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Re: WebDAV, URL encoding and current Windows clients

From: Jim Luther <luther.j@apple.com>
Date: Thu, 9 Dec 2004 13:03:24 -0800
Message-Id: <1FBE6521-E9CD-4D71-A221-A632692A3DB5@apple.com>
Cc: Frank Lowney <frank.lowney@mac.com>
To: w3c-dist-auth@w3.org

The problem with the "+" character may be a FAT naming convention  
problem (for the FAT documentation, go to  
It says this about FAT short names:

> The following characters are not legal in any bytes of DIR_Name:
> *  Values less than 0x20 except for the special case of 0x05 in  
> DIR_Name[0] described above.
> *  0x22, 0x2A, 0x2B, 0x2C, 0x2E, 0x2F, 0x3A, 0x3B, 0x3C, 0x3D, 0x3E,  
> 0x3F, 0x5B, 0x5C, 0x5D, and 0x7C.

That includes the "+" character (0x2B). It also says this about FAT  
long names:

> The following six special characters are now allowed in a long name.   
> They are not legal in a short name.
> +   ,   ;   =   [   ]

So it could be something enforcing FAT short name character limitations.

Just a guess...

- Jim

On Dec 9, 2004, at 12:28 PM, Frank Lowney wrote:

> 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:
> http://vista.gsu.edu:8000/webct/webdav/ 
> +Georgia/Georgia+College+and+State+University/Documentation/Vista+3.0 
> +Documentation/Vista+3.0+Dox.01/Section+Content
> 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:
> http://www.w3.org/International/O-URL-code.html
> It provides some java classes that does URI encoding.
> 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 comment:
> "The space character ' ' is converted into a plus sign '+'."
> Others suggest that spaces should be encoded as %20 in order to be  
> valid.
> 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  
> connections
> http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;269681
> Error:
> 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§
> Cause:
> 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  
> Data\Microsoft folder.
> 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  
> directory.
> 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  
> Administrator privilege.
> 5) Log off the current user account and then log on the new account.
> Also, please perform the troubleshooting steps in the following  
> article: 287402 ˇ§Troubleshooting Web Foldersˇ¨
> http://support.microsoft.com/?id=287402
> A)  Replace the + signs with spaces.
> e.g.  
> http://test.webct.com/webct/webdav/ 
> Name/Test  
> Instituite
> 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 original one.
> 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  
> WINDOWS\ServicePackFiles\i386webfldrs.msi).  E.g. C:\WINNT\system32
> 2.  Start the installation with double-click or right-click ->  
> webfldrs.msi.
> 3.  Now you have to click on "Select reinstall mode".
> ·    Uncheck "Repair all detected reinstall problems".
> ·    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  frank.lowney@gcsu.edu
>     Director, Electronic Instructional Services, a unit of the
>     Office of Information and Instructional Technology,
>     Professional Pages: http://www.gcsu.edu/oiit/eis/
>     Personal Pages: http://www.faculty.de.gcsu.edu/~flowney
> 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  
> more accessible.
Received on Thursday, 9 December 2004 21:04:15 UTC

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