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Re: [Judy Slein's] Comments on draft DASL protocol spec

From: Jim Davis <jdavis@parc.xerox.com>
Date: Sat, 14 Mar 1998 18:44:19 PST
Message-Id: <>
To: www-webdav-dasl@w3.org
At 02:14 PM 3/13/98 PST, Judith Slein wrote:

Lots of good comments.  In this email I am only addressing the ones where I
have something useful to say.  The other points also need addressing but I
have nothing worthwhile to contribute.

>2.3.2 If we use the definition of "query" from the requirements, we would
>expect the searchrequest XML element to contain (in addition to the query
>grammar) search scope, result record definition, search criteria, sort
>specification, and other search attributes.

I think the language in 2.3.2 is correct as it stands, since it is trying
to describe any potential query to DASL, not just the 'simplesearch' query.
 While I am sure that all query syntaxes will include means to 'define the
criteria [and] the result record', it is at least possible that some others
would not have any concept of scope or of sorting.  Consider AltaVista or
Lycos.  There's no meaningful concept of scope there, it's just 'the whole
web'.  So while many query syntax can and do support these, not all do, so
they are covered under 'any other attribute for the search'.

>6.5 Do we need both "from" and "scopelist"?

I don't think so.

>[6.8] On the request side: For content-based searches, you might want to say
>"Find all resources that contain the expression "motor", but check only
>their Enlish-language variants."

This at least is easy, since DAV defines the getcontentlanguage property.

>5, 6.10.  I'm a little confused about the relationship between a query
>grammar and a query grammar schema.  If the schema is as described in 6.10,
>I would not expect it to be a property of the SEARCH request-URI.  There
>might be different scopes within the jurisdiction of the request-URI that
>allow different properties to be searched, or that allowed content-based
>search or not.

Ooops.  Right you are.  This needs rethinking.

>It also seems wrong for the property name to be the name of the query
>grammar.  I expect the property name to be a URI that will get me to a
>definition of the property.  So for the simplesearch schema property, I
>expect it to get me to a definition of the syntax and semantics of the
>schema (as in 6.10), not to the definition of the query grammar.

I think you are confusing two possible uses of the property name URI.  One
is to fetch a property, the other is to fetch a schema (DTD).  Partly the
confusion is because I used the word 'schema' both for query schema (e.g.
list of operators supported for a given resource) and also for DTD schema.
The latter is concerned with XML syntax, and is fixed, once and for all, by

the  XML Namespace note says that to find the DTD schema of an XML element
(more precisely, the schema for the entire namespace) one uses the 'href'
attribute of the namespace processing instruction.  That is, 
<?xml:namespace name="dav:" as="D"
Received on Saturday, 14 March 1998 21:55:33 UTC

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