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RE: Some problems with the WebDAV protocol

From: Henrik Frystyk Nielsen <frystyk@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 21 Apr 1999 11:41:47 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: Greg Stein <gstein@lyra.org>
Cc: ejw@ics.uci.edu, w3c-dist-auth@w3.org
At 01:08 4/20/99 -0700, Greg Stein wrote:
>On Tue, 20 Apr 1999, Henrik Frystyk Nielsen wrote:
>> >b) If this scenario is a problem for DAV, it seems to me it's also a
>> >for downlevel HTTP/1.1 clients too, since what you're alluding to is a
>> >general problem having to do with the implications a restriction on one
>> >of a containment relationship has on the other end.
>> No, as HTTP/1.1 doesn't have the requirement that "all ancestors MUST
>> already exist" then it can create the resource
>> "http://example.com/foo/fuzz/bar.html" just fine without caring about
>> whether /foo and /foo/fuzz exist or not.
>But HTTP/1.1 also does not require that servers create those intermediate
>collections. Your point is bogus... you're simply relying on some
>precedent rather than the specification.

I don't follow what you are saying here. 

>As a server author myself, I have stated that my response to PUT will
>return an error if you PUT to a collection that doesn't exist. Forget DAV
>-- that is my statement for PUT itself. I don't believe you have a basis
>to tell me that my response is incorrect.

You can do whatever you want but that doesn't mean that everybody else
thinks that this is the right thing. The purpose of a specification is to
allow people to interoperate without inflicting "sanity rules" of whatever
you feel is the right thing to do at the moment.

>Ergo, why is this issue w.r.t. PUT being argued? Server authors are free
>to return an error in this scenario.

which is fine

>(DAV simply states they must.)

which is broken as I have pointed out. The notion of whether a resource
exists or not depends on who is looking. The example that I gave leaves the
client no means of knowing whether the server complied with the
specification or not.


Henrik Frystyk Nielsen,
World Wide Web Consortium
Received on Wednesday, 21 April 1999 11:41:57 UTC

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