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RE:

From: Yaron Goland <yarong@microsoft.com>
Date: Thu, 6 Feb 1997 20:43:05 -0800
Message-ID: <c=US%a=_%p=msft%l=RED-44-MSG-970207044305Z-166@INET-05-IMC.microsoft.com>
To: "'w3c-dist-auth@w3.org'" <w3c-dist-auth@w3.org>
Judith, why does all of your mail come from
w3c-dist-auth-request@w3.org?

1. If we decide that we want to try to stay within the HTTP framework,
can
we try to model our spec on the HTTP 1.1 spec?  We could still keep the
functional divisions we have in the current spec, but within each
division,
assume HTTP request and response syntax and have a section on new
methods, a
section on new status codes, and a section on new headers.  Hopefully
there
wouldn't be any new MIME types, but if there are, then a section on new
MIME
types; and if there are any new name spaces, a section discussing them.

The previous proposal only makes sense if we are going to continue using
bodies w/methods. If we intend to switch to a header only format then we
will be required to use method specific headers and those should clearly
not be in a section separate from the method definitions. What is the
group's feelings on the issue of body vs headers?

3. Add a section on why this spec is needed anyway.

I disagree. If the use of the protocol is not self evident then it is a
badly designed protocol.

As for your other points, I basically agree. The current spec is a mess
but that was to be expected. The authors severely screwed up their
scheduling and didn't give themselves enough time to prepare the spec
before the meeting. We shall not repeat that error.

		Yaron


>-----Original Message-----
>From:	w3c-dist-auth-request@w3.org [SMTP:w3c-dist-auth-request@w3.org]
>Sent:	None
>Subject:	
>
>While the current draft of the specification was hugely better than earlier
>versions, it still seems to me that some discussion of what makes a good
>spec would be helpful.  We got some suggestions at the Irvine meeting:
>
>        - If we specify more than one way to accomplish anything, make one
>of them mandatory so that every client can be sure of being able
>to communicate with every server. 
>
>        - Whenever you introduce a new name space, say how it will be
>managed. 
>
>        - Think of the spec as a contract, what the server promises to do
>for clients. It should not tell the server how to implement, just for
>any state before an operation, what the new state should be after the
>operation. 
>
>        - Each method should say which headers can be used with it. 
>
>        - State minimum functionality that is required for compliance. 
>
>        - Spec should include rationale for strategy used. 
>
>        - Spec should address all requirements, and only requirements. 
>
>I think it would be useful for all of us to add to this list, and especially
>for people like Roy, Larry, and Keith, who have lots of experience working
>on specifications, to give their advice.  We know we have to end up with a
>document that will be clear and complete enough that people can implement to
>and be confident of interoperability.  But what does a spec have to be like
>for this to be so?
>
>Here are some thoughts of mine:
>
>1. If we decide that we want to try to stay within the HTTP framework, can
>we try to model our spec on the HTTP 1.1 spec?  We could still keep the
>functional divisions we have in the current spec, but within each division,
>assume HTTP request and response syntax and have a section on new methods, a
>section on new status codes, and a section on new headers.  Hopefully there
>wouldn't be any new MIME types, but if there are, then a section on new MIME
>types; and if there are any new name spaces, a section discussing them.
>
>2. Each functional division should also talk about
>        - What requirements does it address
>        - What method or combination of methods can be used to satisfy each
>requirement
>        - Rationale for any controversial design choices
>
>3. Add a section on why this spec is needed anyway.
>
>4. Dependencies between sections
>
>This is a particular weakness of the current spec. 
>
>Make very sure that for every function we want to be able to perform, we say
>what methods can be invoked to accomplish that and refer to the appropriate
>section for complete syntax / semantics.  Examples are especially useful in
>this situation.  And a clear and complete description of what the end state
>will be.  So if the formal discussion of DELETE is in the Namespace
>Manipulation section, then the Hierarchical Collections section should point
>me there, but should also tell me exactly what syntax I should use to delete
>a collection, with examples, and show me what the end states will be.
>
>--Judy
>
>Name:			Judith A. Slein
>E-Mail:			slein@wrc.xerox.com
>Internal Phone:  	8*222-5169
>External Phone:		(716) 422-5169
>Fax:			(716) 265-7133
>MailStop:		128-29E
Received on Thursday, 6 February 1997 23:43:41 GMT

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