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Fix issue with passed routes and provides #1095

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@mwpastore mwpastore commented Feb 10, 2016

This patch addresses an oddball issue that was the source of much hair-pulling this evening. Because the provides condition both branches on and mutates response['Content-Type'], a passed route with a provides condition can interfere with the provides condition of a later route (assuming both the initial and later routes match the requested path).

Consider an example:

get '/:id', :provides => :json do
  pass if params[:id] =~ /\D/

  # some processing

get '/foo', :provides => :text do
  # some other processing

A GET request to /foo with an Accept header of application/json,text/plain will always return 404. Why? Because the compiled provides condition of the first route will set response['Content-Type'] to application/json (here), and subsequent compiled provides conditions will short-circuit any attempts to re-examine the preferred types (here).


  • Don't use a :provides condition; instead, use Sinatra::Request#preferred_type to inspect the Accept header on the request and Sinatra::Base#content_type to set the Content-Type header on the response.
  • Structure routes to prevent pattern overlap.
  • When there is pattern overlap and matching depends on the exact format of the path, use a regular expression and params['captures'] (or a block parameter) instead of regular route parameters.
  • When there is pattern overlap, combine the logic into a single route (perhaps using helpers) instead of passing to another route.
  • Manually clear request['Content-Type'] before calling pass.


  1. Clear request['Content-Type'] when throwing :pass
  2. Clear request['Content-Type'] when catching :pass
  3. Clear request['Content-Type'] in-between route iterations (maybe?)

This patch implements solution 1 but I'm interested in your feedback.

Thank you in advance!

@mwpastore mwpastore force-pushed the mwpastore:pass-clears-content-type branch 2 times, most recently from 845e56a to 75ab338 Feb 12, 2016
@mwpastore mwpastore force-pushed the mwpastore:pass-clears-content-type branch from 75ab338 to 3be4d73 Feb 12, 2016
@mwpastore mwpastore closed this Feb 12, 2016
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@mwpastore mwpastore commented Feb 12, 2016

It seems as though "pinning" the content-type of the response in before filters is a documented (or at least test-driven) feature, so clearing the content-type in-between calls to process_route or even after a pass is not a solution to this problem. I think there's a compromise solution here where if the content-type is set after the before filters are invoked, use it to select routes, otherwise clear the content-type in-between calls to process_route. I've closed this PR for now as it implements as breaking change and is therefore not acceptable.

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