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Password protected .mac websites are case sensitive Internet
I recently volunteered to update the website for my son's school. In order to beta test the site, I decided to use my .mac account to create a password protected web site. Addresses for .mac accounts use a URL similar to "". My username is formed as firstname_lastname, all in lower case. When I spoke to the school secretary to give her the URL and password, she asked if capitalization mattered. I told her that capitalization was important for the password, but that URLs are case insensitive. This is only partially true.

It appears that if you create a password protected site using .mac, capitalization of the username portion of the URL is important. When a user accesses a password protected .mac website they are presented with a web page that requests only the password. The username is parsed from the URL and is used for authentication. If the username portion of the URL is incorrectly capitalized, authentication will fail.

If someone accessing a password protected .mac website incorrectly capitalizes the username, the only way to get into the website is to purge the history list (this is the behavior in both IE and Safari) then provide the correctly capitalized URL.

[robg adds: I tested this with a password protected page on my site, and it's definitely true -- if my name is incorrectly capitalized, authentication fails...]
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Password protected .mac websites are case sensitive | 8 comments | Create New Account
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Password protected .mac websites are case sensitive
Authored by: filburt1 on Feb 28, '03 11:00:37AM

Note that virtually any site that uses .htacess or other Apache means of password protection is always case-sensitive.

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Password protected .mac websites are case sensitive
Authored by: robg on Feb 28, '03 07:29:37PM

I think what confuses people (myself included) is that they are case insensitive if not protected. Enter whatever you want to get to the root of my site, but if you want into the protected folder, the whole path better be cased properly. I know it makes sense, but it's not necessarily intuitive...


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URLs are generally case-sensitive
Authored by: hayne on Feb 28, '03 11:00:57AM

This is far from being an exceptional case. In general URLs are case
sensitive. The only part of a URL which is case insensitive is the name of
the machine - which is the part after the double slash and before the
next slash.
E.g. the URL at the top of the screen as I type this is:
The "" is the name of the server machine and is
case insensitive. The rest of the URL is case sensitive.
And this is nothing to do with the special nature of macosxhints where
the pages are generated dynamically. It is true of all URLs - even for
static HTML pages. The reason is that the part following the machine
name in the URL is (more or less) the name of a file, so the URL will be
case sensitive if filenames are case sensitive on the server machine.
It is possible for a webmaster (e.g. with Apache) to make it so the web
server handles URLs in any case, but this is not the default and it incurs
a performance penalty so most don't do this.

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URLs are generally case-sensitive
Authored by: nvdingo on Feb 28, '03 02:10:39PM

There are two ways (i think) around the case sensitivity of the entire URL
install and configure mod_speling for apache, which as the docs on the apache site say:
This module addresses this problem by trying to find a matching document, even after all other modules gave up. It does its work by comparing each document name in the requested directory against the requested document name without regard to case, and allowing up to one misspelling (character insertion / omission / transposition or wrong character).

end quote:

or by using an IIS server, which seems to be case insensitive, which causes me NO END OF HEADACHES when i move a site from an IIS server to my apache server. (lazy web designers.)

on a related rant, it's just *nifty* when they reference the same image from their web pages as Image.Jpg, IMAGE.JPG, image.jpg,IMage.jpg when the file is named image.jpg because they have NO SENSE OF FORMATTING

thank Larry wall for my saviour `perl -p -i -e "s/find/replace/g" *`
which will find some text or RegExp and replace it with some text or output RegExp in a group of files *
end rant, thank you

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URLs are generally case-sensitive
Authored by: jr_nym on Mar 03, '03 02:43:32PM

You would think that after 20 years of writing code that I would have tested (i.e., proofread) my text before publishing. Rather than saying "URLs are case insensitive" (implying that all URLs are case insensitive) I meant to write "the URL is case insensitive" (impying that only this URL is case insensitive). I discovered this fact when I accidently mis-capitalized the address to that web site before it was protected. Sorry for the confusion.

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Custom sites can be protected?
Authored by: jjgb on Feb 28, '03 05:34:53PM

What I really wonder is how did you manage to protect a custom site. When I create a protected site in .mac, I can't add my own HTML pages to the new folder (the folder is write-protected), I must use Homepage to create the pages.

Is there a workaround?

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Password protected .mac websites are case sensitive
Authored by: mistercow on Feb 28, '03 05:54:22PM

It actually is a somewhat exceptional case. UNIX servers are almost always case sensitive. NT servers, and maybe some others, aren't necessarily case sensitive for any of the URL.

For example, if you go to (only as an example of an NT server. I swear, I don't use for any other reason) and dig for a page whose file name you can see, you can change the case of the file name, and it still loads fine.

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Password protected .mac websites are case sensitive
Authored by: dasimms on Mar 05, '03 05:50:37PM

I think the domain name portion of a URL is not case sensitive (so, and Apple.Com are all the same). Anything after the domain name in a URL is subject to OS-level case sensitivity.

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