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From Daniel Fagerstrom <>
Subject Re: Original request attributes in internal block servlet call
Date Tue, 21 Nov 2006 18:36:42 GMT
Alexander Klimetschek skrev:
> Daniel Fagerstrom schrieb:
>> This could be complemented by giving access to the original request 
>> parameters. For this case we need a call stack where each block 
>> protocol call pushes a new request object, and where all parameter 
>> lookup is done through the stack.
>> For request attributes the situation is more complicated, we need a 
>> call stack where the local attribute context is pushed. Otherwise 
>> your block will aways risk that some other block in the call chain 
>> happen to use the same parameter name and affect your block. But you 
>> probably also need to be able to set the global attribute to 
>> communicate state information between blocks. For the Cocoon protocol 
>> this is done by having booth a global and a local scope for 
>> parameters (see o.a.c.environment.Request). But this solution 
>> requires an extension to the standard HttpServletRequest, and I 
>> preferred to avoid that. But if we have a need for it we could extend 
>> the current design.
>> For the rest of the request (and response) object we would need to 
>> evaluate what should be available everywhere and what should be 
>> specific for the current block call.
> I see, it's difficult. My case is attribute-readonly after the 
> listener, so it is quite simple. The distinction between global and 
> local parameters would be important, since otherwise you'd only had 
> the attributes of the previous block call at hand (if there is more 
> than 1 call to different blocks).
It wouldn't need to be that bad. What I have in mind for local access is 
a construction like this:

There is a call stack for request attributes consisting of hash tables. 
Each time a block call is made an empty hash table is pushed on the 
stack and each time a block call leave the stack is poped.

A setAttribute will affect the *topmost* element of the stack and thus 
only have an effect during the ongoing block call.

A removeAttribute will but a special "empty element" for that attribute 
into the topmost hash table.

A getAttribute will search the stack top down until it find the 
attribute, if it has the "empty" value it will return null otherwise it 
will return the value of the attribute. If the attribute is not 
available in any of the hash tables it will return null.

This will work in most scenarios, attributes are available for blocks 
further down the call chain. But blocks cannot communicate to cannot 
communicate through attributes to blocks higher in the call chain or to 
"siblings" in the call chain.

The global scope would always affect the original request attribute. 
Which always is highest in the call stack.

>> There should be a simple possibility, just remove the block path 
>> property from a managed servlet and then the dispatcher servlet will 
>> not use it. And it will still be available as a component and thus 
>> possible to connect to and use through the block protocol. Now this 
>> will not be usable for the block servlet as it has a getBlockPath 
>> method and therefore always will be connected. If we strengthen the 
>> condition in the dispatcher servlet to only connect to servlet that 
>> has a *non null* block path property, it would be enough to not 
>> configure the block path property to make the block servlet internal..
> I currently only have the BlockServlet in place. Apart from that, 
> there are blocks that contain both external matchers (open to the 
> script kiddies) and internal ones, so deciding at the block level 
> would no help as everything in that sitemap would be internal. What 
> about extending the pipeline parameter internal-only="true" to accept 
> the values (true|false|block), where block means visible for blocks 
> but not for external requests?
OK, I see. It seem like a useful feature. Any idea about how to 
implement it ?


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