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RE: FTP URIs - time to document the way browsers really behave?

From: Alun Jones <alunj@microsoft.com>
Date: Thu, 30 Sep 2004 10:23:40 -0700
Message-ID: <0966E90CB313084DA7A9C55799FDEFD202C4798C@RED-MSG-50.redmond.corp.microsoft.com>
To: "John Cowan" <jcowan@reutershealth.com>
Cc: <uri@w3c.org>

Thanks for that tip - I did a brief sanity check, and here's what each
browser sends as commands (I've stripped out the login and extraneous
commands - in each case, no part of the path exists either at the home
or at the root, to demonstrate what the client does as fall-back):

IE 6 (Windows Server 2003 RTM) - "ftp://localhost/ie6/path"

CWD /ie6/
CWD /ie6/
CWD /ie6/path/
CWD /ie6/path/

Mozilla 1.7 - "ftp://localhost/mozilla1_7/path"

SIZE /mozilla1_7/path
MDTM /mozilla1_7/path
RETR /mozilla1_7/path
CWD /mozilla1_7/path

Firefox 1.0 preview - "ftp://localhost/firefox1_0p/path"

SIZE /firefox1_0p/path
MDTM /firefox1_0p/path
RETR /firefox1_0p/path
CWD /firefox1_0p/path

Netscape 7.2 - "ftp://localhost/netscape7_2/path"

SIZE /netscape7_2/path
MDTM /netscape7_2/path
RETR /netscape7_2/path
CWD /netscape7_2/path

Opera 7.54 - "ftp://localhost/opera7_54/path"

SIZE opera7_54/path
CWD opera7_54/path
CWD /
SIZE opera7_54
CWD opera7_54


Opera isn't particularly RFC 1738 compliant - it still uses the "/" in
the path, and when the first two attempts to find the path fail, it will
start from "/".  So, it's really not giving RFC 1738 compliant
performance in a way that would make sense on an FTP server that can't
handle "/" as a directory separator.

This does at least suggest that a change to the URI spec to match the
majority of the dominant web browsers out there would not make the
browsers I tested (even Opera) non-compliant - those that don't start
from the root folder at least will fail over to it.

What I did discover is that the "/./" convention that Netscape
introduced is not supported by any browser - not even the Netscape /
Mozilla / Firefox ones.  That was a surprise.  No surprise, of course,
to see that Netscape, Mozilla and Firefox behave exactly the same.

Opera notes in its help file that you can configure it to use "Absolute
FTP paths" in order to get behaviour like the other browsers.

Like I said earlier, browsers aren't "my thing" - anyone who cares to
contribute results from other browsers, please do so.

Alun.
~~~~
-- 
I am the 'F' in "IIS".
 

> -----Original Message-----
> From: John Cowan [mailto:jcowan@reutershealth.com] 
> Sent: Wednesday, September 29, 2004 8:04 PM
> To: Alun Jones
> Cc: uri@w3c.org
> Subject: Re: FTP URIs - time to document the way browsers 
> really behave?
> 
> Alun Jones scripsit:
> 
> > Unfortunately, we have the situation that noone obeys the 
> RFC, except 
> > for a few people starting to implement it, who then quickly 
> find out 
> > that noone else pays attention to it, either.
> 
> I've been accessing my home directory via various versions of 
> Mozilla for quite a while now without problem:
> 
> 	ftp://cowan@mercury.ccil.org/blood.txt
> 
> retrieves the file blood.txt in my home directory (given the 
> proper password).
> 
> -- 
> At the end of the Metatarsal Age, the dinosaurs         John Cowan
> abruptly vanished. The theory that a single             
> jcowan@reutershealth.com
> catastrophic event may have been responsible            
> www.reutershealth.com
> has been strengthened by the recent discovery of        
> www.ccil.org/~cowan
> a worldwide layer of whipped cream marking the
> Creosote-Tutelary boundary.             --Science Made Stupid
> 
Received on Thursday, 30 September 2004 17:32:59 GMT

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