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DELETE in WebDAV Advanced Collections

From: Slein, Judith A <JSlein@crt.xerox.com>
Date: Thu, 22 Apr 1999 10:47:03 -0400
Message-ID: <201BB34B3A73D1118C1F00805F1582E801BA4DA7@x-wb-0128-nt8.wrc.xerox.com>
To: "'WebDAV'" <w3c-dist-auth@w3.org>
If you look at version 3.2 of the Advanced Collections spec, you will see
that we are defining DELETE to mean just one binding to the resource gets
removed, the one identified by the request-URI.  If there are multiple
bindings to the resource, the rest remain, and the resource continues to be
accessible through them.

We realize that in the end we need two operations, one of which removes a
single binding and the other of which removes all bindings to a resource.
The issue is whether to interpret DELETE as removing a single binding and
introduce a new DESTROY method to remove all bindings, or to introduce a new
UNBIND method to remove a single binding and interpret DELETE as removing
all bindings.

There has been some discussion on the mailing list of the proposed
definition of DELETE as removing a single binding, but I would like to
solicit more.

This definition appears, on the surface at least, to contradict RFC 2068,
which says that the methods defined there apply to resources.  For DELETE,
it says, "The DELETE method requests that the origin server delete the
resource identified by the Request-URI."  (It also says that the client
should not assume that the operation has been carried out, even if a success
status code is returned, so that may give us some room to maneouver.)

RFC 2518 explicitly states that a DELETE must result in the removal of all
URIs from their collections for the resource identified by the request-URI.

What has led us to our proposed definition of DELETE as removing one binding
is a concern about the versioning spec.  In the context a versioning, it
would be nice for down-level clients to be able to issue DELETE requests and
have something reasonable happen.  But in the context of versioning, the
only thing it makes sense to do is remove a single binding.

--Judy

Judith A. Slein
XR&T/Xerox Architecture Center
jslein@crt.xerox.com
8*222-5169
Received on Thursday, 22 April 1999 10:44:16 GMT

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