I am caught in the middle of a "he said - she said"
kind of discussion about what constitutes a valid URI/URL for WebDAV
and am posting here in the hope of getting an authoritative answer as
to which statement is truer: use "+" or use "%20"
Here's the story:
There is a Learning Management System called WebCT Vista.
It uses an Oracle DB back end and a java-based webserver called
"WebLogic" from a company called BEA. The problem at
hand is confined to Windows clients. Mac clients seems to work
as well with this system as they do with Apache and WebSTAR V,
The way WebCT Vista enables the use of WebDAV is that it generates a
URI that the client copies and pastes into a WebDAV client
application. Here's an example:
WebCT Vista puts a "+" char in place of those spaces
but this causes Windows clients to gag and report that "The
folder you are trying to access is invalid" or words to that
effect. Microsoft has published work around strategies for this
(see below the dotted line). This problem manifests itself only where
there are spaces in the path and only with the more recent Microsoft
clients. Older clients don't seem to be bothered by this.
The engineers at WebCT Inc say that the "+" is kosher
citing authorities such as:
If you look at this page:
It provides some java classes that does URI
When you get the program running and entered a space, you
will get a + in return.
If you take a look at the source code, you can find this
"The space character ' ' is converted into a plus
Others suggest that spaces should be encoded as %20 in order to
Is this a peculiarity of Java code, an Oracke requirement or just
idiosyncratic for WebCT Inc. More importantly, which encoding
strategy is more valid, more robust?
Has Microsoft gone and broken WebDAV on Windows?
------------------ Microsoft on WebDAV Issues
Some more information for anyone troubleshooting Windows WebDAV
You attempt to add a Web folder to the My Network Places folder, but
you are unsuccessful and you receive the following error message:
ˇ§The folder you entered does not appear to be valid ˇ§
This behavior may occur if you have a system policy that redirects the
user's Application Data folder and prevents the creation of the
Msdaipp folder that the Web Folders feature uses. The Msdaipp folder
is normally located under the user's Userprofile\Application
When you do not use this system policy, the first time you create a
Web folder in the My Network Places folder with the Add Network Place
Wizard, a subdirectory is created. If you set a system policy to
change the Userprofile\Application Data folder to a universal naming
convention (UNC) on a network server, this wizard does not create the
Msdaipp folder at the redirected location and you receive the
preceding error message.
Fix as suggested by a Microsoft Online Partner Support rep:
1. Open the UNC path specified Target Location Folder.
2. Ensure that you can view hidden files, and then open the Microsoft
3. Create a folder called Msdaipp.
4. Check with this issue again.
However, if the issue persists, please perform the following steps to
create a new account with the Computer Administrator privilege and see
how things are going on.
1) Click Start, and click Control Panel.
2) Double-click "User Accounts".
3) Click the "Create a new account" link.
4) Follow the instruction to create a new account with the Computer
5) Log off the current user account and then log on the new
Also, please perform the troubleshooting steps in the following
article: 287402 ˇ§Troubleshooting Web Foldersˇ¨
B) Sometimes the Web
Folder client in Windows could have been changed by another piece of
software (for example, Microsoft Office). Please consider
following the instructions to restore the WebDAV client to the
1. Find a file
called webfldrs.msi (Normally under WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\webfldrs.msi - if
you installed Windows XP Servicepack 1 you will find it under
2. Start the installation with double-click or right-click ->
3. Now you have to click on "Select reinstall
· Uncheck "Repair all detected reinstall
· Check "Force all files to be reinstalled,
regardless of checksum or version".
· Check "Verify that required user registry
entries are present".
· Check "Verify that required machine
registry entries are present".
· Check "Validate shortcuts".
4. Press OK and REINSTALL
5. Normally no
reboot is required. Now the web folder client should have been
restored as it was shipped.
Dr. Frank Lowney firstname.lastname@example.org
Director, Electronic Instructional Services, a unit
Office of Information and Instructional
Voice: (478) 445-5260
NOTICE: Please be advised that I am hearing impaired and communicate
most effectively via e-mail. Follow-up summaries of telephone
conversations by e-mail are most appreciated.
We don't make instruction effective, we make effective instruction