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Re: OPTIONS * (Was: RE: Comments on draft-dusseault-http-patch-00)

From: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2003 19:50:10 +0100
Message-ID: <3FC252E2.7090600@gmx.de>
To: Lisa Dusseault <lisa@xythos.com>
Cc: 'Webdav WG' <w3c-dist-auth@w3c.org>

Lisa Dusseault wrote:
>>Note that the proposed "OPTIONS *" functionality will not 
>>work anyway. 
>>Is it worth keeping the remainder?
> 
> 
> OPTIONS * is an HTTP feature, not a WebDAV feature that we can
> keep or throw away.  It's been there for years.  I haven't seen

Lisa, I pointed out multiple times that your proposals (both RFC2518bis 
and the PATCH spec) indeed contradict RFC2616, which says:

"If the Request-URI is an asterisk ("*"), the OPTIONS request is 
intended to apply to the server in general rather than to a specific 
resource. Since a server's communication options typically depend on the 
resource, the "*" request is only useful as a "ping" or "no-op" type of 
method; it does nothing beyond allowing the client to test the 
capabilities of the server. For example, this can be used to test a 
proxy for HTTP/1.1 compliance (or lack thereof)."

> much opposition to the feature, outside of a few people on the
> WebDAV mailing list.  It's got useful semantics.

Yes. Please stick to them.

> It's too bad, as Julian has pointed out in the past, that the
> Java servlet design made it difficult to add stuff to OPTIONS *.
> (It's not impossible, just difficult.  I can point to existence
> proofs that it's possible, it just requires taking over the root
> namespace with a servlet application, or doing something outside
> the servlet framework.)  To me, that argues for fixes to the 
> Java servlet functionality, not dropping an HTTP feature.  If
> Microsoft "broke" OPTIONS * in its ISAPI design, the standards
> community would not be so likely to quietly drop support for it.

I agree that it would be nice if the servlet spec would allow us to do 
something here. But it doesn't. If you feel this is a big problem, raise 
it in the servlet community.

However I feel it entirely unacceptable to add new "must" level 
requirements (RFC2518bis, section 9.1) when

a) this contradicts RFC2616 and
b) it clearly is impossible to implement for a generic Java servlet.

If you feel strongly about adding this to WebDAV, please discuss it 
first. However just silently putting it in without any prior discussion 
IMHO really isn't constructive.

Regards,

Julian

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Received on Monday, 24 November 2003 13:50:19 GMT

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