question mark url encoding causes errors

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I think this is an Apache issue, but I'm using php pages on an Apache

The problem is that when a url such as:

is url encoded to:

then it appears that Apache is not seeing the %3F as a ? parameter marker,
but rather as the first character of a filename (but in an encoded form).

So, if I create a file called ?.php and then use the url:

the actual file called ?.php is called.

What do I do to stop this?

Re: question mark url encoding causes errors

Joe Butler wrote:

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Stop urlencode()ing the whole URL, and onlt urlencode() the parameter name
and the parameter value.

Iván Sánchez Ortega -ivansanchez-algarroba-escomposlinux-punto-org-

En política, no saber hacer nada no es mayor problema.

Re: question mark url encoding causes errors

Joe Butler escribió:
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That's the whole point of it all. You use "?" to start the parameters
and you use "%3F" when you have a parameter that has a "?" inside.

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Correct. Otherwise, the file would be impossible to load.

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It depends on how you got there :)

-- - Álvaro G. Vicario - Burgos, Spain
-- Mi sitio sobre programación web:
-- Mi web de humor al baño María:

Re: question mark url encoding causes errors

Thank you Ivan and Alaro both for the reply.  It clarified it when it was
pointed out that the URL encoding's purpose was to allow for characters such
as the ? to be interpreted as a filename character and not a special marker.

For the record:
From what you have said, it turns out there is no problem at my end
afterall, but caused by an unknown client attempting to connect to a
specific page.

I posted the 'problem' because I was seeing 404 errors in my logs.  And the
file that was being asked for was a new page that is also the landing page
of a new Google Ads campain that I started.  It turns out that the ad is not
encoding the URL, as is correct - I clicked my own ad and it landed on the
right page.  I think that Google may be sending a 'cloaked' bot to my site -
but for some reason the bot is using an encoded URL as if it is a filename
(the URL I specified in the ad is not encoded, nor are any links that I give
on my site).  Also, normal search results at Google are not url encoded

I guess I can probably do some sort of rewrite rule to rewrite %3F into a
true ? character, since I don't and wouldn't use such a character in filname
or parameter.  Or failing that, some sort of redirect or as a final idea,
just a hard-coded file with the unencoded filename.  But, first, I guess I
need to find out what the purpose of that bot is, and also if it's
delibarately encoding the URL for a reason or if it's just a bug in the bot.


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