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From Chris Johnson <john...@isn.dac.neu.edu>
Subject Re: general/2263: Difference in function, BASE tag vis. Netscape & Apache, virutal hosts
Date Thu, 21 May 1998 20:06:24 GMT
On 21 May 1998 brian@hyperreal.org wrote:

> [In order for any reply to be added to the PR database, ]
> [you need to include <apbugs@Apache.Org> in the Cc line ]
> [and leave the subject line UNCHANGED.  This is not done]
> [automatically because of the potential for mail loops. ]
> Synopsis: Difference in function, BASE tag vis. Netscape & Apache, virutal hosts
> State-Changed-From-To: open-feedback
> State-Changed-By: brian
> State-Changed-When: Thu May 21 12:35:49 PDT 1998
> State-Changed-Why:
> To cut to the chase: what URL is the browser asking for from
> the server, with what corresponding headers (eg. Host:), what
> are you getting in response, and what are you expecting to
> get in response?

     I've been poking around with this some more and I think I see
what's happening.  

    Apache seems to be doing something which make sense, to me anyway.
It just replaces the virtual host reference with the real path to that
virtual host's virtual root.  Hence all references to the virtual host
are by definition looking in the right place.  Netscape on the other
hand has the really strange requirement of the BASE tag in the HTML.
AFAIK, the BASE tag is supposed to supply the browser with a default
URL.  However, Apache, already knowing how to proper translate a
virtual hosdt reference is taking that translation and tacking the
BASE HREF to it causing the duplication of the right most portion of
the HREF.  I thought this Netscape method of doing virtual hosts
looked a little strange at the time.  I could, and still can't,
understand why they would need a BASE tage when the virtual host
translation should be doing the proper thing.

     Upshot, I think Netscape's behavious is broken.  Example:
I have a virtual host www.resp-ed.org which points to a non-root
(relative to DocumentRoot) directory of /server/ns-home/docs/ire in
httpd.conf.  The BASE tage in the index.html there is 
<BASE HREF=http://www.resp-ed.org/ire/>.  This is what Netscape
requires for some off the wall reason (if you can call it reason).  Of
course, all references to off index.html pages use the HREF'ed url
which ends up duplicating the /ire/ fragment in Apache.  In fact in
Apache it would seem I don't even need to BASE tag since Apache is
doing the right thing with the path translation.  


     In the mean time I'm trying to make the transision from Netscape
to Apache as transparent as possible and this ain't helping any.

     Any suggestions?

Chris Johnson                  |Internet: johnson@isn.dac.neu.edu
Assistant Director, Systems    |Web:      http://www.dac.neu.edu/dac/c.johnson
Division of Academic Computing |Voice:    617.373.3300
Northeastern University, 39 RI |FAX:      617.373.8600
60 Huntington Ave.             |I'm continually amazed by mankind's seemingly
Boston, MA., U.S.A.  02115     |infinite capacity for stupidity.    Me

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