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RE: White paper: Bootstrapping the Two-Way-Web

From: Lisa Dusseault <lisa@xythos.com>
Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2000 12:08:33 -0800
To: "Dave Winer" <dave@userland.com>, <xml-dist-app@w3.org>
There's certainly a long tradition of programmers ignoring standards and
inventing a new protocol to suit their particular needs. There's also a long
tradition of pointing out that said programmers are either ignorant or
engaging in NIH.

It's always easier (short-term!) to invent something specific for your
particular application if you don't have to think about the general case.
But in the long term, it may be very hard to port it to another platform, or
to use it for similar but non-identical scenarios.  The purpose of
standardization committees, inefficient and unwieldy and time-consuming
though they are, is PRECISELY to encourage people to work together and
produce something that will be interoperable across time, across platforms,
and across applications.

Every single copy of MS Exchange 2000 and IIS 5.0 supports WebDAV, as does
Apache with mod_dav.  Every copy of Office 2000 and IE 5 is a WebDAV client,
various Linux UI/browser communties are close to (or are) shipping WebDAV
support, there are around half a dozen WebDAV client libraries for various
languages.  There are numerous special-purpose servers and clients
supporting WebDAV. All these seem to interoperate adequately.

"Lots of ways" to interact with CMS scares me, because it IS hard to
implement yet another protocol.  The document management, locking, property
hierarchy, link behaviour, collection properties and permission models all
must be harmonizable.  They won't be unless they begin from a common --
standard! -- model.

I laud and agree with your acceptance of extensions/extensibility.  However,
fragmentation introduces incompatibility.

  -----Original Message-----
  From: Dave Winer [mailto:dave@userland.com]
  Sent: Monday, November 20, 2000 11:07 AM
  To: Lisa Dusseault; xml-dist-app@w3.org
  Subject: Re: White paper: Bootstrapping the Two-Way-Web

  Lisa, there are going to be lots of ways of getting content from writing
tools into content management systems.

  There are also reasons why WebDAV hasn't taken off in this area. Limits
imposed by varying quality of implementation issues by some tool vendors.

  In this piece I also said: "Instead of bemoaning the tendency of
programmers to 'improve' on other programmer's protocols, let's embrace it.
If you don't like our SOAP/XML-RPC interface for Manila, write your own, to
suit your own tastes. Then let's evangelize your interface alongside ours,
and we'll make every effort to support it as well as our own. The important
thing is to present a simple and intuitive way of editing text for users.
How the connection is made isn't very relevant to users. So if you want to
innovate, go for it."

  That's the way it goes. I argued that the W3C didn't need to do XP because
SOAP was already there. I argued that we didn't need SOAP because XML-RPC
was already there. And I can go back a lot further if you want, and I bet
we'd predate WebDAV too. But it's hardly worth arguing about. We already
have 15,000 sites that support these protocols and it's growing quickly. So
if you want to give the users something exciting, it's not that hard to
support YET ANOTHER protocol.

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Lisa Dusseault
    To: Dave Winer ; xml-dist-app@w3.org
    Sent: Monday, November 20, 2000 10:48 AM
    Subject: RE: White paper: Bootstrapping the Two-Way-Web

    There's already an IETF standard for authoring documents using HTTP and
XML.  It's called WebDAV.  It's already supported by many editing tools,
document repositories, and web servers.

    Disclaimer: The company I work for makes a WebDAV-compliant repository.
This doesn't change the fact that it's the IETF standard.


    Lisa Dusseault

      -----Original Message-----
      From: xml-dist-app-request@w3.org
[mailto:xml-dist-app-request@w3.org]On Behalf Of Dave Winer
      Sent: Monday, November 20, 2000 9:49 AM
      To: xml-dist-app@w3.org
      Subject: White paper: Bootstrapping the Two-Way-Web

      "The net result is that I can edit Web documents in my favorite
editing tool because I have wired it up to the Web through SOAP and XML-RPC.
When I save the document in the normal way, it automatically pushes it
through templates and macros, it's linked into a calendar and is immediately
indexed by a search engine. The Web is starting to become the ideal
networked writing environment."



Received on Monday, 20 November 2000 15:07:37 UTC

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