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Encoded parentheses are needed to pass a regular expression in a url.

If you do a WebSearch with (bla): https://develop.twiki.org/do/view/Bugs/WebSearch?search=%28bla%29 the search string is properly encoded (check search box and url).

But when you write %ENCODE{"(bla)" type="url"}% the parentheses are not encoded. If you pass a url with parentheses to a websearch you won't get the same results. The search is effectively broken.


   * %ENCODE{"(text with spaces and parentheses)" type="entity"}%
   * %ENCODE{"(text with spaces and parentheses)" type="html"}%
   * %ENCODE{"(text with spaces and parentheses)" type="url"}%
   * %ENCODE{"(text with spaces and parentheses)"}%

results in:

  • (text with spaces and parentheses)
  • (text with spaces and parentheses)
  • (text%20with%20spaces%20and%20parentheses)
  • (text%20with%20spaces%20and%20parentheses)

The code doc at TWiki.pm->urlEncode says:

...Only alphanumerics [0-9a-zA-Z], the special characters $-_.+!*'(), and reserved characters used for their reserved purposes may be used unencoded within a URL.

The fix looks easy: change

    $text =~ s/([^0-9a-zA-Z-_.:~!*'()\/%])/'%'.sprintf('%02x',ord($1))/ge;


    $text =~ s/([^0-9a-zA-Z-_.:~!*'\/%])/'%'.sprintf('%02x',ord($1))/ge;

After the change the test above will print:

  • (text with spaces and parentheses)
  • (text with spaces and parentheses)
  • %28text%20with%20spaces%20and%20parentheses%29
  • %28text%20with%20spaces%20and%20parentheses%29

-- AC

That doesn't sound right at all. The purpose of encoding is to stop an illegal URL being generated, but () are legal in a URL so don't have to be encoded. The text of that comment in TWiki.pm was taken verbatim from the spec of URLs.

Are you trying to use ENCODE for a purpose for which it wasn't intended? Can you please explain the use-case?


Hmm, my examples here work ok:

I must be doing something wrong. Setting to discarded for now.


Summary ENCODE does not encode parentheses
ReportedBy TWiki:Main.ArthurClemens

SVN Range TWiki-4.1, Tue, 28 Nov 2006, build 12081
AppliesTo Engine

Priority Urgent
CurrentState No Action Required


TargetRelease n/a
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Topic revision: r4 - 2006-12-14 - ArthurClemens
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