[ic] removing .../cgi-bin/catname/... from URLs

Jon Jensen jon at endpoint.com
Thu Dec 14 00:54:06 EST 2006

On Wed, 13 Dec 2006, Peter wrote:

>> I've verified that Catalog definition indeed has the format:
>> Catalog  mycat  /home/someuser/catalogs/mycat  /cgi-bin/mycat  /
>> yet IC is still including the .../cgi-bin/mycat/... in the URLs. I
>> restarted IC just for kicks yet still no luck. Can you suggest a way to
>> troubleshoot?
>> I've noticed that the misbehaving store has a CGI_URL defined in the
>> Prefernces tab of the Admin GUI, but the behaving store does not. Could
>> this be the cause?
> Indirectly, yes.  Look for VendURL and SecureURL in catalog.cfg.


I need to explain my earlier reply better. What Peter says about VendURL 
is in general correct. However, when you have any URL prefix aliases 
defined for the catalog, if a request comes in through one of them, that 
will override VendURL for all future URLs written by [area] etc. The 
manual explains this:


So my example only makes sense if taken in the context of an Apache setup 
for making pretty catalog URLs, such as this:

     ScriptAlias /cgi-bin/ /path/to/your/cgi-bin/dir/
     RewriteEngine on
     RewriteRule ^/store/(.*) /cgi-bin/standard/$1 [PT,L]

Then you'd set up interchange.cfg like this:

     Catalog  standard  /path/to/catalogs/standard  /cgi-bin/standard  /store

Thus, users would go to this URL to enter the site:


But Interchange would see you coming in through:


because of the Apache RewriteRule.

The first URL prefix is considered the "main" one, not an alias, and does 
not take over URL generation as an alias does, so the Catalog definition 
above doesn't lead to aliases URL generation; it just stays normal.

But in the end it turns out that the /store alias I showed in my example 
isn't even necessary; Interchange never uses it or needs it to find the 
catalog, because it's seeing /cgi-bin/standard as the path prefix after 
URL rewriting.

So, to sum up, I think your problem may be fixed with this Catalog 

     Catalog  mycat  /home/someuser/catalogs/mycat  /

assuming you have in Apache something like:

     RewriteRule ^/(.*) /cgi-bin/mycat/$1 [PT,L]

Though to take over the whole URL space like that, you'd need to have some 
previous RewriteRules that would make exceptions to statically serve 
images, CSS, JavaScript, robots.txt, favicon.ico, etc. directly from 
Apache, not passing them to Interchange.

You'll get a lot more wasted requests passed through to Interchange by 
hostile bots, etc., which wouldn't be if you use a prefix like /store/ or 
/ic/ or /app/ or something like that. You can still make the home page use 
the root URL http://your.domain/ with another RewriteRule like:

     RewriteRule ^/(index.html?)?$ /cgi-bin/standard/index [PT,L]


Jon Jensen
End Point Corporation

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