[jcifs] Character Set discussions

Glass, Eric eric.glass at capitalone.com
Fri Feb 7 22:15:20 EST 2003

> 	However despite our recent discussion of HTTP and it's 
> handling of HTTP URLs, let's
> 	not forget that SMB is not HTTP and these SMB URLs will 
> not be submitted in GET
> 	requests (not directly). It's the HTTP transport that 
> is requiring normalization to
> 	ASCII. If (when) the browsers support the SMB URL they 
> will use the local CIFS
> 	client directly which again does not require escaping. 
> Therefore I do not believe the
> 	jCIFS package should be encoding/decoding or 
> escaping/unescaping Unicode
> 	characters in SMB URLs (if that's something being 
> suggested; don't know).

jCIFS would probably never need to escape characters for representation; if
I give it a Java string with unescaped characters, i.e.:


you would just handle it directly.  jCIFS (and other clients) may need to
UNescape characters, however; if you are given:


that is a valid URL, and should work.  This would be especially important
for browsers supporting SMB.  If I load an HTML page containing an SMB URL

<a href="smb://svr/slovak/môžem/jesť/sklo/nezraní/ma.zip">Check out my
sweet slovak zip file</a>

that is currently illegal (this is one of the cases addressed by the IRI);
the proper way to represent this is:

heck out my sweet slovak zip file</a>

For historical reasons, the HTTP URL does not specify that the %HH%HHs MUST
represent UTF-8 encoded characters.  It is the recommended practice,
however.  RFC 2718 recommends that new URL schemes (such as SMB) adopt UTF-8
as the standard encoding in cases such as this, unless there is some
compelling reason to do otherwise.

The only implication for jCIFS would be that if I choose to give you:


You would unescape the %HHs and interpret the result as UTF-8.  In Java 1.4,
the java.net.URI class will do this for you automatically; I can do:

URI uri = new

and get the properly decoded components from the URI object.  It is
interesting to note that the java.net.URI class deviates from RFC 2396 in
that it MANDATES the UTF-8 encoding recommendation; if a URL scheme did have
a compelling reason to use an encoding other than UTF-8, such a URI would be
unusable with the java.net.URI class.

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