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RE: Request for 2 people to work on properties like those of RDF

From: Jim Whitehead <ejw@ics.uci.edu>
Date: Tue, 14 Oct 1997 18:09:39 -0700
Message-ID: <01BCD8CC.56E4E260.ejw@ics.uci.edu>
To: "'Bob Schloss'" <rschloss@us.ibm.com>, "w3c-dist-auth@w3.org" <w3c-dist-auth@w3.org>, "'Jim Davis'" <jdavis@parc.xerox.com>
Cc: "Ralph Swick (E-mail)" <swick@w3.org>, "'lassila@w3.org'" <lassila@w3.org>
On Tuesday, October 14, 1997 4:31 PM, Bob Schloss 
[SMTP:rschloss@us.ibm.com] wrote:
> From: Bob Schloss, W3C RDF Data Model and Syntax Working Group co-chair
>  Congratulations on publishing draft-ietf-webdav-protocol-03.

Thank you!  The WebDAV working group has been working hard lately, and the 
-04 version of our draft should be available later this week.  This is part 
of our drive to finish our core specification in early 1998.

>  The Resource Description Framework work is solidifying rapidly.
> I would like to ask 2 people who having been working on WEBDAV --
> in the area of properties -- to work with 2 people who have been working
> on RDF... to understand how RDF properties can be fetched, set,
> deleted etc. using WEBDAV operations, and how the formats for
> returning properties can be harmonized.
>  I suspect that we can understand
> the issues and come up with a proposal (to present to the entire WEBDAV
> WG and to the RDF WGs) in a matter of weeks, possibly sooner if we
> can meeting face-to-face.
>  I am not subscribed to w3c-dist-auth mailing list, but hope
> that those who are could identify the appropriate people (knowledgeable
> and available and willing) and then drop me a note.

I am subscribed to the RDF mailing list (my participation in W3C metadata 
work predates the formation of the RDF list), and there are several people 
in the WebDAV working group who also participate in the RDF working group. 
 I have read the October 2 version of the RDF specification, along with 
much of the relevant related work in the metadata field.

Within the WebDAV design team, we have worked hard to ensure that the 
WebDAV specification is compatible with the W3C metadata activity, and have 
made several changes to our specification along the way to ensure this 
compatibility.  For example, early versions of our specification included 
references to the Web Collections proposal, one of the proposals which has 
fed into the RDF activity.

At present, RDF will simply "plug and play" with the WebDAV property 
system.  A WebDAV property is a (name, value) pair, where the name is a 
URI, and the value is a well-formed XML document.  Since an RDF description 
is a well-formed XML document, an RDF "serialization" block can be placed 
within the value of a WebDAV property, and hence a WebDAV property may 
contain an RDF description.  WebDAV does not affect the semantics of these 
RDF serialization blocks -- this is defined by the RDF specification.  What 
WebDAV does provide is a mechanism by which RDF description blocks can be 
stored and associated with web resources.  In a sense, WebDAV provides the 
"how": how are descriptions stored; while RDF provides the "what": what is 
the syntax and semantics of the description.

Since WebDAV has been actively working to remain synchronized with RDF, I 
remain unconvinced that there is a need to create a task force to determine 
the interactions between the WebDAV protocol and the resource description 
format.  It sounds like what is needed is a brief white paper explaining 
how an RDF description is set and retrieved using the WebDAV property 
mechanism, highlighting the already existing interoperability between these 
two drafts.

However, since our goal is to ensure that WebDAV and the W3C metadata work 
can interoperate, if you have any concrete issues concerning this 
interoperability, please feel free to raise these issues with me or the 
WebDAV working group.

- Jim Whitehead
  Chair, IETF WEBDAV Working Group
Received on Tuesday, 14 October 1997 21:13:46 UTC

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