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is DELETE "best effort"?

From: WJCarpenter <bill@carpenter.ORG>
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2000 11:45:51 -0800
Message-ID: <8709-Thu27Jan2000114551-0800-bill@carpenter.ORG>
To: w3c-dist-auth@w3.org
RFC-2518 doesn't come right out and say so, but I think it implies
that a DELETE on a collection is on a "best effort" basis, where you
can deduce what got DELETEd versus what didn't (and why) from a
possible multistatus response.

Suppose I request a DELETE of /zoo/, where /zoo/ contains /zoo/mammals
and /zoo/birds.  Suppose there is a problem with the DELETE of
/zoo/mammals (it's locked by my corporate rival, Snidely Whiplash).
Should the server, having discovered this, go ahead and attempt a
DELETE of /zoo/birds?

Section 8.6.2 says that if you can't DELETE a resource, you shouldn't
DELETE its ancestors (for the sake of namespace consistency).  It is
silent on what you should do about the resource's siblings, though
(the example in 8.6.2 isn't bushy enough to show it).  There is a hint
that some of the DELETEs may be allowed to succeed while others fail
in that 204 response codes are to be omitted from the multistatus
because they are the default success code.

Is DELETE intended to be "best effort"?
bill@carpenter.ORG   (WJCarpenter)           PGP
bill@bubblegum.net                    0x91865119
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Received on Thursday, 27 January 2000 14:50:55 UTC

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