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Re: Locking URIs rather than Resources

From: <jamsden@us.ibm.com>
Date: Thu, 30 Dec 1999 23:41:03 -0500
To: w3c-dist-auth@w3.org
Message-ID: <85256858.006BBEFD.00@d54mta03.raleigh.ibm.com>

I didn't follow. Is y a lock-null resource in your example below? It seems
according to your definition below that the URL lock scheme would have the
same behavior as 2518. If y is a lock-null resource:
  LOCK /x; Depth:0
  LOCK /x/y

  LOCK /x/y
  LOCK /x; Depth:0
In the first sequence, the LOCK /x/y request fails (assuming the lock token
is not specified or the user is not the owner of the lock) because x is
locked and y can't be created in x either as a name or resource with /x/y
bound to it.

The second sequence, both methods succeed because x isn't locked, so y can
be created, lock-null or not. Now x can be locked with depth:0 because
there are no conflicting locks. What am I missing? Or are you just saying
that LOCK doesn't require a lock token? Why the special case? What happened
to your proposal to remove lock-null resources?

Now consider the case where y isn't a lock-null resource, but an existing
resource. The first sequence could succeed without a lock-token on /x
because locking /x/y doesn't change the state of /x in any way. The second
sequence would also succeed. Is this what you meant?

If we don't have lock-null resources, how will names be reserved? Don't
worry about the issue?

Now some locking questions. If LOCK applies to the name, not the resource,
/x/y.htm is locked, and /b/c.htm is bound to the same resource as /x/y.htm,
is /b/c.htm locked too? Probably not. A user not owning the lock on
/x/y.htm could DELETE /b/c.htm since that URL isn't locked. What about LOCK
/b/c.htm? Say some other user would like this URL to remain fixed, but
doesn't want to change the contents of the resource. Would that fail due to
a conflict with the lock on /x/y.htm? Probably should. Now what if a user
not owning the lock does a PUT on /b/c.htm. According to the definition
below, this would fail even though the URL isn't locked. So the user can do
a delete, but not a put on /b/c.htm. Sounds a little confusing. Looks like
the lock is on both the name and the resource in some way.

"Geoffrey M. Clemm" <geoffrey.clemm@rational.com>@w3.org on 12/30/99
10:26:21 PM

Sent by:  w3c-dist-auth-request@w3.org

To:   w3c-dist-auth@w3.org

Subject:  Re: Locking URIs rather than Resources

I agree with all aspects of Yaron's interpretation of the "URL locking"
proposal.  It illustrates the fact that in this proposal, a LOCK (and
request never fails due to the absence of a Lock-Token header.

A benefit of this approach can be seen if you invert the order in which the
locks are issued, namely, instead of:
  LOCK /x; Depth:0
  LOCK /x/y
you request:
  LOCK /x/y
  LOCK /x; Depth:0

In the current 2518 model, the first sequence would fail (for the reason
cited by Yaron) while the second would succeed (I believe ... with 2518,
you probably could make good arguments for both failure and success of the
second sequence).

In contrast, the proposed URI locking model treats these sequences
simply and identically: they both succeed, and they both end up in the
same state - with a Depth:0 lock on /x and a Depth:infinity lock on
/x/y.  In this state, if you want to do a PUT to /x/y and /x/y does
not identify a resource, you need both lock tokens (reasonably enough,
since you are modifying the state of both /x and /x/y).


   From: "Yaron Goland (Exchange)" <yarong@Exchange.Microsoft.com>

   Before I jump into the fray I want to make sure that I actually
   the proposal. One sentence in particular gave me pause for thought.
   stated that "...a LOCK request *never* requires a lock token". I though
   about this, trying to understand exactly what it meant. Below I lay out
   thinking process so that if I have misunderstood the proposal my error
   be found and corrected.

   Imagine user U takes out a depth 0 lock on collection C. Collection C
has no
   children. The ramification is that no one but U may add a new child to
   User A then shows up and wants to create a new resource with the URL
   Before creating the resource, however, A would like to first reserve the
   name C/R. To this end A takes out a lock on C/R.

   In the old system A's request would be rejected. The reason is that in
   old system locks are on resources. Therefore for A to lock the name C/R
   has to create some resource which 'owns' C/R and then lock that
   This is where lock-null resources came from. They are the 'stand-in'
   resource who holds the name C/R until A is ready to transfer ownership
   the name to its final destination. However creating the lock-null
   to hold C/R means that the lock-null resource would automatically become
   child of C. U, through its lock on C, has reserved the exclusive right
   create children of C. Therefore A's request to lock C/R is rejected
   the creation of the lock-null resource to hold the name C/R would
   U's lock on C. (Is it just me or does the previous sound like an Abbott
   Castello routine? Castello: Who has the lock? Abbott: Who has the lock.
   Castello: No, who has the lock?!? Abott: Exactly.)

   But in the new proposal locks aren't on resources, they are on URIs.
   Therefore when A locks C/R it is not locking a resource, it is locking a
   name. Names aren't members of collections, resources are. Therefore A
   lock C/R without running afoul of U's lock on C because C/R, even though
   is locked, is still not a member of the collection. When A will run into
   trouble is when it attempts, through a COPY, MOVE, PROPPATCH, PUT,
   etc. to associate the URL C/R with a resource. By associating a resource
   with C/R A will cause that resource to become a member of C. Of course U
   reserved the right to create new members of C, therefore A's request
will be

   The result is that A can lock C/R without submitting a lock token.
   there isn't much A can do with the lock on C/R because doing anything to
   would require associating it with a resource, which U's lock prevents.

   Geoff, did I get it right?


   > From: Geoffrey M. Clemm [mailto:geoffrey.clemm@rational.com]
   > A lock can be placed on a URL with a LOCK request.  This URL is called
   > the "lock base".  If the lock is Depth:N, then a lock is induced on
   > any URL that consists of the lock base extended by N or fewer
   > segments.  Only an authorized holder of a lock token for a locked URL
   > can modify either the state of the resource identified by the URL, or
   > which resource is identified by the URL.  A URL MAY NOT be locked
   > with two exclusive locks with the same locktype.
Received on Friday, 31 December 1999 14:37:17 UTC

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