Re: CGI and typing files by suffix

Rob McCool (
Thu, 30 Dec 1993 13:55:22 -0600

* Re: CGI and typing files by suffix by Tony Sanders (sanders@BSDI.COM)
* written on Dec 30, 2:17am.
* Of course, the servers do this because it's convenient.
* Someday I will fix Plexus so this is done "right" and the typing isn't
* wholy suffix dependent. I will probably end up keeping cache files
* in each directory that get updated automatically as needed. There is
* also the non-trivial issue of how to admin such a beast.


* Basically, typing by suffix is UNACCEPTABLE for the client end (though as
* NCSA Mosaic proved it can work ok for some stuff, that isn't the issue)
* but it's perfectly fine for the server to use this if it wants. The key
* is that there is nothing requiring the server to do so, it's mearly done
* as a matter of convenience on some OS's.

Certainly. I'd love to see MacHTTP use the typing information available from
the Mac filesystem to determine MIME type.

* I fail to see how:
* http://server/path/cmd;args
* Is really any clearer or better than:
* http://server/path/cmd/args
* The `;' scheme simply has too many drawbacks (namely you can't front-end
* existing directory hierarchies with scripts).

I would say that the drawback of doing multiple stats may outweigh this
particular benefit, however, I think the status quo is Not That Bad and in
fact is very powerful for a LOT of things.

* Using the execute bit, where available, is probably the best plan.

I don't know about that... I have a lot of stray x bits on my server... the
tech support when such a plan is adopted would be a nightmare. I don't think
magic names in config files is such a horrible rotten idea, (since the URL
is the domain of the server). I find the idea of making a new content-type
to determine script execution intriguing, since it would mean that if we
ever move away from filename extensions that scripts would be ``just another