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RE: WebDAV properties: why the lack of support?

From: John Mott <jmott@ekeeper.com>
Date: Sat, 13 May 2000 10:40:32 -0500
To: "Jim Whitehead" <ejw@ics.uci.edu>, "WebDAV WG" <w3c-dist-auth@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000d01bfbcf1$92ab3fe0$2800000a@ci70795-a.nash1.tn.home.com>

The eKeeper application does precisely this; we store user-defined
properties on the server. Those properties are defined within the context of
our application, to be sure, but we are using WebDAV as it was intended; to
store buckets of arbitrary properties, perhaps from different namespaces,
with a resource on the server.

John Mott
CTO, eKeeper.com

> -----Original Message-----
> From: w3c-dist-auth-request@w3.org
> [mailto:w3c-dist-auth-request@w3.org]On Behalf Of Jim Whitehead
> Sent: Friday, May 12, 2000 7:11 PM
> To: WebDAV WG
> Subject: WebDAV properties: why the lack of support?
>
>
> So, Gabriel Lawrence's email has prompted me to bring up a question I've
> been mulling for awhile: why have WebDAV applications tended not
> to provide
> support for setting arbitrary properties?
>
> One hypothesis is that WebDAV tools so far have been interested in the
> protocol as a form of Web-based network file access protocol.  Certainly
> this is consistent with the way Web Folders, sitecopy, and the WebDAV
> Explorer view the world, and the main motivation for the Web-based storage
> sites like Sharemation to provide WebDAV support.
>
> Another hypothesis is that the value of properties only emerges once a
> searching mechanism is available.  Since DASL is not complete, there is no
> reason for users to set metadata, since there is no way to use it.
> Generalizing, there isn't any use, because there aren't any clients that
> exploit metadata for their usage.
>
> A third hypothesis is that there aren't any current conventions for how to
> use WebDAV properties. For example, even if you did want to set some
> bibliographic metadata on a resource, how would you do it?  What property
> name would you use, and how would the data be formatted?  It seems to me
> some standardization effort is needed here.  The Internet-Draft
> submitted by
> Elliot Christian, draft-christian-prop-semantics-00.txt, available at:
> http://www.ietf.org/internet-drafts/draft-christian-prop-semantics
-00.txt is
one example of the kind of work that needs to take place to establish
property usage conventions. John Stracke's I-D, "Use of Dublin Core Metadata
in WebDAV", draft-ietf-webdav-dublin-core-01.txt, available at:
http://www.ics.uci.edu/pub/ietf/webdav/dc/draft-ietf-webdav-dublin-core-01.t
xt is another.

But, maybe there are other reasons why WebDAV properties have, so far, not
been used.

Thoughts?

- Jim
Received on Saturday, 13 May 2000 11:44:29 GMT

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