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RE: Standard WebDAV Properties

From: Jim Whitehead <ejw@ics.uci.edu>
Date: Tue, 9 Mar 1999 14:38:35 -0800
To: WEBDAV WG <w3c-dist-auth@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000601be6a7d$91957520$d115c380@galileo.ics.uci.edu>
> We could do something similar for client extensions to WebDAV based on
> resource types and properties. This could be facilitated by establishing a
> web site that WebDAV client developers could visit and contribute to that
> would contain proposals for properties and resource document types to
> support particular domains. For example, one could envision a
> consortium of document management providers who would collaborate on
> resource types and properties to support document life cycle management
> as described above.

> This would allow client providers to establish standards without extending
> the WebDAV protocol for particular domains of interest while
> still enabling interoperability. Client applications could continue to add
> value of their own, but could expect that documents conforming to the
> standard would have expected properties and structure.
> I propose that we establish such a web site, and that the WebDAV working
> groups may want to exploit this concept themselves instead of adding a lot
> of DAV properties to the standard that may prove to be too domain specific
> for general reuse, or result in too may server options for clients to be
> effectively written.

One of the goals of using URIs (hence URLs) for the names of properties was
to allow WebDAV properties to be developed by multiple communities of
interest without initially requiring central registration.  But, as Jim A.
points out, sometimes you want to be able to write property definitions down
someplace where everyone can find them.  In the IETF these central
registration points are called "registries", and are currently administered
by IANA.

It strikes me that the registration of resource types currently well handled
by the MIME registry, and there is no need to duplicate this.

However, I do feel there is a need for a registry of WebDAV properties,
since none currently exists.

Jim Amsden was suggesting that we set up a Web site and have the properties
listed there, an ad-hoc registry.  My only concern with this approach is the
lifespan of the web site.  WebDAV is going to be around for a long time,
tens of years at minimum I suspect, and any registry needs to have
institutional support which can guarantee the registry will be around for a
similar length of time.  In my view, IANA provides a reasonable guarantee
that they will be around for a long time. Thus I favor having IANA be the
registration authority, rather than a Web site.  It'll take a little more
initial work, but it will be more stable (and less painful) in the long run.

One deliverable this group should produce is a document creating a registry
of WebDAV properties.  I'm not an expert at creating registries, but at
minimum this document should contain:

 - An explanation of what the registry is for (in this case, DAV properties)
 - Information that needs to be provided for each property
   - property name
   - property semantics
   - DTD fragment for contents (if applicable)
   - BNF for internal syntax of elements (if applicable)
   - security considerations
   - contact information for the property maintainer
   - live or dead property  (& behavior if live)

- Jim
Received on Tuesday, 9 March 1999 17:50:27 UTC

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