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What it means to be dead

From: Jim Davis <jdavis@parc.xerox.com>
Date: Tue, 21 Jul 1998 20:39:18 PDT
Message-Id: <3.0.3.32.19980721203918.0095f100@mailback.parc.xerox.com>
To: www-webdav-dasl@w3.org

At 09:30 PM 7/20/98 PDT, Babich, Alan wrote:

>I don't understand two things: (1) What do you mean
>"use datatype in the query"? Does this amount to decorating 
>literals? 

Yes.  That's all I mean.  

We've all already agreed (I think) that there is no need to specify a
datatype in a query against live properties or against "famous" dead
properties.  The only issue is whether to specify a datatype in a query
against obscure dead properties.

I have been trying to show that 
 a) to do so would raise great difficulties, and
 b) to not do so would cause only minor inconvenience.

This is the *only* point I am trying to make.

>So, how obscure are they? Can you put an integer into one
>belonging to ordinary resource 1, put an ASCII string into one 
>belonging to ordinary resource 2, and then put in a datetime value to
>update the property on ordinary resource 1? 

Yes.  The meaning of "dead" is that the server does not enforce syntax or
semantics (WebDAV 3.1).  This applies to all dead, whether famous or obscure.

Some implementation of DAV may have no 'famous' dead properties at all.
Any property that is searchable will be checked at PROPPATCH time, which
would make it live, not dead.  Others will not check.  They will accept the
update (thus the property is dead) but at index time will either skip any
property with bad syntax, or perhaps treat it as a string.  (I know you
can't do this in SQL.)

So, having said all this, I'll ask again.  I know you want datatype in the
QSD.  Do you see *any* reason to put it into the *query*?  
Received on Tuesday, 21 July 1998 23:39:11 GMT

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