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From "Reich, Matthias" <>
Subject RE: Comet: problem with request.getParameter() in Comet POST requests
Date Wed, 02 May 2007 10:18:32 GMT

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Sebastiaan van Erk [] 
> Sent: Friday, April 27, 2007 7:24 PM
> To: Tomcat Users List
> Subject: Re: Comet: problem with request.getParameter() in 
> Comet POST requests
> > GET parameters, ie parameters in the URL will work.
> > However, using Comet you shouldn't rely on parameters in 
> the body, the 
> > body if for you usage, and your usage alone.
> Seems to me that this is a pretty common use case though with AJAX 
> server side push: request, wait, response.
> Comet is used to free the http thread while waiting, otherwise the 
> server would be out of http threads in no time.
> The data posted is often in POST form (a scripted form post).
> > You can still invoke getReader or getInputStream without actually 
> > reading from it, if that causes the parse to happen.
> Yes, that is my current workaround, I use READ events and the 
> Content-Length header to parse the parameters myself.

Wouldn't every application which isn't as dumb as the chat example
(which does not care about the content it reads but simply passes it
back to it's clients) need to implement it's own mechanism to check
whether there is enough input available to start parsing a chunk of

According to my current understanding of Comet a READ event will be
triggered after some tcp packet was received from the client.
Thus, even if a client has sent a complete chunk of data (e.g. a SOAP
request), the server side cannot be sure that it is completely available
for parsing when a READ event is triggered.

Thus, each application must implement it's own http like protocol to
wrap each chunk of data transferred to the server:
- The client must send the number of bytes of the following chunk before
the actual chunk is sent.
To be able to do this, it must care about content encoding (e.g. write
character based data to a ByteArrayOutputStream first, determine it's
length, send the number of bytes, and then the content of the byte
- The servlet must read the length, allocate a byte buffer and start
reading into the buffer.
- Only if it has received a READ event that delivers the last expected
byte of the chunk, the content of the byte buffer can be converted into
a String (or another character based sequence) according to the
character encoding specified by the client, and finally parsed.

Is it really the intention of Comet that each application must care
about these things?

Is there no way to enable a Servlet to do a blocking read if it
recognizes that a client has sent a chunk of data?
It would not block for a long time in that situation (only until the
missing tcp packets of the actual chunk have arrived). This would allow
a much more convenient handling of input for most applications.


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