Re: Semicolon's for all

John Franks (
Sat, 1 Jan 1994 20:28:56 -0600 (CST)

According to Rob McCool:
> Anyway, in a later message, John Franks pointed out something interesting,
> and I just went back and verified it. The current speicifcation says nothing
> about how you're supposed to get the path information, it just says that the
> information comes at the end of the path. Therefore, a server author like
> John could conceivably decide to impose the restriction that path
> information must start with a ; when accessing a script under GN and still
> be fully compliant to CGI/1.0.
> It would disappoint me to have GN act in a very different fashion than other
> servers since the entire point of this exercise was to make a unified
> gateway interface, however, as I've argued in the past, the URL after the
> third slash is the server's business. Therefore, if he wants to do that, he
> is within the specification to do so.

My only interest in implementing CGI is to make scripts written for
other servers usable with gn. It would be silly to do an
implementation which wouldn't achieve that. What I was referring to was
something like requiring that for gn in the "path/cmd/args" part of
the URL the "cmd" must end in a ';'. Thus a URL would look like


Any other semi-colons would have to be URL encoded. The PATH_INFO
would be "/foo3" and SCRIPT_NAME would be "/foo1/foo2;". Of course, the
filesystem name would be "/data_root/foo1/foo2". This
is CGI compliant and I think it would work with all the scripts which
work under NCSA httpd. This syntax shouldn't disappoint Rob, but it
disappoints me. I am still trying to think of a better way.

John Franks Dept of Math. Northwestern University