Field separators

Martin Atkins mart at
Mon Jun 6 01:39:13 PDT 2005

Brad Fitzpatrick wrote:
> You'll hear every debate.  Some people will say text/line-based protocol
> is easiest.  Some will want x-www-form-urlencoded encoding, and some will
> actually prefer XML, as it's built into their language/envifornemnt.
> I'd say in the interest of consistency we go with x-www-form-urlencoded.
> It's not that hard to parse, and it's usually possible to coerce a web
> framework's API to do most the heavy lifting of decoding it anyway.

It's quite possible that I've missed something somewhere along the line,
but I feel it's a good idea to point out that form-urlencoded doesn't
enforce a parameter order, and the recieving end will need to know the
parameter order so that it can check the hash.

LID had the convention that the parameters would be listed in
alphabetical order, but they also had some tricky thing where you had to
take a subset of the query string. Fortunately with a double-escaped
query string the bit to be checked is obvious, but in case it matters it
shouldn't be assumed that all "web frameworks" will allow the caller to
keep the parameter order.

Of course, I'm probably just missing where this doesn't matter, as I
must confess that I've only really been skimming this discussion.

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