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From Garret Wilson <>
Subject Re: Apache, Tomcat, WebDAV, and Web Folders... Oh, my!
Date Tue, 11 Jan 2005 07:26:19 GMT
Some more info:

When Web Folders first tries to access , user agent 
"Microsoft-WebDAV-MiniRedir/5.1.2600" tries to do a PROPFIND on . Apache (from Tomcat?) redirects with 302 
to . 
"Microsoft-WebDAV-MiniRedir/5.1.2600" tries to do a PROPFIND on . Apache sends back (from Tomcat, I 
suppose) a 501 "I don't know what the heck a PROPFIND is" type of 
response. (MS never should have tried to touch , as that's a parent directory to what I 

Again "Microsoft-WebDAV-MiniRedir/5.1.2600" tries to do a PROPFIND on and goes through the whole procedure 
again. Finally it gets tired and issues an OPTIONS request on "/", to 
which Apache/Tomcat issues a 202 OK (but with no DAV header).

So then "Microsoft Data Access Internet Publishing Provider Protocol 
Discovery" gets into the action and issues its own OPTIONS on "/". (Why 
MS can't simply try to access like 
I asked in the first place, I'll never know.) Another 200 OK response. 
Finally MS gets around to doing an OPTIONS on (which it should have done in the 
very first request).  Tomcat (through Apache) issues its 401 
Unauthorized response (as it should), along with the DAV: 1,2 header (as 
it should). MS decides, "Oh, well, I'll issue an OPTIONS on the root 
path '/' again" and goes through the entire process.

Then I see various attempts at GET /_vti_inf.html and POST 
/_vti_bin/shtml.exe , indicating that MS Web Folders didn't recognize 
WebDAV and is trying to use FrontPage extension witchraft. Sending back 
a MS-Author-Via: DAV header should stop this---but my WebDAV servlet 
never got the chance because MS Web Folders wouldn't authenticate in the 
presence of a 401 Unauthorized.

I know that IE, Web Folders, and the whole shebang is a load of (insert 
expletive here), but I've managed to work around everything else so that 
it works on pure Tomcat on localhost. There's some little thing that's 
throwing things off in the Tomcat-behind-Apache-on-Internet scenario, 
and if I can just find out what it is, I can cut off this last MS bug 
and get this to working.

Does it have something to do with Apache modifying a HTTP request or 
response to or from Tomcat?

Does it have something to do with the server being located somewhere 
other than localhost, altering the behavior of 
Microsoft-WebDAV-MiniRedir/5.1.2600 or Microsoft Data Access Internet 
Publishing Provider Protocol Discovery?

An inquiring mind wants to know---but really has to get some sleep right 

Thanks again to Doug and everyone else for your time.


Garret Wilson wrote:
> I've written a custom WebDAV servlet which works fine configured on 
> Windows XP Professional localhost with Tomcat 5.5.4.
> I upload everything to a . The 
> domain is served on Red Hat 6 by Apache 2.0.49, which forwards to Tomcat 
> using ProxyPass and ProxyPassReverse.
> I try to connect via Microsoft Windows XP Professional Web Folders. (My 
> WebDAV servlet works around all the various Microsoft redirection bugs, 
> and works fine with Web Folders on localhost.) Web Folders doesn't 
> recognize the folder. I whip out Ethereal, and here's what I find:
> User agent "Microsoft Data Access Internet Publishing Provider Protocol 
> Discovery" sends an HTTP OPTIONS request to "/". Apache sends back a 200 
> OK. Then Microsoft Web Folders sends an OPTIONS request to 
> /webapp/webdav/. My servlet sends back a 401 Unauthorized, asking for 
> digest credentials. So far, so good.
> Then Microsoft Web Folders starts over again, sending an HTTP OPTIONS 
> request to "/", and then an OPTIONS request to /webapp/webdav/ (never 
> asking me for my username/password), until it finally gives up and says 
> that there must not be a valid WebDAV server at the requested location.
> Why doesn't Microsoft Web Folders ask my for my password? Why does it 
> ignore the 401 Unauthorized and go back to asking for OPTIONS on the 
> root? Does this have something to do with using Apache to proxy to 
> Tomcat? Why did a non-proxied Tomcat work find on my Windows XP 
> Professional machine?
> (If it has anything to do with it, I'm testing this in a cafe going 
> through Surf and Sip WiFi.)
> Thanks in advance for any insight.
> Garret
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