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From "Jason Smith (JIRA)" <>
Subject [jira] [Commented] (COUCHDB-431) Support cross domain XMLHttpRequest (XHR) calls by implementing Access Control spec
Date Sat, 17 Sep 2011 17:08:08 GMT


Jason Smith commented on COUCHDB-431:

Let's pretend all the cross-origin stuff does not exist. What is the
problem with the web? The problem is when you go to
they can send you Javascript like this:

   // Converted basically to pseudocode Javascript for clarity.
   var randalls_mail =
   $.ajax("", {"body":randalls_mail});

Your browser has a good cookie, GMail says, "Shit! That's Randall.
Send him his emails." never knew your password or
cookie but they tricked your browser into sending them all the mail.

So, let's invent a same-origin policy. Browsers will only ajax to the
ORIGIN of the web page. That is today's web. When
tells your browser to hit GMail, your browser tells

Unfortunately, now I can't query except when I am **on** That's stupid. How come Reed College can't do this?

   <!-- Reed College web site -->
   <script src=""></script>

   var position = navigator.geolocation.getCurrentPosition();
   var beers = PDX.find({"pos":position, "type":"free_beer",
   if(beers.length >= 6)
     $('beers').append("You could get pretty drunk where you are");

   if(user.options.publish_location) {
     PDX.publish_location({"user", "pos":position});
     $('people').append("Expect nerds to accost you soon");

It's too bad that can't say "I trust the code on
I wish their users could query my couch." That is why they invented

It does not protect my data from your user. It protects YOUR OWN data
from YOUR OWN web browser when the browser is NOT on your site.

> Support cross domain XMLHttpRequest (XHR) calls by implementing Access Control spec
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>                 Key: COUCHDB-431
>                 URL:
>             Project: CouchDB
>          Issue Type: New Feature
>          Components: HTTP Interface
>    Affects Versions: 0.9
>            Reporter: James Burke
>            Assignee: Benoit Chesneau
>            Priority: Minor
>             Fix For: 1.2
>         Attachments: 0001-cors-support.-should-fix-COUCHDB-431-2.patch, 0001-cors-support.-should-fix-COUCHDB-431.patch,
0001-cors-support.-should-fix-COUCHDB-431.patch, 0001-cors-support.-should-fix-COUCHDB-431.patch,
0001-cors-support.-should-fix-COUCHDB-431.patch, A_0001-Generalize-computing-the-appropriate-headers-for-any.patch,
A_0002-Send-server-headers-for-externals-responses.patch, A_0003-Usably-correct-w3c-CORS-headers-for-valid-requests.patch,
A_0004-Respond-to-CORS-preflight-checks-HTTP-OPTIONS.patch, cors.html, cors_test.html, test_cors2-1.tgz,
> Historically, browsers have been restricted to making XMLHttpRequests (XHRs) to the same
origin (domain) as the web page making the request. However, the latest browsers now support
cross-domain requests by implementing the Access Control spec from the W3C:
> In order to keep older servers safe that assume browsers only do same-domain requests,
the Access Control spec requires the server to opt-in to allow cross domain requests by the
use of special HTTP headers and supporting some "pre-flight" HTTP calls.
> Why should CouchDB support this: in larger, high traffic site, it is common to serve
the static UI files from a separate, differently scaled server complex than the data access/API
server layer. Also, there are some API services that are meant to be centrally hosted, but
allow API consumers to use the API from different domains. In these cases, the UI in the browser
would need to do cross domain requests to access CouchDB servers that act as the API/data
access server layer.
> JSONP is not enough in these cases since it is limited to GET requests, so no POSTing
or PUTing of documents.
> Some information from Firefox's perspective (functionality available as of Firefox 3.5):
> And information on Safari/Webkit (functionality in latest WebKit and Safari 4):
> IE 8 also uses the Access Control spec, but the requests have to go through their XDomainRequest
object (XDR):
> and I thought IE8 only allowed GET or POST requests through their XDR.
> But as far as CouchDB is concerned, implementing the Access Control headers should be
enough, and hopefully IE 9 will allow normal xdomain requests via XHR.

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