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From Joe Orton <>
Subject Re: AuthLDAPCharsetConfig considered harmful
Date Tue, 10 Feb 2009 15:20:01 GMT
On Tue, Feb 10, 2009 at 09:52:43AM -0500, Eric Covener wrote:
> On Tue, Feb 10, 2009 at 8:45 AM, Joe Orton <> wrote:
> > The AuthLDAPCharsetConfig directive allows server admins to do charset
> > conversion of the username passed in the HTTP auth headers.
> >
> > RFC 2617 does not specify use of encoding non-ASCII usernames in the
> > {Proxy-},Authorization request headers; mod_authnz_ldap is guessing an
> > encoding based on any Accept-Language header in the request.  Given that
> > use of non-ASCII in HTTP authz is not specified by RFC, this is:
> Isn't it encoding agnostic, with the exception of ascii control characters?

That's probably a better way to put it, yes.

> > a) imposing a defacto standard, and
> I had assumed it was compiled from browser observation, which would
> make it a little more reactionary than it's painted here.

OK, even worse choice of language there, including the spelling.  But 
that is the point: it's extrapolating from the behaviour of a couple of 
browsers, rather than following any RFC...

> For example my notes imply the current scheme would have trouble with
> recent Opera releases, which favor utf-8 for the encoding of the basic
> auth credentials.

... and hence leads to interop failure.

> Being influenced by e.g. BrowserMatch, or the presence of certain
> sequences provided by the user would go a long way in at least helping
> a savvy administrator accomodate the unpredictable incoming charset.

I think it would be better to simply advise against use of non-ASCII 
usernames in the docs.

Regards, Joe

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