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RE: error condition for delete of VHR when VCR is in checked-in c ollection

From: Clemm, Geoff <gclemm@rational.com>
Date: Wed, 10 Jul 2002 08:04:51 -0400
Message-ID: <3906C56A7BD1F54593344C05BD1374B1077612EB@SUS-MA1IT01>
To: ietf-dav-versioning@w3.org

   From: Julian Reschke [mailto:julian.reschke@greenbytes.de]

   let me try to summarize.
   In the presence of BINDs, DELETE is defined as

   1) removing the binding specified in the request URI,


   2) optional deletion of the resource identified by the URI if there
   are no references left to it. Note that references may be in other
   namespaces, on other servers and even in different URI schemes.

If there are no "bindings" to it.  A reference (e.g. a redirect
reference, or a DAV:href reference) is not a binding.

   Any spec that wants to cooperate with bindings can NOT change this
   semantics of DELETE

Correct, but it can supplement the definition with additional
explicit semantics (RFC3253 does so in a number of places).

   (or does RFC3253 explicitly say that a VHR can have only a single

No (in fact, it explicitly introduces other bindings in working

   So we have a VCR that refers to a VHR through the
   DAV:version-history property. The client issues a DELETE on the VHR
   URI. Possible results:

   a) the server may refuse to perform the Delete, either because
   deletion of VHRs is not supported, or because a VCR still refers to
   the VHR.

Or pretty much for any reason that it wants.

   b) the server deletes the VHR and un-version-controls the VCR (to avoid
   breaking the live versioning properties).

   c) the server deletes the VHR and keeps the VCR version-controlled - in
   which case the spec should say what happens to the
   DAV:checked-in/DAV:checked-out and DAV:version-history.

   I think RFC3253 needs to either forbid b) and c) or properly define the

Well, (c) is probably what an interoperable client has to assume,
given what is currently stated in the spec (where the semantics is
just that you get a "404" when you try to use the URL in the
DAV:checked-in/DAV:checked-out and DAV:version-history properties).

The problem is that we could not achieve consensus on any semantics
like "b", even though some variant of "b" is what some existing
versioning servers do (where each kind of server has its own variant).

   More below...

   > From:  Clemm, Geoff
   > ... checking in a VCC never creates a binding to a VHR, but
   > rather just creates a reference to the VHR in its
   > DAV:version-controlled-binding-set property (i.e. it doesn't
   > create a new name for that VHR, but just uses an existing name to
   > create a reference).

   I don't think it's really relevant whether the collection version
   has a reference or a binding.

A binding is very different semantically from a reference (this is
emphasized in the binding spec).  If you delete a binding to a
resource, any other binding to that resource can still be used to
locate (and apply methods to) that resource.  But a reference just
contains a URL, which means that if you delete any of the bindings
used by that URL, that reference can no longer be used to locate the
resource.  Similarly, if you MOVE a resource (give it a different
binding), that has no effect on other bindings to that resource, while
references will always have the same URL, which means that they will
identify whatever resource is currently identified by that URL
(which changes if you MOVE a different resource to that URL).

   Servers may delay the de-allocation of a resource until there is no
   reference left, whether it's visible or not.

Servers must delay the deallocation of a resource until there are no
bindings to that resource, but a reference to a resource just contains
a URL, and if you issue a DELETE on that URL, the reference will no
longer be usable to locate that resource.  So as far as a reference
is concerned, the resource is gone as soon as a successful DELETE
has been performed on the URL contained by that reference.

   If we allow clients to permanently destroy VHRs that are
   referenced in a collection version, there's no way to satisfy the
   postconditions for an UNCHECKOUT of the VCC, right? That's why our
   implementation keeps the reference, and therefore is able to
   resurrect the VHR when needed.

For UNCHECKOUT, it creates a new binding in the VCCl "when a version
history is identified by the DAV:version-controlled-binding-set".  But
if the VHR has been deleted, then that VHR is not longer identified by
the DAV:version-controlled-binding-set (i.e. the VHR URL no longer
identifies a resource), so no "restoration" semantics is implied.

   > - a subsequent delete on the VHR URL just deletes the original
   > binding to the VHR, but the version history resource (and the
   > versions inside the version history) is not affected
   > Since the DAV:version-controlled-binding-set just has a reference to
   > that VHR using its server-assigned URL, if you DELETE that URL, you
   > break all references to that VHR from the DAV:v-c-b-s properties of
   > collection versions.

   So if the VHR can not be re-created, should the server forbid the delete?

That is certainly one option.  The other is to allow the delete and
effectively treat every version-controlled-binding to that VHR as no
longer existing.

   >    - thus, upon UNCHECKOUT of the VCC, I can reconstruct the VHR
   >    (re-creating the original binding)
   > The members of the VCC also refer to the VHR via the
   > server-assigned URL, so even if UNCHECKOUT could restore the
   > version-controlled member of the VCC, the DAV:version-history
   > property of that member would contain the VHR URL that was
   > deleted.

   But that's not a problem if the '*same* VHR is reconstructed at the
   original URL.

Yes, but nothing in the semantics of UNCHECKOUT imply such a

Received on Wednesday, 10 July 2002 08:05:23 UTC

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