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[libmicrohttpd] Post Processing With Spaces

From: Kenneth Mastro
Subject: [libmicrohttpd] Post Processing With Spaces
Date: Wed, 17 Sep 2014 08:44:36 -0400


I'm using MHD's post-processor to process form data and several AJAX requests.  I have noticed that when the encoding is 'application/x-www-form-urlencoded', strings with spaces contain a '+' sign instead of the spaces.

For form data, if I explicitly set the encoding to 'multipart/form-data', the strings are parsed properly and there are no '+'s, which is how I've been getting around the problem (I assumed I was doing something wrong and haven't had time to dig into it).  However, this isn't working for my AJAX requests - setting the encoding to 'multipart/form-data' breaks things in ways I haven't fully investigated, yet.  I consider that a hack anyway, so I don't really want to pursue it.  I need to figure out why 'application/x-www-form-urlencoded' isn't working for me.

In looking at the 'Content-Type' the server is receiving for the AJAX requests, it is 'application/x-www-form-urlencoded; charset=UTF-8'.  I thought the charset might be causing an issue, but I'm having trouble getting jQuery to not use UTF-8.  From the jQuery ajax page: "The W3C XMLHttpRequest specification dictates that the charset is always UTF-8; specifying another charset will not force the browser to change the encoding."  I.e., I'm stuck with UTF-8 because it's the standard, which I'm fine with.  Regardless, MHD successfully creates the post processor, so it's seeing the actual base encoding (this works because it only compares the first chunk of chars of the content type - essentially ignoring the charset part).

MHD does not seem to provide an option for REPLACING a header (i.e., using MHD_set_connection_value only ADDS a header - it won't replace the existing Content-Type header), so even if I actually could be sure the data was ASCII, I can't fix this in the server without doing my own POST processing.  I doubt that would work anyway unless I could get the web page / browser to not do UTF-8 somehow.  (Although I think ASCII is a subset of UTF-8, maybe there are differences even in those low-numbered characters I'm not aware of?)

Anyway - In short - my question is: Is the MHD post processor just failing on 'application/x-www-form-urlencoded' data?  I.e., it's not parsing out the +'s when it should?  Or, does MHD not work with UTF-8 encoded data (despite the all the characters being in the ASCII range) and I need to do my own POST processing?  Or, does this actually work and I'm just doing something wrong?

Thanks much,

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