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Re: xf:submission/@serialization="none" and GET request URLs

From: John Boyer <boyerj@ca.ibm.com>
Date: Thu, 11 Dec 2008 11:04:13 -0800
To: "Philip Fennell" <Philip.Fennell@bbc.co.uk>
Cc: www-forms@w3.org, public-forms@w3.org
Message-ID: <OFA10D854E.F5BE93FD-ON8825751C.0067052F-8825751C.0068C23C@ca.ibm.com>
Hi Philip,

Although it is not written correctly in 11.9.1, I would also have thought 
it reasonably obvious that putting the question mark was part of the "get" 
serialization of tag value pairs such that if you asked for no 
serialization you would get neither the tag value pairs nor the thing 
which separates them from the rest of the URL. 

I am also pretty sure the discussion of serialization="none" specifically 
included the statement that in this case the URL would be unaltered, so I 
think it is a spec error in 11.9.1.

Indeed, if one looks at the second example, it is clear that a spurious 
question mark showing up at the end of the URL in the file: case would be 

I also find the text for attaching the question mark to be a bit bizarre 
because it says that if the URL already contains a question mark then the 
separator symbol will be appended.  Do you (or does anyone else) happen to 
know what the possible purpose of that would be?  Since it is a separator 
for the tag-value pairs, why put one first? And it surely seems hacky to 
do it only if the URL already ends in question mark, right?

So, we'll put these issues onto next week's telecon agenda.

John M. Boyer, Ph.D.
STSM, Interactive Documents and Web 2.0 Applications
Chair, W3C Forms Working Group
Workplace, Portal and Collaboration Software
IBM Victoria Software Lab
E-Mail: boyerj@ca.ibm.com 

Blog: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/blogs/page/JohnBoyer
Blog RSS feed: 

"Philip Fennell" <Philip.Fennell@bbc.co.uk>
12/10/2008 06:36 AM
xf:submission/@serialization="none" and GET request URLs


I recently encountered a problem with an AtomPub server; when it was
sent a request of the form:


the response should have been the AtomPub Service document. Instead it
returned an HTTP 400 status code because it didn't like the trailing ?
(question mark) character.

The ? got there because the Mozilla XForms plug-in put it on the end of
the GET request that was generated by an xf:submission:

<xf:submission id="retrieveService" mediatype="application/xml" 
    encoding="UTF-8" method="get" 
    replace="instance" instance="service">
  <xf:resource value="'http://localhost:8080/'"/>

<xf:instance id="service"/>

as per section 11.9.1 of the XForms 1.1 recommendation.

However, with nothing to serialize I was wondering whether the trailing
'?' was actually necessary.

I then had a look at the serialization attribute of xf:submission and it
occurred to me that an additional condition could be added to the URI
construction rules which stated that if serialization="none" then the ?
(question mark) was not to be appended to the URL as there was nothing
to serialize. This would clarify the construction of request URLs and
hopefully prevent the problem I described.


Philip Fennell
>XML Developer (The Forge)
>BBC Future Media & Technology
>Media Village, 201 Wood Lane London W12 7TP 
>BC4 C4, Broadcast Centre
>T:              0208 0085318

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Received on Thursday, 11 December 2008 19:04:56 UTC

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