The HTTP RFC] allows for 1xx informational responses to be sent before a real content response. Unfortunately the servlet specification does not provide a way for these to be sent, so Jetty has had to provide non-standard handling of these headers.
The 100 Continue response should be sent by the server when a client sends a request with a Expect: 100-continue header, as the client will not send the body of the request until the 100 continue response has been sent.
The intent of this feature is to allow a server to inspect the headers and to tell the client to not send a request body that might be too large or insufficiently private or otherwise unable to be handled.
Jetty achieves this by waiting until the input stream or reader is obtained by the filter/servlet, before sending the 100 continues response. Thus a filter/servlet may inspect the headers of a request before getting the input stream and send an error response (or redirect etc.) rather than the 100 continues.
RFC 2518 defines the 102 processing response that can be sent "when the server has a reasonable expectation that the request will take significant time to complete. As guidance, if a method is taking longer than 20 seconds (a reasonable, but arbitrary value) to process the server SHOULD return a 102 (Processing) response".
So if a request is received with the Expect: 102-processing header, then a filter/servlet may send a 102 response (without terminating further processing) by calling servletResponse.sendError(102);.