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RE: property value clarification

From: Jim Davis <jdavis@parc.xerox.com>
Date: Tue, 3 Nov 1998 19:21:31 PST
Message-Id: <3.0.3.32.19981103192131.00956100@mailback.parc.xerox.com>
To: w3c-dist-auth@w3.org
I agree that the spec must take a principled position on the issue.

I don't agree with any of the positions that have been advocated.  (But I
confess, I am not sure that I have seen the alternatives clearly stated and
contrasted.)

Let me suggest a possible set of rules for DAV's handling of XML in dead
properties:

1. DAV servers MUST preserve the hierarchical structure of elements.
1. DAV servers MUST preserve the order of elements.
2. DAV servers MUST preserve the names of elements
3. DAV servers MUST process the xml:lang attribute
4. DAV servers MUST process the namespace attributes
5. DAV servers MUST process whitespace in accordance with the DTD (or the
relevant XML attribute, if there is one)
6. DAV servers MUST preserve the PCDATA contents.

and that's it.

Notably missing is:

x. DAV servers  MAY process other attributes.

because merely permitting it is of no use, since unless it's mandatory,
it's not safe for clients to rely on it.

In my opinion, the DAV object model is *not* XML.  XML is merely a
convenient transport mechanism.  There is no need for DAV to support every
feature of XML, only the minimum necessary to convey the data of the data
model, and to support IETF-mandated internationalized property values.

It should be perfectly reasonable to port WebDAV to use an alternate
on-the-wire encoding, for example BER (used in LDAP).  No attributes there.

Jim
Received on Tuesday, 3 November 1998 22:22:09 GMT

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