Re: CGI and typing files by suffix (Rob McCool)
Message-id: <>
From: (Rob McCool)
Date: Thu, 30 Dec 1993 14:06:35 -0600
In-Reply-To: Tony Sanders <sanders@BSDI.COM>
       "Re: CGI and typing files by suffix" (Dec 30, 11:30am)
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To: Tony Sanders <sanders@BSDI.COM>,
Subject: Re: CGI and typing files by suffix
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 * Re: CGI and typing files by suffix  by Tony Sanders (sanders@BSDI.COM)
 *    written on Dec 30, 11:30am.
 * > Does Plexus parse the URL by doing stats through the file system to
 * > find out where the "path/cmd" ends and the "args" begin?  I find this
 * Plexus has an associative array:
 * 	map /man &do_man($top, $rest, $query)
 * So it just looks it up in the table and eval()'s it's contents.  Having
 * a fixed table of allowed scripts has it's features (security) and drawbacks
 * (manual updates).  However, I don't add scripts every day so I haven't
 * found it to be a problem myself.

As I'm reading it, this would be equivalent to assuming that ScriptAlias
always pointed to a script... 

 * Let's say I currently have the URLs:
 * 	http://server/man/1/ls
 * 	http://server/man/1/cat
 * 	...
 * Now, let's say I want to change this so that instead of a bunch of files
 * in the man directory I want to convert `man' to be a script (maybe I want
 * to generate the html on the fly, maybe I want to WAIS all the data and
 * provide a search engine as well as a browsing engine).  With the ';' scheme
 * I would have to change all the URLs in the world that point to my data to
 * read "http://server/man;html1/ls" (many of which I do not own or even know
 * about).  

Speaking as one of the people that has to figure out how to reduce the load
on, there are often a LOT of links you don't know about.
 * This is not acceptable.  This is a real-life situation, I have
 * done this and I know several other people who have done it (converted
 * a directory hierarchy to use a search gateway).
 * The only advantage to ';' is that it's a little easier to parse.  This
 * isn't a significant enough advancement that it's worth breaking the
 * script/non-script symmetry.

I agree. I also would agree that I could have been a little more sensible in
my implementation of extra path info in NCSA httpd, to make the required
number of stats average 1 instead of 3-4. However, this is something I
feel can be fixed in the current protocol and does not require a new one.