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Re: Patch options -- summary of recent conversations

From: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>
Date: Sun, 12 Aug 2007 21:02:08 +0200
Message-ID: <46BF5930.5050906@gmx.de>
To: Jamie Lokier <jamie@shareable.org>
CC: Lisa Dusseault <lisa@osafoundation.org>, James M Snell <jasnell@gmail.com>, HTTP Working Group <ietf-http-wg@w3.org>

Jamie Lokier wrote:
> Julian Reschke wrote:
>>>> But at least OPTIONS/Allow will tell us whether the server has any idea 
>>>> what PATCH is, right?
>>> If you're lucky.  If you're not lucky, the server will treat OPTIONS
>>> like GET or POST, or something else.
>> In which case it won't return "Allow: PATCH", right?
> That's right, but it may have unwanted side effects similar to POST,
> so you shouldn't use OPTIONS indiscriminately.

With the amount of OPTIONS requests sent out today by WebDAV clients, 
I'd really be surprised if there are important pieces of software left 
that cause side effects upon OPTIONS.

Do you have any evidence of that?

> Then again, you shouldn't be trying to PATCH a resource you don't know
> is patchable anyway.

The way to find out whether something is patchable, is to either just 
try the request and let it fail, or to poll with OPTIONS in advance. 
This is what RFC2616 says.

> My point is if you don't know it's patchable, you shouldn't be trying
> PATCH _or_ OPTIONS on it.

I think that's bad advice. I've been working on WebDAV related clients 
and servers for several years now, and was also involved in customer 
support, and have never ever heard of a piece of software 
misunderstanding OPTIONS, causing a side effect.

> ...

Best regards, Julian
Received on Sunday, 12 August 2007 19:02:29 UTC

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