Host Default-Page Precedence


0.01 2008-08-28 -17:27 -0700 (pst)

Each IIS server is configured to resolve direct references to folders by searching for a default page within the folder.  With IIS, the search order is controlled separately for each subweb, and each can have its own default-page precedence rules.

The Compagno configuration  for development of Centrale sites is hosted on IIS 5.1 under Microsoft Windows XP Pro.  Each site-development subweb can be adjusted so that access on Compagno matches the host-service default-page behavior.  That leaves open the question of what an individual hosting service provides.

To test the hosting service, typically also an IIS server, I upload a set of potential default pages and see which one is served up.  Then I delete that one and see what comes to the top next.  That's the drill.  Eventually I will be left with a set of pages that are not recognized as defaults and cannot be used.  I will, however, have established what the server response for access to the index of a directory is.

1. Determining Precedence
2. Precedence Convention
3. Missing-Default Treatment
4. Open Questions

1. Determining Precedence

This section has the following potential default pages:

The actual precedence on the hosting site was determined by uploading a full set of self-identifying versions for each page.  A browser was directed to the URL of the directory to see which page is presented by default.  Each time the browser presented a given file, it was deleted on the server and the URL refreshed in the browser.  This was done until the server no longer provided a default page.  In the above list, #1 has precedence over all other default candidates, whether or not they are present.  Likewise, #5 will only be presented if no other default is available.

In the absence of a default page, the server presents the following message for this directory:

    Directory Listing Denied

    This Virtual Directory does not allow contents to be listed.

2. Precedence Convention

Based on the precedence already provided at the hosting site, the development-site precedence was altered to match.  This description is updated to reflect that precedence and to also be useful in detecting that hosting-site precedence has not changed.

In addition, the following conventions are used for all pages anchored on nfoCentrale:

3. Missing-Default Treatment

The Centrale web sites do not allow access to directories that have no default page.  Instead, the server presents an error page.  

It is the practice with this site to never provide such an error message for normal Web requests.  Instead, there is always a default page in every reachable section.  That page might present an HTTP error condition, or it might make a default presentation.  A default-page announcement about the inaccessibility of content is usually provided using an index.htm page.

4. Open Questions

Although the use of this default scheme is sufficient for providing two or three levels of access to default pages, there are additional questions that remain to be resolved:

0.01 2003-12-13 Create Centrale analysis of default rules applicable for hosting (orcmid)
This page is derived from version 0.00 and used to identify the search order of the host used to anchor Orcmid's Lair and other sites.
0.00 2003-04-20 Report initially-determined precedence for Software Engineering Group Project (orcmid)
The Group3 Project site for KIT eLearning module MSC-SE-030320-02 was implemented on the server.   Determining the search order and matching it on my development configuration was important for the creation of a scaffolding structure where the scaffolding of a web presence site was never removed..
Hard Hat Area You are navigating Orcmid's Lair

created 2003-12-13-15:14 -0800 (pst) by orcmid
$$Author: Orcmid $
$$Date: 13-08-22 13:02 $
$$Revision: 29 $