Vishvesh Phadnis Vishvesh Phadnis - 2 months ago 37
C# Question

How to achieve Base64 URL safe encoding in C#?

I want to achieve Base64 URL safe encoding in C#. In Java, we have the common

Codec
library which gives me an URL safe encoded string. How can I achieve the same using C#?

byte[] toEncodeAsBytes = System.Text.ASCIIEncoding.ASCII.GetBytes("StringToEncode");
string returnValue = System.Convert.ToBase64String(toEncodeAsBytes);


The above code converts it to Base64, but it pads
==
. Is there is way to achieve URL safe encoding?

Answer

It is common to simply swap alphabet for use in urls, so that no %-encoding is necessary; only 3 of the 65 characters are problematic - +, / and =. the most common replacements are - in place of + and _ in place of /. As for the padding: just remove it (the =); you can infer the amount of padding needed. At the other end: just reverse the process:

string returnValue = System.Convert.ToBase64String(toEncodeAsBytes)
        .TrimEnd(padding).Replace('+', '-').Replace('/', '_');

with:

static readonly char[] padding = { '=' };

and to reverse:

string incoming = returnValue
    .Replace('_', '/').Replace('-', '+');
switch(returnValue.Length % 4) {
    case 2: incoming += "=="; break;
    case 3: incoming += "="; break;
}
byte[] bytes = Convert.FromBase64String(incoming);
string originalText = Encoding.ASCII.GetString(bytes);

The interesting question, however, is: is this the same approach that the "common codec library" uses? It would certainly be a reasonable first thing to test - this is a pretty common approach.