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Re: resourcetype locknull

From: <ccjason@us.ibm.com>
Date: Thu, 14 Oct 1999 11:44:42 -0400
To: "Geoffrey M. Clemm" <gclemm@tantalum.atria.com>
cc: w3c-dist-auth@w3.org
Message-ID: <8525680A.0056214F.00@D51MTA03.pok.ibm.com>

Whoops, I thought I already sent this...

   From: ccjason@us.ibm.com

   Or similarly LOCK, DELETE (leave null lock flag), PUT, PROPATCH, UNLOCK....

   Or LOCK, DELETE (null lock left), COPY (tree perhaps), play, UNLOCK.

   Or xserver COPY...   LOCK (depth), DELETE, PUT, MKCOL, PROPATCH, MKCOL, etc
   And reduces possible error conditions in the middle of sequences of methods
   a client might want to invoke.   And facilitates backing things out if it has
   error... because it knows what the state is and can feel safer about backing
   out...  (depth null lock)

  As Jim Amsden mentioned, according to 2518 you will lose your LOCK as soon
  as you issue a DELETE, so you will have to request another LOCK, and there
  will be a window of opportunity for someone to get in ahead of you with
  their LOCK.  But their doing so does not introduce any lost update issues,
  but just says that you have to wait for them to finish instead of the other
  way round.  This is just the normal situation in distributed authoring.

Right.  That's what 2518 says.  That's why I explicitly noted it.  But
we haven't completed the spec.  The assumption is that we'd support this.  If
we do... we could use lock null resources in this way.  See my previous
postings on this.

Right, deleting the lock doesn't create a lost update problem.  It does cause
a problem where someone else can slip in a lock, thus block you, abort
because what they expected there is no longer there.  But of course you've
done the delete, so you've only done a partial execution and you can't really
back out.  You've lost atomicity.   So to get around this a client app might do
instead of a delete... so at least it has a chance of backing out your change,
but once again someone else's lock can block it even if it's a temporary lock.
As you see... this type of atomicity is not achievable without the this type of

   Question... what situations are complicated by lock null resources.  I'm sure
   must have covered this, but I forget what they were and I didn't record them.
   I'd like to record this in the issues list.

  With lock null resources, a client has to think about
  what special thing they might need to do in case what appears to be
  no resource in some cases (404 coming back from a GET), appears to
  be a resource in other cases (PROPFIND).  In particular, the client
  needs to indicate this fact somehow to a user when the user requests
  information about a collection.  So it is not just the client but
  the user that pays a cost for this feature.

Interesting.  I'll note that... and give it more thought.  JimA just posted
a proposal that would resolve this.  Something about giving the null resource
a body.  To some extent... it no longer would be a null resource then though.
More thought.

  If you look at it from the server side, removing lock null resources
  is of course an unconditional win (Jim Amsden already made that point
  in an earlier message).

I'll look for that posting and list it here.
Received on Thursday, 14 October 1999 11:41:03 UTC

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