Re: Version issues

Chris Kaler (
Wed, 17 Feb 1999 16:23:29 -0800

Message-ID: <4FD6422BE942D111908D00805F3158DF0A757D9A@RED-MSG-52>
From: Chris Kaler <>
To: "''" <>,
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 16:23:29 -0800
Subject: RE: Version issues

This is a great discussion!

I used the word "complicated" and that probably isn't the right word.  What
I meant is that I have a store with 1001 files, 1000 of which have been set
to specific versions and I want to set the last one to a specific revision,
I'd rather issue a SETDEFAULT command for that specific URL than pull the
full RSR which includes all 1000 rules, add one, and push the 1001 rules up
to the server.


-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Wednesday, February 17, 1999 12:45 PM
To: Bruce Cragun
Subject: RE: Version issues

I'm sorry to hear you weren't feeling well, but welcome back!

No, you're getting it just fine. For your item 1 below, the default
workspace does just what you want. You never even need to know its there.
Recall the default workspace has a revision selection rule containing
checkedout and latest.

For item 2, the model currently allows access through a specific revision
name which temporarily overrides the workspace, so this can be done too.

If this was all you wanted, then probably workspaces for level 1 would be
overkill. But, lets look at some other simple scenarios and see what would

Say a development organization finishes work on  a milestone and wants some
way to refer to the proper revisions. When work continues, these revisions
won't necessarily be the latest revision because the resources may have
changed in some appropriate way. Configurations solve this in level 2, but
a common scenario for level 1 might be to come up with a label for the
release and use this label on every revision that participates.

So now every time you want to get the R1 revision for any of these
resources, you have to remember the revision name and provide it on each
access. That's not so bad though, and is the same thing as remembering a
workspace that has checkedout, R1, and latest in its revision selection
rule. So far this is a wash.

Now say there's an R2 of the project as a whole. Some of the resources
changed and some of them didn't. You could label all the participant
revisions with R2 and that would work. But, after a while specific
revisions might have a lot of labels on them making the revision history of
many resource hard to manage. In addition users have to remember something
new, use label R2 instead of R1. An alternative is to just label the ones
that changed with R2 and put checkedout, R2, R1, and latest in the revision
selection rule. Then you'll get the right versions without remembering R1,
R2, ..., you only have to remember the same workspace you were using before
the revisions changed. All users get updated just by updating their
workspace. The default workspace revision selection rule can be changed to
so that clients that can't or don't specify a revision will get the right
revisions too. You could do this with default labels, but it would take a
lot more work to update a property on every resource resetting its default
when you can just add a single entry to a revision selection rule.

Workspaces just provide flexibility and ease of use for level 1, not any
new functionality. I think they make the clients simpler and simplify the
user's interaction with the server. So they are useful for level 1 even
though there aren't any activities or configurations.

"Bruce Cragun" <> on 02/17/99 03:10:40 PM

To:, Jim Amsden/Raleigh/IBM
Subject:  RE: Version issues

It isn't that workspaces provide unneeded functionality for Level 1.
It's just an abstraction that a) isn't in simple versioning models now,
so would require learning and understanding, and b) isn't necessary.

The way I envision it for a Level 1 implementation is this:

1. If I request a resource and specify nothing other than "get me this
resource" the default is to give me the latest.  Without branching and
other Level 2 features, this is trivial.  With Level 2 implementations,
this is interpreted as the latest on the main line.

2. If I want something other than the latest, I include a Revision Id
or a Label.  This works fine for both levels, without any complexity

Am I just not getting it?

>>> <> 02/17/99 11:20AM >>>

Comments below in <jra> tags.

Chris Kaler <> on 02/17/99 12:13:42 PM

To:   Jim Amsden/Raleigh/IBM
Subject:  RE: Version issues

I don't think level 1 servers want to deal with revision selection
suspect they could be complicated.  As well, we need to understand the
semantics of parallel checkouts in the "default workspace".  The
definition of a workspaces prohibits this and I think it is an
requirement for level 1.

Level 1 revision selection rules don't need to be complicated at all.
are no activities or configurations, so the revision selection rule
checkedout and 0 or more labels. When a resource is accessed with a
URL, this means, get the checked out revision if any, otherwise look
for a
revision that has a matchin label. It's hard to imagine anything

Geoff and I started talking about the Revision-Id header yesterday.  I
it is reasonable for a client to request version X of /foo/bar.htm.
seems a cumbersome requirement to have to set the revision of
in the default workspace to be X and get /foo/bar.htm.  As well, this
scale at all.  Imagine one person trying to get version X and one
trying to
get version Y.  We clearly need more discussion on this, but I don't
how we can eliminate a header that specifies a revision.  I do believe
we could condense several headers into one...

I also belive that users want to access specific revisions given the
If they can assign a label, they should be able to access the resource
they assigned the label to. Recall that this capability is in the
model. In
the new version I moved the method to Repository.getResource(url :
label : String = null) : Resource. There's also
: String, context Workspace) : Resource to access a resource in the
of a workspace. One reason you would want to do this is if you want to
at an old version, or compare two revisions, and don't want to change

My issue isn't that I didn't want access by labels, only that access
labels aren't specified should use Workspaces to resolve the URL.

I, personally, think that RSR are interesting but probably too
for level 1 servers.  We could say that the SETDEFAULT method is a
method that modifies the workspace to use the specified revision of
specified resource.  This allows us to still describe level 1
in the context of level 2 workspaces.  And for level 2, it provides a
service for augmenting an RSR without having to pull it, modify it, and

Again, I don't think revision selection rules are complicate at all,
especially for level 1 which doesn't have activities, merging, or
configurations. The complexity results from introducing multiple
Leaving workspaces out of level 1 will just move the complexity to the
client or user who have to remember lots of labels on a resource by
resource basis. This makes the server simpler, but not WebDAV.

I stress again, what would anyone want to do with versioning level 1
workspaces wouldn't support? What would workspaces include that would
considered too much for level 1? We need specific scenarios that
these issues. As you know, I am also keen to keep things simple. Its
just I
want the simplicity for the users and clients, not necessarily just for



-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Tuesday, February 16, 1999 12:56 PM
To: Chris Kaler
Subject: RE: Version issues

But if we keep the Revision-Id header and a SETDEFAULT method, this
conflict with level using a default workspace. I suggest we effectively
default workspaces for level 1. This doesn't mean servers have to
them, only do something that makes them look like they work. Clients
be able to use level 1 services without being aware of workspaces. If
activities and configurations are not in level 1, then the workspace
has to consider revision selection rules that include checkedout,
and revision labels. This should be pretty simple.

Chris Kaler <> on 02/16/99 03:21:30 PM

To:   Jim Amsden/Raleigh/IBM,
Subject:  RE: Version issues

[CK] Comments below...

A few issues came up at our last versioning working group meeting:

1. DAV versioning level 1 will still need to be a way of resolving
to versioned resources given just a URL (and not a label). If
aren't supported, level 1 servers will have to provide some other way
resolve URLs to specific revisions, perhaps a default revision for
versioned resource. For level 2 servers that do support workspaces,
would result in two, potentially conflicting ways of performing URL
mapping. This is a strong argument for including workspaces in level
What would anyone want to do with versioning level 1 that workspaces
wouldn't support? What would workspaces include that would be
too much for level 1? If there are no compelling answers to these
questions, we should include workspaces in level 1, including the

[CK] I suggest we keep the Revision-Id header and the SETDEFAULT

2. Deleting a resource must explicitly state that the resource is
from its parent collection; that is, the collection with which the
is an internal member. Versioning complicates delete semantics. There
three things we might want to delete: an unversioned or working
resource, a
revision (and all its descendents?) of a versioned resource, a
resource and all its revision history. This must be done in the context
versioned and unversioned collections that contain the resource, or
versioned resource as an internal member. The preferred way to do this
would be to have add and remove methods on collections to create and
resources as its the collection that controls the namespace.
DAV doesn't have those semantics, so we will have to find a work-around

[CK] I expect deleting a working resource to be the same as
[CK] Deleting a versioned resource is up to the store.  Some stores
[CK] just delete it.  Some might create an "delete" version.  I don't
[CK] we want to push a specific model on people.  Especially since the
[CK] DELETE method is about a resource and in no way describes the
[CK] underlying repository actions.

Actually, the current WebDAV spec is a little confusing about
and their members. The current spec indicates collections contain URLs,
resources. But, there is the notion of internal members and
members, and deleting a collection deletes all its internal members. So
collection behaves like it contains resources, not URLs. This issue
likely get more confusing when we add versioned resources, versioned
collections, and multiple revisions.

[CK]Your right -- some clarification here would be could.

3. It is not possible to automatically create workspaces or activities
either non-versioning clients, or versioning clients that don't
them. Default workspaces and/or activities must be used. Creating a
workspace or activity on each request could cause resources that were
manipulated in the previous request to disappear.

[CK] If we say this is what "logically" happens on a Level 1 server
[CK] OK.  But if the server must in fact do this, then I think the
[CK] is too high since Level 1 clients don't care about this