Re: Distributed Authoring Proposals

Roy T. Fielding (fielding@kiwi.ICS.UCI.EDU)
Fri, 21 Mar 1997 10:39:13 -0800

Subject: Re: Distributed Authoring Proposals 
In-reply-to: Your message of "Wed, 19 Mar 1997 21:23:45 PST."
Date: Fri, 21 Mar 1997 10:39:13 -0800
From: "Roy T. Fielding" <fielding@kiwi.ICS.UCI.EDU>
Message-ID:  <>

>I suggest considering eliminating COPY and instead using
>PUT, but when the value being PUT is Content-Type:
>message/external-body, then the server can copy the data
>from the original source.

I disagree.  Doing a PUT of a message/external-body means you want
to create or replace a resource that consists of a message/external-body.
The same problem applies with using multipart/related to imply a different
action than that requested by the method.

Not surprisingly, I prefer COPY for asking the server to perform a copy,
and the PATCH method for asking the server to perform a partial update.
PATCH had the additional benefit that it was independent of content-type,
and thus I wouldn't have to argue with Fabio about VTML or the MIME folks
about multipart/mixed+message/partial or any number of other data formats
that are great for some tasks and not for others.

These and other failed attempts at standardizing WEBDAV functionality
within HTTP can be seen in