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RE: Comments on the "new" 2518--Display Name

From: Kevin Wiggen <kwiggen@xythos.com>
Date: Thu, 2 Mar 2006 14:29:19 -0800
Message-ID: <03E7D3E231BB7B4A915A6581D4296CC60206304C@NSNOVPS00411.nacio.xythos.com>
To: "Julian Reschke" <julian.reschke@gmx.de>
Cc: <w3c-dist-auth@w3.org>

Ok let me make sure I understand both Julian and Geoff correctly.

Assume I am the architect of Microsoft Web Folders (a Webdav client).  I
am using Webdav to represent a file system to the user and want people
to use windows explorer like functionality to be able to
move/copy/delete/put/rename/etc files on a web server.  

When my client does a Propfind to the server to request information to
show to the user, I MUST use the last segment of the URL in my display
to show the name of the resource.  It is possible for me to show display
name somewhere else (in a details screen or in a column next to last
update date), but the name of the resource shown to the user should be
from the URL.

Thus if my client attempts to view one of Geoff's repositories where
"those which have large flat collections, where the resources in the
collection have obscure last segments, such as UUIDs," we will be
showing UUID in the interface and display name somewhere else.

I think there is confusion over what is expected and possible by file
system like Webdav clients (which I would argue are the most used Webdav
clients in the world as MS and Apple have them native) and some clarity
in the spec around the use of display name would be nice.


-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-dist-auth-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-dist-auth-request@w3.org]
On Behalf Of Julian Reschke
Sent: Thursday, March 02, 2006 12:19 AM
To: Kevin Wiggen
Cc: w3c-dist-auth@w3.org
Subject: Re: Comments on the "new" 2518

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

...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

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
> 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
> 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

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
> well.  (Note that "some" of the MS webfolder clients show display name

> although they issue MOVE's to nonexistent resources if you try to
> 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 22:29:29 UTC

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