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From Lars Oppermann <>
Subject Re: URI handling in tomcat 3.2.3
Date Thu, 13 Sep 2001 14:22:51 GMT
Hi Marc,

Thanks for you reply...

Marc Saegesser wrote:
> I agree that this URI handling sucks.  I'm the one that 
> committed the change that made it happen and I still 
> think it sucks.  However, allowing these encoded characters 
> opens some very large security problems.

 From what I understand, these security problems are all related to 
mapping URIs to filesystem paths. So how do you feel about doing this 
processing in the filesystem (default) servlet?

> Also, even if TC 3.2.x allowed these characters, the resulting URL 
> wouldn't be portable because several other web servers impose the 
> same restrictions.
> [400 with Apache 1.3.19]

I think, if it is possible to do this in a better way while keeping up 
the protection there is no reason for copying the behaviour of httpd. 
However, if those security implications can not be handled in the file 
servlet like I mentioned before, I'd need to do some more thinking on 
this point.

> If you need to pass this sort of data to a servlet (or CGI) the most
> portable way is to simply use a query string.

Yes, that sounds like a straight-forward solution. Unfortunatly the 
service that gets excuted here will access some document and return an 
html representation. This document contains relative references within 
the hierarchy represented by the 'wrapped' URI. for this to work with a 
browser, the request URI has to be used, because the client can not 
resolve relative references inside a query (why should it)

I belive that there are many more use-cases where using URIs to 
represent hierachical names that do not map to files is desirable, 
espacialy in a servlet environment.
In httpd, which's main work consists of serving file-system resources 
this might be viewed differently

Lars Oppermann <>               Sun Microsystems
Software Engineer - Sun ONE Webtop                       Sachsenfeld 4
Phone: +49 40 23646 959                                D-20097 Hamburg
Fax:   +49 40 23646 550            

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