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From "Chris Kay" <>
Subject Purpose of Faults
Date Tue, 09 Jul 2002 04:08:38 GMT
Hi all,

I have a few questions regarding fault responses. I am using the Java
implementation of XML-RPC where, when an XmlRpcException is thrown in one of
the handlers, the XmlRpcServer will catch it and respond to the client with
a fault response. Now my expectation was that the XmlRpcClient would
distinguish a fault response from a non-fault response and thus throw an
XmlRpcException itself on the client-side when a fault response is received.
That, however, is not the case. The fault response is returned to the client
as if it were a regular response and it is upon the client to identify the
fault struct and not interpret it as a regular response. Is this proper

When I discovered this fact I started to seriously wonder whether "users" of
the XML-RPC implementation are actually expected at all to make use of fault
responses (by throwing XmlRpcExceptions in their registered handlers) or
whether it is actually meant for use by the implementation's code only (i.e.
to signal server-specific faults that aren't low-level enough to warrant not
sending a "200 OK" HTTP response).

To give an example, assume there is a server that handles user
authentication by matching a username and password that will be sent from a
client. If the username and password can be matched the server should
respond with a generated session key. If however the password is wrong or
the username is unknown for instance, how should this be signaled to the
client? My approach was to throw an XmlRpcException in the respective
handler in such a case containing a fault message and a custom error code
(the latter of which by the way never seemed to get sent, it is always zero
on arrival) and then "manually" pre-check for a fault struct myself and
throw an XmlRpcException accordingly on the client-side.

How is a handler supposed to _properly_ signal the faulty password or
username in such a case?

Are fault responses not meant to be used by the "user"?

Do I have an old version (or am I doing something else wrong) that received
fault responses aren't signaled by automatically throwing an XmlRpcException
on the client-side?

Thanks for any help!

Chris Kay

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