I tried to put this question directly to tbednarz@webdav.org (this address comes from the mailto: tag on the bottom of the page at: http://www.webdav.org/goliath/) but the message was bounced.  If anyone here can forward this to Thomas, I would appreciate it.

As well, if anyone here can reply to any of all of this query, that would be appreciated too.

Thanks in advance for any help on this.

-------------------------- msg to forward -------------------------


In our university system (Georgia), we use an enterprise level Learning Management System called "WebCT Vista" which supports WebDAV in addition to traditional/classic HTTP upload methods (see http://www.webct.com/vista).

I'm one of the few Vista Institutional Admins who are also Mac users so have been asked to look into problems that have been reported by Mac users of the system and investigated by WebCT technical support personnel (see report quoted below). 

Goliath was identified as a solution to a problem with the MacOS X client having to do with its behavior in updating files that have been modified (e.g. edited).  Apparently, the MacOS X client deletes and recreates the file which destroys important metadata on the server (IMS ContentID) and Goliath (as well as many other WebDAV clients) does not.

Unfortunately, we cannot use Goliath instead of the MacOS X client because port 21 is not available to our students (fire wall) and is needed by Goliath.  This claim seemed strange to me because I had thought that all WebDAV clients used HTTP port 80 alone.  Is this not the case?

WebCT Vista operates a bit differently than most other WebDAV-enabled servers in that it generates the URI that client apps need.  Here's an actual example:


Obviously, the length and complexity of these URIs makes such a practice necessary.

Now for my question.

As far as you know, are the statements below accurate?  Whatever insights you'd care to share will be greatly appreciated. 

------------------- from WebCT Support --------------------

Mac Finder's functionality causes it to delete and recreate a file when
uploading an updated version. As a result, the Content ID of the file
will change, and all links to that file will be broken. This is an
issue with Mac Finder.

Goliath, a WebDAV client for Macintosh, does not have this issue, and
was recommended to be used instead of Mac Finder. However, Goliath does
not function correctly with Georgia's Vista instance because it needs to
work through port 21, which is blocked at the firewall.

Mac Finder's WebDAV behaviour does not match
that of any other WebDAV client we have tested with.  Finder is the only
one I know of so far that deletes and recreates a brand new file when uploading
an updated version of a file.  All other tested WebDAV clients open the
existing file on the server and replace the contents.  Given that we don't
have Partner, or Higher Escalation status with Apple, a possible solution is to
have both USG and WebCT log a ticket with Apple Customer Support on this
issue.  Depending on how much hardware and software that is purchased and
deployed on the Georgia campuses, USG may have more influence than WebCT on
Dr. Frank Lowney  frank.lowney@gcsu.edu
    Director, Electronic Instructional Services, a unit of the
    Office of Information and Instructional Technology,
    Professional Pages: http://www.gcsu.edu/oiit/eis/
    Personal Pages: http://www.faculty.de.gcsu.edu/~flowney
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