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Moving forward on access control

From: Jim Whitehead <ejw@ics.uci.edu>
Date: Mon, 25 Oct 1999 15:11:39 -0700
To: WebDAV WG <w3c-dist-auth@w3.org>

Long-time members of the working group will recall that an access control
protocol has long been on the agenda of this working group. The basic idea
is to develop a network protocol, a set of extensions to HTTP, for remotely
controlling access permissions for a Web resource. The lack of this protocol
has not, to date, been a showstopper. Though access control is unboudtedly a
feature that an authoring server must provide, the existence of
server-specific interfaces for setting access permissions has, to date, been
sufficient. However, these interfaces are not interoperable, and are
generally not usable via a programmatic interface.  That is, they assume a
human is driving them, not a program.

Over the group's life, there has been significant work on this subject, with
several Internet-Drafts and meetings on the topic.  There is a goals
document and a protocol document:

WebDAV Access Control Goals

WebDAV ACL Protocol

There was also a breakout session on access control at the Orlando IETF:

In fact, if you give the documents a read, you'll find both of them are in
really good shape, thanks to the hard work of their editors, and do not
appear to require a huge amount of work to be completed.

Unfortunately, due to me not making them a priority, and due to the working
group being focused on the advanced collections protocols, work on access
control has languished. I'd like to restart efforts to finish the access
control protocol.

So, I'm putting out a call for volunteers to work on the WebDAV Access
Control Protocol. If you've been sitting on the sidelines waiting for a good
opportunity to get involved, this may be it.  If you feel access control is
important to WebDAV, then I encourage you to get involved.  I'll also be
repeating this call for volunteers during the WebDAV WG meeting at the
Washington DC IETF meeting.

I'd like to see a couple of things:

* Volunteers willing to work on the protocol
* Someone willing to volunteer weekly or biweekly conference call facilities
* Volunteers who would be willing to act as a document editor
* Volunteers who would be willing to spearhead efforts on the protocol,
coordinating meetings, delegating work to other volunteers, etc.  Since I
need to finish my Ph.D. studies, this person cannot be me, much as I might
like to do it.

If you're interested, please send me an email at ejw@ics.uci.edu.  If
someone volunteers some conference call facilities, we could hold a
teleconference as early as next week.

- Jim
Received on Monday, 25 October 1999 18:12:55 UTC

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