Why is the slash in the web service so important?


I was testing a web service in PHP and Python. The address of the web service was, let's say, http://my.domain.com/my/webservice. When I tested the web service in PHP using that URL everything worked fine. But, when I used the same location but in Python using SOAPpy I got an error.

Below is the code I used to communicate with the web service (Python):

from SOAPpy import WSDL
server = SOAPProxy('http://my.domain.com/my/webservice', namespace)

The respond I got from the server:

HTTPError: <HTTPError 301 Moved Permanently>

I figure out that if I add a trailing slash to the web service location it works!

from SOAPpy import WSDL
server = SOAPProxy('http://my.domain.com/my/webservice/', namespace)

Why the lack of the trailing slash causes the error?

They're different URLs. http://my.domain.com/my/webservice implies a file webservice in the my folder. http://my.domain.com/my/webservice/ implies the default document inside the my/webservice folder.

Many webservers will automatically correct such URLs, but it is not required for them to do so.