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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.



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

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