Re: URL ambiguity

Rob McCool (
Mon, 20 Sep 1993 10:48:07 -0500

* URL ambiguity by Kevin Altis (
* written on Sep 17, 2:43pm.
* The following URL illustrates a problem with some Web servers and clients.

<example deleted>

* So a few questions come to mind. Do other servers have this same problem?
* Should servers always require an explicit URL and not allow default
* behavior such as displaying the file "index.html"? Should the URL syntax
* require a "/" at the end of a directory name?

I'm not sure if we should require a trailing slash, but the problem remains
that the slash has to get in the client somehow before the client requests
a relative file.

One solution is to use the protocol's 300 directives to redirect the client
to the version with a slash on the end. However, this requires a client
who pays attention to them in order to be seamless, if not, then the user
will get a message saying "This document has moved here" where the here
is a link to the directory with a / appended. Current versions of Mosaic do
not support the 300 directives, but Marc just put it in so future ones will.
HTTPD 1.0a2 (you haven't seen it yet) supports returning 300 directives,
perhaps I will also modify the indexing code if it seems worthwhile to
everyone else.


Rob McCool, 
Software Development Group, National Center for Supercomputing Applications
It was working ten minutes ago, I swear...
Real sig <A HREF="">here</B></A>