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Re: last calling WebDAV mounting spec, was I-D ACTION:draft-reschke-webdav-mount-01.txt

From: Jim Whitehead <ejw@soe.ucsc.edu>
Date: Mon, 26 Sep 2005 10:38:12 -0700
Message-Id: <99F46DCD-7A8E-4DFC-B9EE-C20736FA3271@cs.ucsc.edu>
Cc: WebDav <w3c-dist-auth@w3.org>
To: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>

I somewhat agree with Cullen here, in that the meaning of "mount" is  
somewhat ambiguous.

Some thoughts on how to improve the introduction:

* Add a discussion of the problem this specification is aiming to  
solve. Something like:

"In current Web browsers, there is no uniform way to specify that a  
user clicking on a link will be presented with an editable view of a  
WebDAV server. For example, it is frequently desirable to be able to  
click on a link, and have this link open a window that can handle  
drag and drop interaction with the resources of a WebDAV server."

* It might also be useful to give one or more concrete scenarios of  
use of this protocol. Something like, "For example, many educational  
institutions use WebDAV servers as a mechanism for sharing documents  
among students. Each student owns a separate collection structure on  
a WebDAV server, often called their "locker". Ideally, when a user  
clicks on a link in an HTML page provided by the university (perhaps  
by their university Web portal), an editable view of their locker  
will appear."

--------

In its current form, the document seems to focus too much on  
something like Web Folders as the intended client. However, it could  
be very powerful to have an "edit this page" button that either:

- launches a WebDAV-enabled HTML editor (such as GoLive, Dreamweaver,  
or Contribute) on the exact page to be edited
- mounts the WebDAV location (e.g., using the mounting mechanism on  
the Mac, the drive mapping on the PC, etc.) and then fire up a text  
editor or HTML editor on a specific file

Supporting these scenarios would require a bit more mechanism in the  
protocol than is currently present. For example, dm:open is specified  
as a collection -- there is no way to specify the exact resource URL  
to be opened for editing.

--------

Finally, Julian writes:

> WebDAV clients come in many flavors, such as
>
> - filesystem drives (Xythos, Microsoft XP-Redirector, Unix/Linux fs  
> drives such as the one in MacOSX)
> - shell extensions (like Microsoft's Webfolder client)
> - browser extensions (I think KDE#s webdav "URI" support falls into  
> this category)
>
> The aim of this document was to have a platform- and client- 
> agnostic way for a server to let the client's system know that a  
> specific WebDAV URL should be accessed, and that collection itself  
> (or a descendant of it) should be displayed.

It would be nice if the document itself said this.

- Jim
Received on Monday, 26 September 2005 17:38:33 GMT

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