Bug 53454 - Default doHead implementation overrides 'Content-Length' header
Summary: Default doHead implementation overrides 'Content-Length' header
Alias: None
Product: Tomcat 6
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Servlet & JSP API (show other bugs)
Version: 6.0.29
Hardware: PC All
: P2 normal (vote)
Target Milestone: default
Assignee: Tomcat Developers Mailing List
Depends on:
Reported: 2012-06-22 15:33 UTC by Nikita Skvortsov
Modified: 2012-07-02 11:16 UTC (History)
0 users

Sampe app with sources (101.12 KB, application/octet-stream)
2012-06-22 15:33 UTC, Nikita Skvortsov

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Description Nikita Skvortsov 2012-06-22 15:33:22 UTC
Created attachment 28985 [details]
Sampe app with sources

If a client extends HttpServlet and desides to override doGet() method, resulting servlet can fail to correctly handle HEAD requests.

This will happen, if client chooses to set Content-Length manually (e.g., to allow content bigger than 2Gb):

  resp.setHeader("Content-Length", String.valueOf(12345678900L));

and only writes actual content if it is a GET request (e.g., because it is costly operation).

In such conditions, GET request will have correct "Content-Length" header, but HEAD requset will have "Content-Length" header with value 0. 

Sample project with sources is attached
Comment 1 Christopher Schultz 2012-06-25 17:12:23 UTC
This is actually caused by the servlet API classes which are not a part of Tomcat. Looking at servlet-api-2.5.jar, you can see this implementation of HttpServlet.doHead:

protected void doHead(javax.servlet.http.HttpServletRequest, javax.servlet.http.HttpServletResponse)   throws javax.servlet.ServletException, java.io.IOException;
   0:   new     #11; //class javax/servlet/http/NoBodyResponse
   3:   dup
   4:   aload_2
   5:   invokespecial   #12; //Method javax/servlet/http/NoBodyResponse."<init>":(Ljavax/servlet/http/HttpServletResponse;)V
   8:   astore_3
   9:   aload_0
   10:  aload_1
   11:  aload_3
   12:  invokevirtual   #13; //Method doGet:(Ljavax/servlet/http/HttpServletRequest;Ljavax/servlet/http/HttpServletResponse;)V
   15:  aload_3
   16:  invokevirtual   #14; //Method javax/servlet/http/NoBodyResponse.setContentLength:()V
   19:  return

That's roughly this Java code:

    protected void doHead(HttpServletRequest req, HttpServletResponse resp)
        throws ServletException, IOException
        NoBodyResponse response = new NoBodyResponse(resp);
        doGet(req, response);

The NoBodyResponse class is a package-protected class whose setContentLength method looks like this:

void setContentLength();
   0:   aload_0
   1:   getfield        #5; //Field didSetContentLength:Z
   4:   ifne    18
   7:   aload_0
   8:   aload_0
   9:   getfield        #4; //Field noBody:Ljavax/servlet/http/NoBodyOutputStream;
   12:  invokevirtual   #6; //Method javax/servlet/http/NoBodyOutputStream.getContentLength:()I
   15:  invokespecial   #7; //Method javax/servlet/http/HttpServletResponseWrapper.setContentLength:(I)V
   18:  return

That's roughly this Java code:

    void setContentLength()

The field didSetContentLength is only set here:

public void setContentLength(int);
   0:   aload_0
   1:   iload_1
   2:   invokespecial   #7; //Method javax/servlet/http/HttpServletResponseWrapp
   5:   aload_0
   6:   iconst_1
   7:   putfield        #5; //Field didSetContentLength:Z
   10:  return

Which is this:

    public void setContentLength(int len)
        didSetContentLength = true;

So, since you are not calling setContentLength(int), your Content-Length header is being clobbered by the servlet API itself.

Try this instead:

    resp.setHeader("Content-Length", String.valueOf(12345678900L));

I think that will get you around this particular oversight in the API classes.
Comment 2 Mark Thomas 2012-06-25 17:56:38 UTC
It is Tomcat's implementation of the Servlet API so this is a Tomcat bug.
Comment 3 Nikita Skvortsov 2012-06-27 08:52:20 UTC

Thank you for provided workaround. I will use it. Still, I agree with Mark, that it is Tomcat's implementation of API, and it violates API specification in part of doGet() override 

http://docs.oracle.com/javaee/5/api/javax/servlet/http/HttpServlet.html#doGet(javax.servlet.http.HttpServletRequest, javax.servlet.http.HttpServletResponse)
Comment 4 Christopher Schultz 2012-06-27 17:38:19 UTC
(In reply to comment #2)
> It is Tomcat's implementation of the Servlet API so this is a Tomcat bug.

Oh, I didn't realize that the servlet-api.jar that ships with Tomcat wasn't directly from Oracle. Obviously, Content-Length can be set in ways other than calling setContentLength (and, in fact, must be when the Content-Length exceeds 2^31-1).
Comment 5 Mark Thomas 2012-06-28 08:57:54 UTC
Fixed in trunk and 7.0.x and will be included in 7.0.29 onwards.

Proposed for 6.0.x.
Comment 6 Mark Thomas 2012-07-02 11:16:40 UTC
Fixed in 6.0.x and will be included in 6.0.36 onwards.