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Comments on the "new" 2518

From: Kevin Wiggen <kwiggen@xythos.com>
Date: Wed, 1 Mar 2006 17:42:59 -0800
Message-ID: <03E7D3E231BB7B4A915A6581D4296CC602062DFB@NSNOVPS00411.nacio.xythos.com>
To: <w3c-dist-auth@w3.org>

Section 15 makes "Display Name" a customizable live property. Putting on
my SERVER hat, this seems easy (although not something that Xythos
allows today).  That being said, I am concerned about what this really
means in the client world.  The three most used Webdav Clients (that I
know of at least) attempt to make a webdav server look and feel to the
end user like a mounted file system.  We can argue that this is not a
good idea, but in practice, this is what has been implemented.  The
question for a client developer is "what to show to the end user, the
display name or the URL."  I would argue that most end users would want
to see the display name (especially with servers that give names to
resource URLs that are not friendly).  Let's look at some scenarios
(assuming that the client is a command line interface with display names
being used as the directory/file names):


*       /123/234/345.txt is a valid URL while the display names map to

*       /123/234/456.txt is also valid at /foo/bar/fuu.txt

*       mv fee.txt lala.txt => proppatch (possibly giving the user 2
filenames that are the same, which most operating systems don't like)

*       mv fee.txt ../fee.txt => move (it is possible this would fail
because a different 345.txt already exists in 123, this would be very
confusing to the user as they would have no clue WHY there move is

*       mv fee.txt ../lala.txt => move + proppatch (notice there is no
way in Webdav to do this as a single transaction, it is possible this
command could leave the user in a messed up state)


If we do have display name as separate, can it be non-unique?  The whole
fact that there are two names for things (with different rules) seems
very confusing to end users.  Of course a client could ignore display
name completely (or make a new column for it in a directory listing
detail) but that has lead to some usability issues for some end users as
well.  (Note that "some" of the MS webfolder clients show display name
although they issue MOVE's to nonexistent resources if you try to rename

Received on Thursday, 2 March 2006 01:43:05 UTC

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