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RE: Should I use displayname?

From: Randall Severy <severy@cyberteams.com>
Date: Sat, 22 Jan 2000 12:05:12 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: w3c-dist-auth@w3.org
At 11:13 AM 1/20/00 -0800, Jim Whitehead wrote:
>Well, the intent of the displayname property was to provide a mechanism by
>which a user could assign a more meaningful name to a resource other than
>just the URL.  In particular I was thinking about non-latin character sets
>(like Kanji), which are currently poorly handled by existing URLs.


       It's also a big issue when you're dealing with resources from 
something other than a simple filesystem.  It's very risky to assume that 
the URL always refers to a filename that is meaningful to the user.  For 
example, our WebSite Director DAV interface supports DAV access to our 
workflow processing.  The URL for an update request in a workflow stage 
would be something like "/WSD/Editing/requestB18894", which of course would 
be virtually meaningless to users.  The displayname property however, will 
be set to something like "ADD /mydir/myfile.html" or "MOVE 
/mydir/myfile.html TO /otherdir/myfile.html", which *will* be meaningful to 
users.  Because of the fact that Web Folders ignores the displayname 
property, we're having to do some seriously ugly URL mangling to make our 
DAV interface even modestly useable.

>However, this thread is certainly showing that there is an interoperability
>problem here. There are two choices:
>1) Have the server make it a dead property, initialized to be empty.
>Clients would display the last path segment from the href URL
>preferentially, but would display the displayname property if set.

I think it should be an option for servers to initialize the property to 
something meaningful to users, as in the example given above.  Also, 
clients should display the displayname property if set and only display the 
last part of the URL if there is no displayname property, again based on 
the example given above.

>2) Have the sever make it a dead property, initialized to the last path
>segment of the href URL.  The client would always use the displayname value.

This assumes that the last path segment of the href URL has any meaning to 
the user, which is often not the case when dealing with document 
repositories and other non-filesystem servers.

Cheers.......    Randall

Randall Severy    severy@cyberteams.com    http://www.cyberteams.com/severy
CyberTeams, Inc.    info@cyberteams.com    http://www.cyberteams.com
Mt. Airy, MD
(301) 829-6144          "Building effective teams in cyberspace"
Received on Saturday, 22 January 2000 12:07:33 UTC

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