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From r..@ai.mit.edu (Robert S. Thau)
Subject Re: sloppy URLs
Date Fri, 07 Apr 1995 16:05:28 GMT
Missing leading / should clearly get a 400 --- no browser should ever
even be generating such a request.

As to the other two, I'm not sure why you regard the current behavior
as "incorrect" --- there's no standard that says anything at all in
particular about how URLs relate to the underlying file structure, nor
should there be --- it just places too much constraint on perfectly
legitimate experimentation by server authors.  (It's perfectly reasonable
to have database-based servers which don't even have an underlying file
system).

Specifically --- wrt trailing / --- it works specifically by the request
of a whole lot of users, including (at one point) me.  It's not as
efficient as including the trailing /, but so long as people know that
I don't see any problem with their continuing to use it.  And making
these return 404s instead of redirects would break MANY existing sites;
Apache would no longer be a drop-in replacement for NCSA 1.3, let alone
1.4.  I think that's a bad idea.

Trailing / is, IMHO, even a weaker case --- trailing / even has a perfectly
legitimate interpretation in some circumstances (PATH_INFO to server-includes
HTML).  Sure, it's silly, but unlike the "missing" / case, there isn't even
any extra overhead.  Why should we go out of our way to break it?

-1 on all but the first.

rst

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