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RE: RFC2518 (WebDAV) / RFC2396 (URI) inconsistency

From: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@greenbytes.de>
Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2001 22:16:18 +0100
To: "Roy T. Fielding" <fielding@ebuilt.com>
Cc: "Matt Timmermans" <mtimmerm@opentext.com>, <w3c-dist-auth@w3.org>, <uri@w3.org>
Message-ID: <JIEGINCHMLABHJBIGKBCEEBCDIAA.julian.reschke@greenbytes.de>
> From: Roy T. Fielding [mailto:fielding@ebuilt.com]
> Sent: Tuesday, November 20, 2001 10:03 PM
> To: Julian Reschke
> Cc: Matt Timmermans; w3c-dist-auth@w3.org; uri@w3.org
> Subject: Re: RFC2518 (WebDAV) / RFC2396 (URI) inconsistency
> ..
> How is making a normative change to an Internet Draft Standard a less
> intrusive change?  I can rewrite all of the W3C's recommendations and

By relaxing the rules (why does the scheme-specific part have to be
non-empty, besides common sense :-), (almost) nobody would be hurt. We can
still discourage or even forbid *new* URI schemes with empty scheme-specific
parts, but this wouldn't really affect anybody else.

However, changing RFC2518 breaks *all* WebDAV clients and servers.

> pass them through that process faster than I can change 2396 and all
> of the implementations of URI references.  In any case, I wouldn't
> change the definition of URI -- at most, the definition of URI-reference
> would change, and even then only if it were warranted by implementations
> that are believed to be correct.
> If the XML namespaces spec is broken, fix it.  If it isn't broken,

It isn't broken.

> then fix WebDAV.  Both of those communities are miniscule in comparison.
> What matters to URI is whether or not "DAV:" is believed to be a valid URI
> reference, and the fact is that it is not and therefore the standard
> for URI references should not be changed.  XML namespaces needs to decide
> if the xmlns value is actually a URI-reference or something more like a
> URI prefix, and if the latter is true they should update that spec.
> Otherwise, WebDAV is broken and must be fixed on its own.  That is the
> nature of one immature standard depending on other more mature standards
> for its specification.

Technically correct. But extremely expensive and likely to be ignored by all
major companies with existing code out there. So I don't think this is

If you insist that RFC2396 can't change and others insist that XNL
namespaces can't change (I bet there'll be many!), then there are two
possible outcomes:

- The issue is ignored just like it was before. This is now a bit harder now
that it's documented.
- RFC2518++ is changed accordingly, and *all* software would need to be
updated (basically throwing WebDAV back years).

Whose choice is it, actually?

Received on Tuesday, 20 November 2001 16:17:24 UTC

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