[Mongrel] HTTP parse error due to an extra percent sign

James Tucker jftucker at gmail.com
Fri Jan 9 07:29:59 EST 2009

On 8 Jan 2009, at 17:51, Jonathan Rochkind wrote:

> We have contracts with literally hundreds of such providers.

Most of which do the right thing.

> This one provider in particular that sends the bad URL is a  
> particular large company (EBSCO), with billions of dollars in  
> revenue, and thousands of customers of which we are just one.

It should generally take one, or a handful of lines of code to  
properly escape urls. It sounds like they can definitely afford to do  

> Most of their other customers are not using mongrel-fronted (or  
> Rails at all) solutions for OpenURL link resolving; the solutions  
> they are using manage to deal with the faulty URLs.

There are plenty of stories of how mongrels conformance to the RFC has  
raised similar concerns. Indeed this happened with Google too. Some of  
the stories can be found on Zeds blog. AFAIK, Google fixed their stuff.

>  Now ours does too, with some ugly apache/perl hacking in front of  
> mongrel.

As David said, your solution is a valid one. Changing mongrel is not.

> I complained both privately and publically about this. But the world  
> is not always as we would like it, and sometimes our software needs  
> to deal with incoming data that is not standards compliant, just the  
> way it is.

Understood, nonetheless, you should keep trying, as we all should, to  
improve this world.

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