As noted in Exception trying to access coverage html representation hitting a invalid URL does still return a page, and usually with weird error messages in.
It is confusing, since the user will focus on the error message it got instead of checking the URL.
As reported by Justin on Exception trying to access coverage html representation:
I know that is lame, but its the way the restlet dispatcher matches uris. It uses a best match algorithm. It is possible to make it strict and match exactly. I remember bringing this up with David and I can't remember why we could not do so... but there was some reason.
I would like to at least know what the reason was, missing or confusing error reporting is killer in protocols where one is supposed to build the messages and urls by hand (or in any case where people still do build requests by hand anyways like WFS, for that matter)