[Catalyst] Paging thru a complex POSTed search -- HOWTO?

Stuart Watt swatt at infobal.com
Wed Jun 2 18:23:39 GMT 2010

Actually, I'll elaborate our more detailed solution.

1. We don't actually use POST requests for search, but our GET requests =

have many fields and strange Dojo magic
2. We serialize the query with its many fields, using a bit of =

compression on the URI query string, and base 64 encoding, into a =

relatively opaque and relatively short token
3. This string is used by our search request handler, which unpacks the =

string and allows a pageable search by merging in a few additional =

fields (_page and _page_size) which are not serialized (that was =

underscore magic). Because the serialized/compressed search query token =

is opaque and you can't have two searches with the same query token, we =

use this as a cache key extensively for performance.

We find this works well. Also, since we have a model object for the =

search (with serialize/deserialize) we can create views on it which =

allows us to generate nice textual descriptions of the search -- very =

handy for user feedback. And our users like to keep a history using =

these descriptions, so they can go back and look/run previous searches.

The only problem would appear to be when the URLs become excessive for a =

GET request. When this happens, the POST can handle the form, generate =

the serialized/compressed search query bundle, and then hand off to the =

GET request with that instead.

One caveat we hit was Microsoft's IIS rejected path elements in URLs =

which were more than 240 characters (bytes?) even the URL was sound. It =

probably thought they might be files. So we did pass stuff as query =

elements, as this seems to be more viable on Microsoft servers anyway.


Stuart Watt
ARM Product Developer
Information Balance

On 6/2/2010 1:56 PM, will at serensoft.com wrote:
> Short version:
> Using [% c.req.uri_with({ page =3D> pager.next_page }) %] is fine for a =

> simple single-field search (where the form uses GET instead of =

> POST)... but how do we PAGE through (and/or cache) a multi-field form =

> search that uses POST?
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