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Re: Are we done with draft-hoffman-ftp-uri-02.txt?

From: John Cowan <jcowan@reutershealth.com>
Date: Fri, 29 Oct 2004 15:36:52 -0400
To: Paul Hoffman / IMC <phoffman@imc.org>
Cc: uri@w3.org
Message-ID: <20041029193651.GP24411@skunk.reutershealth.com>

Paul Hoffman / IMC scripsit:

> >"Developers of new FTP client implementations that consume FTP URIs
> >should attempt access to the file using the slash-prefixed
> >('/<cwd1>...') path first, and only use the format specified in RFC 1738
> >('<cwd1>...') if that operation fails."
> 
> This works for me; how do others feel?

I strongly disagree.  In particular, the following URI produces different
results when tested with Mozilla Firefox 1.0rc1 and Internet Explorer
6.0.2900.2180.xpsp_sp2_rtm.040803-2158, my two current browsers:

	ftp://stamber:stamber@publish.reutershealth.com/ftptest.txt

Mozilla conforms to the RFC, whereas IE does not.  Neither one returns an
error of any kind.  (Note that the user stamber@publish.reutershealth.com
is *not* automatically confined to a subtree.  I will remove this account
in a few days.)

I also tested some command-line Linux (Fedora Core 2) programs that
understand FTP URIs.  Lynx 2.8.5dev.16 does not conform to the RFC,
but NcFTPGet 3.1.7, curl 7.11.1, and wget 1.9 do conform.  Given this
diversity of behavior, I don't think it's appropriate to recommend
the non-conformant interpretation, but simply to note that there are a
considerable number of non-conformant clients of the specified type.

I note that all the clients correctly interpret the URIs
ftp://stamber:stamber@publish.reutershealth.com/%2Fftptest.txt and
ftp://stamber:stamber@publish.reutershealth.com/%2Fexport/home/stamber/ftptest.txt
since %2F is an uninterpreted slash and /export/home/stamber is stamber's
home directory.  These results of course depend on the fact that the
server, which is the native Solaris 8 in.ftpd server, interprets a
leading / as reaching the root directory of publish.reutershealth.com.

In any case, "server implementers" are not the people who need to be aware
of this; rather it is FTP client implementers who understand RFCs who should
care, and users of FTP URIs who are likely to be hosed by the diverse behavior.

-- 
The man that wanders far                        jcowan@reutershealth.com
from the walking tree                           http://www.reutershealth.com
        --first line of a non-existent poem by:         John Cowan
Received on Friday, 29 October 2004 19:37:31 GMT

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