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From Mark Thomas <>
Subject Re: UTF-8 charset encoding
Date Fri, 16 Nov 2007 19:19:57 GMT
Michael wrote:
> start your JVM with -Dfile.encoding=UTF-8 and try again!

That property is read-only on some JVMs and is not the way to achieve what
the OP is trying to do.

Some standard text I wrote a while ago follows. The most useful bit is
probably the URIEncoding attribute on the connector.

Character encoding summary

There are a number of situations where there may be a requirement to use non-
US ASCII characters in a URI. These include:
- Parameters in the query string
- Servlet paths

There is a standard for encoding URIs (
code.html) but this standard is not consistently followed by clients. This
causes a number of problems.

The functionality provided by Tomcat (4 and 5) to handle this less than ideal
situation is described below.

1. The Coyote HTTP/1.1 connector has a useBodyEncodingForURI attribute
which if set to true will use the request body encoding to decode the URI
query parameters.
  - The default value is true for TC4 (breaks spec but gives consistent
behaviour across TC4 versions)
  - The default value is false for TC5 (spec compliant but there may be
migration issues for some apps)
2. The Coyote HTTP/1.1 connector has a URIEncoding attribute which defaults
to ISO-8859-1.
3. The parameters class (o.a.t.u.http.Parameters) has a QueryStringEncoding
field which defaults to the URIEncoding. It must be set before the
parameters are parsed to have an effect.

Things to note regarding the servlet API:
1. HttpServletRequest.setCharacterEncoding() normally only applies to the
request body NOT the URI.
2. HttpServletRequest.getPathInfo() is decoded by the web container.
3. HttpServletRequest.getRequestURI() is not decoded by container.

Other tips:
1. Use POST with forms to return parameters as the parameters are then part of
the request body.

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