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Re: [VE][403] Add Subject Here

From: Philip Taylor (Webmaster, Ret'd) <P.Taylor@Rhul.Ac.Uk>
Date: Mon, 04 Oct 2010 20:26:59 +0100
Message-ID: <4CAA2A83.8050404@Rhul.Ac.Uk>
To: "Jukka K. Korpela" <jkorpela@cs.tut.fi>
CC: W3C Validator Community <www-validator@w3.org>


Jukka K. Korpela wrote:

>> Would you agree that the following occur :
>>
>> 1) No special treatment. The browser sends an unescaped ampersand,
>> the server /should/ treat it as the start of a shortref, but Google
>> elects not to and treats it as if it were escaped.
>
> Pardon? What the browser should send and actually sends is the "&"
> character. There is no such thing as "shortref" in the HTTP protocol, or
> "entity references", which is what you really mean. They belong to the
> realm of HTML, and HTTP as such is HTM-ignorant.

Right, we agree with what the browser sends, but you have
not explained what happens in order for Google to interpret
it as a & parameter-delimiter rather than as the start of
a shortref (or "entity reference", if you prefer).  Because
Google /does/ treat it as an & parameter delimiter, and it
would be useful to document how/why.

>
>> 2) The browser sends &amp; which the server correctly interprets as &.
>
> If the HTML source contains &amp;, then both the browser and the server
> would behave incorrectly.

Yes, the HTML source contains &amp;

> The browser shall interpret &amp; as & and the
> server shall take & as yet another character, though acting as a
> separator (usually) when parsing the query part, and to the server,
> &amp; should be just & followed by amp;.

Right, so the browser sends a simple ampersand, which the
server treats as you describe.

>> 3) The browser sends %26,
>
> No, that would be incorrect.

OK, so again you have said what does /not/ happen, but not what
does happen.  Would you care to go further ?  I really think
this whole issue is poorly understood "in the wild", and
if this thread could lead to a full explanation of what happens
within the browser, at the HTTP level, and at the server end,
this might be of benefit to others in the future.

** Phil.
Received on Monday, 4 October 2010 19:27:38 GMT

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