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⛓️ URL Decode in Go

introduction encoding url

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URL encoding or percent-encoding, is a method of encoding URLs using only a limited set of characters so that the URL can be transmitted safely over the Internet. To decode such an encoded URL in Go, you can just use the parsing URL function url.Parse() from the url package. It parses and decodes all parts of the URL.

If you want to URL encode a path, a query, or the whole URL, see URL Encode in Go post.

A typical URL consists of the following components:

scheme://host:port/path?query

The url.Parse() takes an URL string as an argument and create the url.URL struct containing all the components decoded. In case of problems, it returns an error.

package main

import (
    "fmt"
    "log"
    "net/url"
)

func main() {
    // decode URL by url.Parse
    parsedURL, err := url.Parse("https://example.com/foo+bar%21?query=ab%2Bc&query2=de%24f")
    if err != nil {
        log.Fatal(err)
        return
    }

    fmt.Printf("scheme: %s\n", parsedURL.Scheme)
    fmt.Printf("host: %s\n", parsedURL.Host)
    fmt.Printf("path: %s\n", parsedURL.Path)
    fmt.Println("query args:")
    for key, values := range parsedURL.Query() {
        fmt.Printf("  %s = %s\n", key, values[0])
    }
}

Result:

scheme: https
host: example.com
path: /foo+bar!
query args:
  query = ab+c
  query2 = de$f

Alternatively, you can use functions that decode specific components of an URL:

See the example to compare these functions:

package main

import (
    "fmt"
    "log"
    "net/url"
)

func main() {
    // decode path by url.PathUnescape
    path := "foo+bar%21"
    unescapedPath, err := url.PathUnescape(path)
    if err != nil {
        log.Fatal(err)
        return
    }
    fmt.Printf("unescaped path: %s\n", unescapedPath)

    // decode query by url.QueryUnescape
    query := "query=ab%2Bc&query2=de%24f"
    unescapedQuery, err := url.QueryUnescape(query)
    if err != nil {
        log.Fatal(err)
        return
    }
    fmt.Printf("unescaped query: %s\n", unescapedQuery)

    // decode query and parse by url.ParseQuery
    parsedQuery, err := url.ParseQuery(query)
    if err != nil {
        log.Fatal(err)
        return
    }
    fmt.Println("parsed query args:")
    for key, values := range parsedQuery {
        fmt.Printf("  %s = %s\n", key, values[0])
    }
}

Result:

unescaped path: foo+bar!
unescaped query: query=ab+c&query2=de$f
parsed query args:
  query = ab+c
  query2 = de$f

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