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RE: Tx of text type docs and CR/LF, CR, LF translation

From: Lisa Dusseault <ldusseault@xythos.com>
Date: Wed, 3 Jul 2002 16:18:49 -0400
Message-ID: <27889B08CAEC7049B68FAD8717BA6017371BA0@ATL1VEXC006.usdom004.tco.tc>
To: "ME" <dugan@passwall.com>, <w3c-dist-auth@w3.org>

The problem you describe is not particularly a WebDAV problem. IMAP and
FTP are subject to the same problems.  MIME also does not attempt to fix
the problem.

The HTTP 1.1 specification does make some attempt to improve the
situation, and it works *when viewing in the browser*.  It's not clear
how browsers should save files though. The browser could: 
 - save the file the same way it was downloaded
 - save the transformed file, replacing single CR or LF with CRLF

Either approach leads to problems.  The current common approach, where
the browser saves the file the way it was downloaded, means the file may
be unusable when viewed in various text editors.  However, if the
browser transforms the file, it may be altering the file
inappropriately.  The transformation assumes that wherever CR or LF is
used CRLF is appropriate, and that may not be true for all uses of

I see why you wish attention to be brought to this subject, but the real
offenders are not WebDAV clients.  It's applications like NotePad that
can't display reasonable file formats that are problematic. Those
implementers are unlikely to read this list or the WebDAV specification.

You might try reporting this behavior as a bug to the manufacturers of
the offending software.


-----Original Message-----
From: ME [mailto:dugan@passwall.com] 
Sent: Wednesday, July 03, 2002 12:17 PM
To: w3c-dist-auth@w3.org
Subject: Q?: Tx of text type docs and CR/LF, CR, LF translation


I have searched with google, read afew dav FAQs, and looked through some
RFC before posting this message here. This is my first post to any
list, so please bear with me for any mistakes I may make. :-)

Problem: When WebDAV enabled clients (tested with "MS Web Folders",
"Cadaver", and "Goliath") request a text file (text/plain, text/html)
a DavEnabled Webserver (in this case Apache 1.3.26 with mod-dav-1.0.3
running over SSL) the file is transmitted from the server with the same
line termination the file had when examined on the server from a shell.

Files previously edited with SimpleText (MacOS), or notepad (Windows)
stored on the server with netatalk-asun or samba contain CR (^M) or CRLF
(^M^J) respectively. Files created from Linux bash with emacs/vi have
LF (^J) as the line termination char.

Files created strictly from a Mac are not in "human readable format"
the windows user opens then with notepad.

Files created strictly from a Windows box are not in "human readable
format" when the mac user opens then with SimpleText.

Forcing users to use a web authoring tool, or "BBEdit" (Mac) or
like Codewarrior Editor (Windows) that can deal with the 3 common line
terminations strings for files and leave the file in "human readable
format" are known, but not desired.

Web browsers (Netscape, MSIE, Lynx) read these files from the same web
server and perform proper translation such that the browser
subsitutes the client OS's own line break for the served content's body
(or file's contents.)

This seems to echo rfc2616 , section: 3.7.1 
    "Canonicalization and Text Defaults:"
( http://asg.web.cmu.edu/rfc/rfc2616.html )

"When in canonical form, media subtypes of the "text" type use CRLF as
text line break. HTTP relaxes this requirement and allows the transport
text media with plain CR or LF alone representing a line break when it
done consistently for an entire entity-body. HTTP applications MUST
CRLF, bare CR, and bare LF as being representative of a line break in
media received via HTTP."

So, here is my thought:

If RFC for HTTP/1.1 states "HTTP applications must accept CRLF, bare CR,
and bare LF as being representative of a line break in text media
via HTTP." and WebDAV clients are considered HTTP Applications, and the
specs for WebDAV include use of HTTP for transmission of text type docs,
then shouldn't WebDAV clients also "inheirit" this requirement from

If so, could this be included to be more explicit in the present RFC for

Presently, I am using mod_rewrite and server side processing with
directory forward inheiritance to process through DAV based requests for
files and perform translation to the end of line termination string of
DAV requests files based on the client string submitted in the request.
This is clunky and is not the "right solution" and I am looking for
somehting better such as getting vendors of WebDAV based clients to


Version: 3.12
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Received on Wednesday, 3 July 2002 16:19:52 UTC

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