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Subject DO NOT REPLY [Bug 51669] New: Documentation of B flag needs to be clearer, refer to AllowEncodedSlashes
Date Wed, 17 Aug 2011 00:22:09 GMT

             Bug #: 51669
           Summary: Documentation of B flag needs to be clearer, refer to
           Product: Apache httpd-2
           Version: 2.3-HEAD
          Platform: PC
        OS/Version: All
            Status: NEW
          Severity: normal
          Priority: P2
         Component: Documentation
    Classification: Unclassified

The documentation for the mod_rewrite B-flag uses one poorly chosen example and
lacks a link to other important info.

A better example would be when submitting parameters containg normal urlencoded
characters, and not special cases like '+', so given a typical rewrite like:

RewriteRule ^search/(.*)$ /search.php?term=$1

Given a search term of 'x & y/z', a browser will encode it as
'x%20%26%20y%2Fz', making the request 'search/x%20%26%20y%2Fz'. Without the B
flag, this rewrite rule will map to 'search.php?term=x & y/z', which isn't a
valid URL, and would behave as if you had requested:
'search.php?term=x%20&y%2Fz=', which is not what was intended.

With the B flag set on this same rule, the parameters are re-encoded before
being passed on to the output URL, resulting in a correct mapping to

Importantly, both of these examples will fail on a default apache configuration
because apache doesn't allow encoded slashes in URLs, and returns a 404 if it
sees one. This behaviour is overridable using the AllowEncodedSlashes directive
(and provide a cross-reference to that).

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