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Re: Partial Puts

From: Larry Masinter <masinter@parc.xerox.com>
Date: Sat, 22 Mar 1997 22:06:15 PST
Message-ID: <3334C857.70E5@parc.xerox.com>
To: W3c-dist-auth@w3.org
(forgive the extensive quotes, but I'm moving a conversation back onto
the WG mailing list):
> > > > There seems to be a tradeoff here between making the server
> > > > responsible for understanding the structure of the resource
> > > > (inherent in this proposal, VTML, and PATCH) and making the
> > > > client responsible for understanding the structure (Goland
> > > > proposal).  When the server understands the structure,
> > > > the client can send more structured updates (e.g., change
> > > > this line, or change this section).  When the client is
> > > > responsible for  understanding the structure, the update
> > > > seems to require a reduction to the least common
> > > > denominator structure across all media types, i.e
> > > > octet sequences.
> > > > I don't think we'll be able to reach consensus on this issue
> > > > unless we identify which tradeoff is best for DAV (and why).

> > > Why would we need to make a tradeoff? It looks to me like each solution
> > > addresses a different scenario.

Larry (privately):
> > Yaron, you cannot avoid making the tradeoff. If the client
> > can't count on the server understanding the structure, then
> > the client must comprehend the structure in order to make
> > edits. There's no other choices.
> >
> > If you support both, then you have to support knowing which one
> > you're in.

Yaron (privately):
> Sounds like we need a feature to find out if the server understands and
> enforces the syntax and semantics of the resource. I see two possible
> solutions. One is to define a method which takes a content-type and
> returns a yes or no answer, yes if the server enforces the structure and
> semantics of the resource, and no if it doesn't. Otherwise we need to
> leave it to the meta-data folks to define pieces of meta-data the client
> can query to determine if the server understands the resource's syntax
> and semantics.
> However, I believe, that in the 99% case the situation will work as
> follows. The client talks to the server and finds out the content-type
> of the document recorded at a URI. If the client doesn't know that
> content-type then it can only modify the resource by doing a STRUCTURE
> call and hoping it understands the members of the resource. However, if
> the client does know the content-type, then it will manipulate the
> resource directly.

Whether the server understands the structure of a resource does NOT
on the content-type. For example, a server might know about assembling
HTML from components, but not know about the structure of those
A server might be able to parse some postscript files (those that follow
document structuring conventions) and not others (those that do not.)
Received on Sunday, 23 March 1997 01:30:55 UTC

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