user/dev discussion of public-inbox itself
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From: Eric Wong <>
Cc: Ali Alnubani <>
Subject: [RFC] searchview: don't be too verbose about bad queries
Date: Tue, 11 Jun 2019 19:38:15 +0000
Message-ID: <20190611193815.c4uovtlp574bid6x@dcvr> (raw)

Ali sent this privately to me as a potential security issue.
I am not a security expert and I certainly don't consider this
a big enough problem to discuss privately...

The potential issue is exposing path names of Xapian installs.

I figure installation paths of open source software
(particularly with FHS / LSB systems) is well-standardized to
the point that it's pointless to obscure or obfuscate anyways.


From: Ali Alnubani <>
Date: Tue, 11 Jun 2019 10:03:17 +0000
Subject: [PATCH] searchview: don't be too verbose about bad queries

This is to omit the message "something terrible happened at .."
from the http view when searching, since it contains absolute system paths.
This is debug information and shouldn't be displayed to the user.
 lib/PublicInbox/ | 10 ++++++++--
 1 file changed, 8 insertions(+), 2 deletions(-)

diff --git a/lib/PublicInbox/ b/lib/PublicInbox/
index b089de9..b7859df 100644
--- a/lib/PublicInbox/
+++ b/lib/PublicInbox/
@@ -15,6 +15,7 @@ use PublicInbox::MIME;
 require PublicInbox::Git;
 require PublicInbox::SearchThread;
 our $LIM = 200;
 sub noop {}
@@ -136,8 +137,13 @@ sub err_txt {
 	my $u = $ctx->{-inbox}->base_url($ctx->{env}) . '_/text/help/';
 	$err =~ s/^\s*Exception:\s*//; # bad word to show users :P
 	$err = ascii_html($err);
-	"\nBad query: <b>$err</b>\n" .
-		qq{See <a\nhref="$u">$u</a> for help on using search};
+	my $to_print = "\nBad query";
+		$to_print .= ": <b>$err</b>\n";
+	} else {
+		$to_print .= ", or search returned too many results.\n";
+	}
+	$to_print . qq{See <a\nhref="$u">$u</a> for help on using search};
 sub search_nav_top {

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Thread overview: 6+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2019-06-11 19:38 Eric Wong [this message]
2019-06-12  8:36 ` Ali Alnubani
2019-06-12 17:18   ` Eric Wong
2019-06-25  6:37     ` [PATCH] searchview: avoid displaying full paths on errors Eric Wong
2019-06-25  7:33       ` Ali Alnubani
2019-06-26  6:35         ` Eric Wong

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