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Re: Comments on the "new" 2518

From: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>
Date: Thu, 02 Mar 2006 09:19:28 +0100
Message-ID: <4406AA90.504@gmx.de>
To: Kevin Wiggen <kwiggen@xythos.com>
CC: w3c-dist-auth@w3.org

Kevin Wiggen wrote:
> Section 15 makes “Display Name” a customizable live property. Putting on 

...clarifies. As far as I can tell, this has always been the intent. 
Implementing it as a protected property that always has the same value 
as the last path segment (after un-escaping), such as in IIS, simply is 
completely useless for clients (because it just mirrors information that 
is already there).

> 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 

The URL.

> 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):
> n       /123/234/345.txt is a valid URL while the display names map to 
> /foo/bar/fee.txt
> n       /123/234/456.txt is also valid at /foo/bar/fuu.txt
> n       mv fee.txt lala.txt => proppatch (possibly giving the user 2 
> filenames that are the same, which most operating systems don’t like)
> n       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 failing)
> n       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 

Yes. It's a description, not an identifier.

BTW: lots of servers have been implementing it this way for years, so 
this shouldn't come as a surprise to clients...

> 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 
> them).

Which has been reported as a bug and indeed been fixed. As a matter of 
fact, I think this is the only case where I've been able to convince 
Microsoft in immediately fixing something in the client :-). See 

Best regards, Julian
Received on Thursday, 2 March 2006 08:20:35 UTC

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