absoluteTo() for two single files results in an absolute path #29

cburgmer opened this Issue Jun 19, 2012 · 8 comments


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Unclear on what the real usage of absoluteTo() is, I assumed it was similar to Python's urlparse.urljoin.

So for example it will base a filename on top of another relative path:

>>> (new URI("aFile")).absoluteTo("aDir/").toString()

Especially interesting, when the path passed to absoluteTo() is a path to a file resource, too:

>>> (new URI("aFile")).absoluteTo("aDir/anotherFile").toString()

However, when applied to two file resources, a slash is added which results in an absolute path:

>>> (new URI("aFile")).absoluteTo("anotherFile").toString()

I would expect just


as there is no valuable path information in the given string.

I don't know if I am misusing the method, or if this really is a bug. In the latter case I will be happy to provide a fix.

I just found that directory() returns a similarly unexpected result:

>>> (new URI("aFile")).directory()

I'd guess that this might the root of my problem.


rodneyrehm commented Jun 20, 2012

absoluteTo() was supposed to "reverse" the effects of relativeTo(). It was never intended to be used as the general purpose directory translation utility you thought it to be.

Examples from the python docs on urljoin:

// "http://www.cwi.nl/~guido/FAQ.html"

(doesn't mean we can't pimp this function, though. what exactly do you expect it to do?)

I need something directly equivalent to the urljoin function. The use case is as follows:

I have an HTML document with given base URI. That links to a CSS file. In this CSS file I reference a backgroundImage. I'd like to know the backgroundImage URL relative to the HTML document. This is basically the URL of the HTML document + URL of the CSS file + URL of the backgroundImage. The HTML document might be relatively sourced and that is the issue here.

I'll have a look at how the function works, and will try to extend it in such a way that it will work with relative paths.


rodneyrehm commented Jun 20, 2012

Please provide me with a bunch of input/output mappings. I'll construct some tests and try to make the absoluteTo work with that.

(time issues here, if you provide the data I need for testing, I might hack together something tonight or during my flight tomorrow…)

I've written a wrapper around absoluteTo() which ideally would be included in the function itself. It looks like this:

var joinUrl = function (baseUrl, url) {
        var theUrl = new URI(url);
        if (theUrl.is("relative") && baseUrl.indexOf("/") >= 0) {
            theUrl = theUrl.absoluteTo(baseUrl);
        return theUrl.toString();

Here's the Jasmine tests I've written so far:

        it("should append the url to a directory-only base", function () {
            var url = joinUrl("rel/path/", "the_relative_url");

        it("should append the url to a file base", function () {
            var url = joinUrl("rel/path/something", "the_relative_url");

        it("should merge ../ with a directory-only base", function () {
            var url = joinUrl("rel/path/", "../the_relative_url");

        it("should just return the url if absolute", function () {
            var url = joinUrl("rel/path/", "/the_relative_url");

        it("should combine a url starting with '/' with the host of the base", function () {
            var url = joinUrl("http://example.com/rel/path/", "/the_relative_url");

        it("should ignore base with an absolute url", function () {
            var url = joinUrl("http://example.com/rel/path/", "http://github.com//the_relative_url");

        it("should ignore base without directories", function () {
            var url = joinUrl("aFile", "anotherFile");

rodneyrehm commented Jun 23, 2012

Fixed and released with v1.6.2

rodneyrehm closed this Jun 23, 2012

From the list above that fixes everything with the exception of

    it("should ignore base with an absolute url", function () {
        var url = rasterizeHTML.util.joinUrl("http://example.com/rel/path/", "http://github.com//the_relative_url");

The idea here is, that you can pass in any url given a base url, but in case of an absolute URL, nothing is changed.

Aside from that, there's a console.log in the change set you probably want to remove.


rodneyrehm commented Jun 24, 2012

Darn. Removed that console.log. Also see the point in returning the original absolute path, rather than forcing it to go relative to the base path. Both are fixed with URI.js v1.6.3

Resolving a resource (e.g. background-image) within a CSS file should be as simple as

var base = '/the/base/path', // from <base ref="…">
    css = 'demo.css', // from <link rel="stylesheet"  href="…">
    image = '../foobar.png'; // from background-image: url(…);

base = URI(base).relativeTo(location.href); 
css = URI(css).relativeTo(base); 
image = URI(image).relativeTo(css);

@cburgmer cburgmer pushed a commit to cburgmer/inlineresources that referenced this issue Mar 30, 2014

Christoph Burgmer Work around path issue with URI.js (medialize/URI.js#29) 219dc1c
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