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From Michael Becke <be...@u.washington.edu>
Subject Re: org.apache.commons.httpclient.util.DateParser
Date Tue, 10 Jun 2003 12:50:35 GMT

Please note my comments below.

> The "private static final String[] DATE_PATTERNS" might be more  
> efficiently
> declared as an array of DateFormat instances (never publicly  
> accessible, as
> that could be tampered with using the "apply" method for example), as  
> that
> avoids repeat parsing of the date format pattern.

Unfortunately SimpleDateFormat is not thread safe.  This means that we  
cannot rely on a static set of DateFormat instances.  Take a look at  
the synchronization section in  

> Other comment: it might be worth implementing a "getLastModified"  
> method in
> HttpMethodBase (or even declaring it in the HttpMethod interface) so  
> that
> common functionality (common with java.net.HttpURLConnection) can be
> provided.  This would simply parse the value of the "Last-Modified"  
> response
> header (if present) by delegating to this method.

Though a method does not explicitly exist for getting the last modified  
header it can be retrieved using  
HttpMethod.getResponseHeader("Last-Modified").  Adding a method  
getLastModified() is not an option for 2.0 as we cannot change the API  
for HttpMethod at this point.  Please feel free to add a Bugzilla  
enhancement request for a later release.

> Going further, it might be worth providing a method in DateParser that  
> uses
> the "java.text.DateFormat.format(java.util.Date)" method to format  
> request
> headers ("public static String DateParse.toDateHeader(Date)" ?), such  
> as
> If-Modified-Since, and even implementing convenience methods on some  
> Method
> implementations to apply the appropriate headers that translates
> "java.util.Date" objects or "long" values into a date header.

Agreed, this would be handy.  Currently this can be accomplished with  
the following:

SimpleDateFormat format = new  
String formattedDate = format.format(someDate);

In general I think it would be nice for HttpClient to have more tools  
for handling headers.  One option would be to add a bunch of methods to  
HttpMethod, but I think this would add too much clutter.  Perhaps we  
should have a "HeaderUtil" class with convenience methods for parsing,  
formatting, etc.  Thoughts?


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