Graham Dumpleton commented on MODPYTHON-125:

Forgot to mention that req.content_languages is not documented in mod_python 
HTML documentation for request object.

> Improvements associated with req.handler for type checker phase.
> ----------------------------------------------------------------
>          Key: MODPYTHON-125
>          URL: http://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/MODPYTHON-125
>      Project: mod_python
>         Type: Improvement
>   Components: core
>     Versions: 3.3
>     Reporter: Graham Dumpleton

> One purpose of the type checker phase in Apache, as able to be hooked using 
> the PythonTypeHandler directive, is to use it to make decisions as to which 
> actual handler should be used to deliver up the content for a request. It is 
> also intended to be used to set up attributes such as req.content_type, 
> req.content_encoding and req.content_languages. An example of an Apache 
> module which supplies a function for this phase is mod_mime. That module uses 
> lookups based on content type as derived from request URL extension type, to 
> specify which handler should be used to generate the content. Another is 
> mod_negotiation, which performs other sorts of determinations based on the 
> request extension.
> In mod_python, there are a few missing bits which would allow you to use 
> mod_python to do the same sorts of things. These are that req.handler, 
> req.content_encoding and req.content_languages are not writable. Of these the 
> most important is probably req.handler.
> To illustrate how it might be used, imagine an Apache configuration for a 
> directory of:
>   PythonTypeHandler select_handler
>   PythonHandler deliver_content
> Although the PythonHandler directive is specified here, it is never actually 
> called. This is because the configuration doesn't specify either "SetHandler" 
> or "AddHandler" directives. When the SetHandler directive is used, normally 
> the Apache core would see it and trigger mod_python for the content handler 
> phase. If AddHandler is instead used, it is mod_mime that would trigger 
> mod_python be used if the extension matches that in the request URL.
> Instead of using either of these directives, what should instead be able to 
> be done is that a handler associated with PythonTypeHandler could say that 
> mod_python should be triggered for the content phase. This might be done 
> something like:
>   def typehandler(req):
>     if os.path.splitext(req.filename)[1] == ".py":
>       req.handler = "mod_python"
>       return apache.OK
>     return apache.DECLINED
> You might even say exactly which handler should be called as well.
>   def typehandler(req):
>     if os.path.splitext(req.filename)[1] == ".py":
>       req.handler = "mod_python"
>       req.add_handler("PythonHandler","mod_python.publisher")
>       return apache.OK
>     return apache.DECLINED
> Unfortunately, this doesn't work because req.handler isn't writable. With 
> req.handler writable it does work and the handler associated with 
> PythonHandler, or as specified using req.add_handler() will be executed for 
> the content phase.
> Now the main intent of this JIRA issue is to make req.handler writable, but 
> at the same time it is to highlight that for completeness, that 
> req.content_encoding and req.content_languages should also probably be made 
> writable as they are values which for example are modifed by mod_mime in this 
> phase of processing. Note that req.content_type is already writable, which is 
> another attribute which mod_mime modifies in this phase.

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