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Re: Significant changes to protocol draft

From: Jim Davis <jdavis@parc.xerox.com>
Date: Thu, 4 Dec 1997 12:57:09 PST
Message-Id: <3.0.3.32.19971204125709.009771a0@mailback.parc.xerox.com>
To: w3c-dist-auth@w3.org
At 10:56 AM 12/4/97 PST, Asad Faizi wrote:
>The proposal to change the name of the these methods was put ... with a an
>undestanding that, in HTTP paradigm, method names are mere opaque tokens
>and has no real meaning attached to them.

Well, gosh, this is true in general for all programming languages, and in
fact I think I said as much in my email (remember I said you could rename
them to FOO, BAR, etc.)  But the thing is, programming languages and
protocols are used by humans, and while the computer does not care whether
we call protocol methods e.g. DELETE, FOO, or VERMINDER, humans who must
learn and use the protocols DO care, because sensible names are easier to
remember and understand.

So while there is no *technical* reason to prefer the name "LOCK" to
"RESERVE" or "PROTECT", there are, I claim, substantial *human* reasons to
do so, and since you also indicated that there is no technical need to
change them for Netscape compatibility, I respectfully request the design
team to retract its decision to change the names.  It seems to me that the
change does some harm for no good purpose at all.

Of course I don't claim to be speaking for "the community at large", only
my opinion, though I gather Marc Eaddy agrees as well.  Perhaps others will
express an opinion too.

best regards

Jim

PS. Nothing in my email was meant to cast aspersions on either Microsoft or
Netscape.  For one thing, since I don't know C, I don't even know how to
use cast. ;-|
Received on Thursday, 4 December 1997 16:04:08 GMT

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