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From Eddie Ruvinsky <>
Subject Spec ambiguity? filters and request dispatching
Date Tue, 01 Oct 2002 19:05:38 GMT
The Servlet Spec seems ambiguous about when exactly
the servlet container should invoke filters.  Tomcat's
behavior is for a filter to get invoked only when the
request arrives, and before any servlets execute. 
However, what should the correct behavior be when a
servlet tries to include or forward a request using
RequestDispatcher to another servlet that is
configured to be "intercepted" by a filter?  Tomcat
apparently does not invoke the filter [again] for any
dispatched requests.  This is contrary to WebSphere's
interpretation of the spec since it invokes filters
even for dispatched requests (and leaves it up to the
developer to check if the filter is called
"recursively").  This difference in behavior between
servers certainly leads to non-portable applications,
so it should be addressed.

I'm not sure if this is off-topic for this email
group, but I thought I'd start here since Tomcat is
the reference implementation of the spec.


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