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Re: [PATCH] http-backend: treat empty CONTENT_LENGTH as zero

Junio C Hamano wrote:
> Jonathan Nieder <jrnieder@xxxxxxxxx> writes:

>> RFC 3875 (the CGI specification) explains:
>>    The CONTENT_LENGTH variable contains the size of the message-body
>>    attached to the request, if any, in decimal number of octets.  If no
>>    data is attached, then NULL (or unset).
>> But that specification was written before HTTP/1.1 and chunked
>> encoding.
> RFC 3875 is from October 2004, while RFC 2616 (HTTP/1.1) is from
> June 1999; I presume that 3875 only writes down what has already
> been an established practice and that is where the date discrepancy
> comes from.

Yes, CGI 1.1 is from 1995.  More details are at

>> Fortunately, there's a way out.  Use the HTTP_TRANSFER_ENCODING
>> environment variable to distinguish the two cases.
> Cute.
> I'm anxious to learn how well this works in practice. Or is this a
> trick you know somebody else's system already uses (in which case,
> that's wonderful)?

Alas, I came up with it today so I don't know yet how well it will
work in practice.

I can poke around a little tomorrow in Apache to sanity-check the
approach.  Results from anyone able to test using various HTTP servers
(lighttpd, etc) would also be very welcome.