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From m_sam...@canada.com
Subject Tunneling non-HTTP through a web proxy with HttpClient
Date Thu, 25 Mar 2004 22:30:42 GMT

I have looked at HttpClient and it does not seem
to offer a way to use it as simply a means of
doing the CONNECT and proxy auth stuff and then
returning the resulting Socket.  I would like to
do this to tunnel a non-HTTP protocol,
specifically the JXTA TCP-based protocol (not
JXTA's HTTP stuff).

Is there an way to do this with the existing
HttpClient API?  The fact that HttpConnection
holds the Socket as private instance variable
and provides no get/setters suggests that there
is not.

If not, what do you think of the following
suggestions to make HttpClient work for to this
type of use. The design below is geared for the
minimal distrubance of the existing HttpClient
API and is not the cleanest way to do it.

Changes to HttpClient:

1. augment the Protocol class to include a
   "getProxySocketFactory()" method and make
   HttpConnection class use this method instead
   of creating DefaultProtocolSocketFactory for
   secure and proxied connections. The Protocol
   constructor that had the
   SecureProtcolSocketFactory arg also needs an
   additional arg to specifiy this new factory.

2. add public getSocket() and setSocket()
   methods to the HttpConnection class.

3. Provide a NullMethod class whose execute()
   method does nothing but keep the
   HttpConnection parameter for later retrival
   via getter on the NullMethod object.

4. Provide a NoOpSecureProtocolSocketFactory
   whose create(socket,...)  method simply
   returns back the socket argument.

To use the above setup to tunnel through a web
proxy you'd do the following

    - create/register a Protocol object that
      returns NoOpSecureProtocolSocketFactory
      from its getSocketFactory and returns a
      DefaultProtocolSocketFactory or other for
      the new "getProxySocketFactory()" method
      described above. In JXTA'S case the
      proxySocketFactory would not be the
      default one from HttpClient in order to
      leverage Jxta's socket creation class for
      the hop to the web proxy).

    - create NullMethod object

    - create HttpClient

    - create HostConfiguration with appropriate
      proxy info

    - create HttpState and add appropriate
      authentication credentials

    - create SimpleHttpConnectionManager

    - call httpClient.executeMethod(
      hostConfiguration, nullMethod, httpState)

    - get HttpConnection from NullMethod
      (NullMethod captures httpConnection on its
      execute() call)

    - get Socket from HttpConnection and stash
      it, then setSocket( null ) on
      HttpConnection so releasing the connection
      does not close it. This socket is the goal
      of the whole exercise.

    - httpState.getConnectinManger.releaseConnection();

What do you think?

Thanks in advance,

/Mike Sample 

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