[htdig] Re: authentication failure


Geoff Hutchison (ghutchis@wso.williams.edu)
Thu, 30 Sep 1999 13:29:23 -0400 (EDT)


On Thu, 30 Sep 1999, Frank Guangxin Liu wrote:

> Today I found htdig failed to index a site which requires no
> authentication. To narrow the problem, I set

It *doesn't* require authentication?

> Header line: Server: Microsoft-IIS/4.0

> it can index this site without a problem. Now it seems to
> me htdig may need to do another try if password failed
> by the server.

But you see, this is a server bug. My reading of the HTTP standard is that
it *can* send the authentication even if the URL doesn't require it. Most
servers don't seem to have a problem with this--they ignore the
Authentication header.

IIS apparently disagrees.

The problem with trying again w/o a password is that this would only work
for IIS servers. For everyone else, it would just be a redundant HTTP
connection.

It's a tricky situation. Technically, browsers send a request, then
realize they need the authentication, then send another response. This
would solve the problem, but for any site that needs authentication, it
would require twice as many HTTP connections. You might not notice for a
browser, but when indexing hundreds or thousands of URLs, it'll be a
performance hit.

-Geoff Hutchison
Williams Students Online
http://wso.williams.edu/

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0b3 on Thu Sep 30 1999 - 10:34:29 PDT