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Domino Does Not Normalize Multiple Sequential Escape Characters in a URL

Category Software Development

OK...  this one bit me today.  We are undergoing a migration of servers from 5.x to 6.5.1.  Our internal web server has been running fine.  But today, a user called and said that a document that had Word attachments was returning an HTTP error 400 when clicking on the attachments.  Two of the attachments were fine, but the other three were in error.  And it worked in R5 but not now.  What's the problem?

During some troubleshooting, a stray random thought hit me and I figured it out.  The failing Word attachments all had percent signs in their names.  When I changed the name of the document and reattached it, all was fine.  I then went looking in the Knowledgebase to figure out *why* it worked before and not now.  This is the answer...

Domino Does Not Normalize Multiple Sequential Escape Characters in a URL

Document Number:  1107117


You have an application that is coded to use URLs that contain multiple escape characters in order to represent their ASCII or UTF8 equivalent, as in this example:


With Lotus Domino R5 this works as desired and displays the text file indicated in the URL.  When executed on a Domino 6 server, these URLs no longer work but return the following error message:

"Error 400 Reason: HTTP Request contains a malformed escape sequence."


This issue was reported to Lotus software Quality Engineering and has been addressed in Domino 6.0.3 with the addition of the NOTES.INI parameter HTTPAllowDecodedUrlPercent=1.  Add this parameter to the server's NOTES.INI file to avoid the error.

To work around the issue in earlier releases, do not use multiply encoded escape character sequences; special characters should be singly encoded instead.


Gravatar Image1 - I have the same problem: As a single user, I can attach such file%20names but cannot download it. what can I do to download such files? Does Domino supports another way to encode a percent sign in URL?

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Thomas "Duffbert" Duff

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