not want to maintain a connection for more than that request, it SHOULD send a Connection header including the connection-token close.
If either the client or the server sends the close token in the Connection header, that request becomes the last one for the connection.
Clients and servers SHOULD NOT assume that a persistent connection is maintained for HTTP versions less than 1.1 unless it is explicitly signaled. See section 19.7.1 for more information on backwards compatibility with HTTP/1.0 clients.
In order to remain persistent, all messages on the connection must have a self-defined message length (i.e., one not defined by closure of the connection), as described in section 4.4.