Skip to main content

Resolving the HTTP/HTTPS “Document contains both secure/unsecure content” message

One of the most commonly encountered issues when developing websites that must support both HTTP and HTTPS pages is the warning that a secure page “contains both secure and unsecure content”. In a nutshell this is when a page that is being displayed via the HTTPS protocol contains one or more references to additional resources (JS/CSS/Images) using just HTTP.

The solution is easy and well documented for locally referenced resources, in that when making the reference to the required file you exclude the protocol and domain name ending up with something like “/styles/main.css”, which will quite happily call “main.css” from a “styles” folder in the root of the web application regardless of whether the containing page is being called by HTTP or HTTPS.

Note: .NET provides functionality such as ResolveUrl(“~/styles/main.css”) which should always be used in preference to hard coded paths such as “/styles/main.css”. Using ResolveUrl(…) will work regardless whether in IIS the web application has been set up as a website or a child application of the parent website. However the hardcoded path will always default to the root of the website, so if your web application has been deployed within IIS as a child application of a website you will typically see lots of 404’s as the browser is unable to locate the resources using the URL provided.

Typically externally referenced resources have proved more troublesome. I’ve seen quick and dirty solutions that always call external references via HTTPS. This gets around the warning when viewing the calling page in HTTPS, but introduces additional processing/overheads when viewing the referencing page in HTTP. More typically the URL for the required external resource is passed to a helper functional which determines which protocol to add depending upon whether the containing page is HTTP or HTTPS.

But it would appear that all the solutions for resolving the protocol for externally referenced resources were over-engineered! Under the section A Better Solution, Dave Ward provides a solution that is pretty much identical to the tried and tested internally referenced resource solution. Basically the RFC 3986 spec allows resources to be referenced using a protocol-less format. So instead of worrying whether you should be calling “http://cdn.domain/common-resouce.js” or “https://cdn.domain/common-resouce.js”, you can just call “//cdn.domain/common-resouce.js” and the protocol to be used for the external reference is determined by the protocol context of the containing page! Thanks for highlighting this Dave, much easier!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Mocking HttpCookieCollection in HttpRequestBase

When unit testing ASP.NET MVC2 projects the issue of injecting HttpContext is quickly encountered.  There seem to be many different ways / recommendations for mocking HttpContextBase to improve the testability of controllers and their actions.  My investigations into that will probably be a separate blog post in the near future but for now I want to cover something that had me stuck for longer than it probably should have.  That is how to mock non abstract/interfaced classes within HttpRequestBase and HttpResponseBase – namely the HttpCookieCollection class.   The code sample below illustrates how it can be used within a mocked instance of HttpRequestBase.  Cookies can be added / modified within the unit test code prior to being passed into the code being tested.   After it’s been called, using a combination of MOQ’s Verify and NUnit’s Assert it is possible to check how many times the collection is accessed (but you have to include the set up calls) and that the relevant cookies have …

Do "Task Hours" add anything in Scrum (Agile)?

What do task hours add to the overall process in scrum?This was a question that has arisen from all team members in both instances that I've helped teams switch over to scrum. The benefits of artifacts like the comparative story point estimation, the 2 week sprints, stand-ups and the end of sprint demo have been self evident to the team, but as one I think every team member has expressed dismay when it comes to task planning and estimating each task in hours. Left unchecked there is a natural tendency for people to actually begin to dread the start of each sprint purely due to the task planning session.In my current role we've been lucky to investigate this further as a team.The team sat down to discuss the problems it was experiencing with estimating tasks in hours and the following common themes appeared:It is hard: Maybe it shouldn't be, but time estimation is hard! Story points are comparative and abstracted making them easier to determine, but time estimate is gen…

Why do my Android Notification only appear in the status bar?

I'm definitely getting back into Android development, I'm remembering that feeling of 'Surely this should be easier than this!'. All I wanted to do was to schedule a local notification which behaved similar to a push notification pop-up. That is, as well as showing the small icon in the status bar I wanted it to pop up on screen to notify the end user. All seems fairly easily, I found this code for how to schedule a notification. That all worked perfectly, apart from the notification would only appear in the status bar. Searching around I found loads of different answers / solutions, mostly all saying the same thing:It only worked if you used 'NotificationCompat.Builder' in place of 'Notification.Builder', orYou had to set the priority to 'NotificationCompat.PRIORITY_HIGH'As usually happens, none of these solutions worked for me until I added in the missing piece of the jigsaw:- '.setDefaults(Notification.DEFAULT_ALL)'. For me this…