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Resource-Type and Ref-Target Headers

From: Slein, Judith A <JSlein@crt.xerox.com>
Date: Wed, 15 Sep 1999 13:22:08 -0400
Message-ID: <8E3CFBC709A8D21191A400805F15E0DBD2444A@crte147.wc.eso.mc.xerox.com>
To: "'WebDAV'" <w3c-dist-auth@w3.org>
This is the first of a series of messages reporting on proposals from the
advanced collections design team.  This one concerns reducing the number of
new headers defined in the bindings and redirect references specs.

Yaron suggested getting rid of the Resource-Type header because headers are
not good for representing structured information, and we can anticipate that
sooner or later we will want to put structured information into
Resource-Type.  Instead, we should put the information into an XML message
body.

Jim Amsden suggested getting rid of one or more of Destination, Location,
and Ref-Target, since these headers all seem to carry similar information.

We would like to get rid of both Resource-Type and Ref-Target, replacing
them with the DAV:reftarget property in the message body.

We were using Resource-Type only in 302 responses from redirect references.
Resource-Type was only there to let the client know that it was not getting
a 302 response from a plain HTTP resource, but rather a response from a
redirect reference.  We can convey the same information by returning the
DAV:reftarget property in the response body.  The presence of that property
indicates that the response is from a redirect reference.

We were using Ref-Target only in MKREF requests, to identify the resource
that is the target of the reference being created.  Again, the same
information can be conveyed in the message body with the DAV:reftarget
property.  The value of DAV:reftarget differs from either Destination or
Location in that a relative URL is allowed in DAV:reftarget.

We didn't invent Destination or Location.  We use Location because HTTP
requires it to be present on a 302 response.  We use Destination with the
BIND request because it seemed like a good fit with the existing header,
which was originally defined for use with MOVE and COPY.

--Judy

Judith A. Slein
Xerox Corporation
jslein@crt.xerox.com
(716)422-5169
800 Phillips Road 105/50C
Webster, NY 14580
Received on Wednesday, 15 September 1999 13:22:01 GMT

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