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URL POST parameters syntax question

Posted on 2007-11-30
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Last Modified: 2010-04-21
I send out emails with URLs to my clients' invoices, of the form
domain.com/invoice.php?i=123&k=456
(where k is a sort of password key)
out of several hundred clients, only one has reported a problem.
it seems that his mailreader (on a mac) is making (and displaying) the link to show
the ampersand &   as the html character code   &

and thus what he sees and clicks on is

domain.com/invoice.php?i=123&k=456

my question is:   is there a way to be fault tolerant on my end, and accept either format
for the "k"  parameters,   i.e., have the parameter literally named
amp;k

or somehow access the URL used and parse it manually (without using the benefit of $_POST )
since it does successfully open my PHP page, but the k parameter is blank

p.s.   i could just combine into one parameter, but there are other constraints and pages that i'd have to change;   thus exploring   if there's a trick that would be easier to implement

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Question by:willsherwood
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11 Comments
 
LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:nplib
ID: 20383599
to retrieve the values from this url
domain.com/invoice.php?i=123&k=456
you have to use $_GET not POST
or to make it universal use $_RESULTS then it works with both get and post.
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Author Comment

by:willsherwood
ID: 20383781
yes of course, that URL works fine.

but as explained, the semicolon gets in the way, which is my question.

sorry if i wasn't clear
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by:nplib
ID: 20383803
no, you need to fix it so it doens't display it as &

post the code that creates the link.
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Author Comment

by:willsherwood
ID: 20383869
sorry i wasn't clear.
for some 500 clients it appears and functions correctly.
for one (only) client,
his email reader on a mac is somehow set to show the html code somehow.
i'm wanting to be fault tolerant for a case like that.

thus i'm specifically seeking the answer to the question:
can the variable name include ";"
or another work-around would be to
read the URL as entered and manually parse it.
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Expert Comment

by:nplib
ID: 20383900
yeah, but the ; will always break it.
even if you were to try something like
if (!$_GET['k']) {
    $value = $_GET['amp;'];
} else {
   $value = $_GET['k'];
}

the ; will cause all kinds of troubles, best bet if to fix it at the source.
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Author Comment

by:willsherwood
ID: 20383986
so there's no way to retrieve the URL that was used and parse it?
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Assisted Solution

by:nplib
nplib earned 150 total points
ID: 20384001
not if it shows up like that.
but it should be to hard to fix the problem at the source, just post the code and lets have a look see.
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Accepted Solution

by:
b0lsc0tt earned 250 total points
ID: 20384124
willsherwood,

You would have to get the complete querystring and process it manually.  Since the html entity & uses the ampersand character it causes a problem when you try to "read" it from the URL.  That is a reserved character.  The best fix would be to figure out if there is a way to prevent that one email client from messing it up. :)

To have PHP get the complete querystring try ...

$_SERVER["QUERY_STRING"]

Let me know if you have any questions or need more information.

b0lsc0tt
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Assisted Solution

by:Steve Bink
Steve Bink earned 100 total points
ID: 20386208
In PHP, you could go through the entire querystring and replace any instance of "&" with "&".  That would resolve the problem in this specific instance, but it would also mean you could not use "&" in any part of the querystring as actual data.
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Author Closing Comment

by:willsherwood
ID: 31411965
thanks to all!
QUERY_STRING was the key
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LVL 54

Expert Comment

by:b0lsc0tt
ID: 20445776
Your welcome!  I'm glad I could help.  This was an interesting question.  Thanks for it and the grade and points.

bol
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