W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-dist-auth@w3.org > January to March 1998

Closing issue: method renaming

From: Jim Whitehead <ejw@ics.uci.edu>
Date: Mon, 5 Jan 1998 16:12:14 -0800
Message-ID: <01BD19F4.B0B4DE80.ejw@ics.uci.edu>
To: "'WEBDAV WG'" <w3c-dist-auth@w3.org>
In the beginning of December there was a brief thread on the mailing list 
concerning the renaming of 4 WebDAV methods, specifically COPY -> DUP, MOVE 
-> RENAME, LOCK ->RESERVE, UNLOCK -> UNRESERVE.  To summarize this thread, 
several list participants felt that changing the method names was a bad 
idea (with Jim Davis starting things off in [1]), and either suggested 
better alternate names [1], or argued in favor of keeping the names as-is 
[1][2], with several in agreement [3][4]. Asad Faizi was the sole voice in 
favor of the proposed change [5], arguing that the method name is only a 
token, and any token should work as well as any other, so long as it is 

I feel Roy Fielding expressed the most compelling argument against changing 
the method names, stating [2]:

A working group builds a body of shared knowledge around a set of
concepts and assigns names to those concepts.  After a year or so
of arguing about the preferred set of semantics to associate with
those names, the names do indeed become infused with semantics.
So, while HTTP doesn't care, the people who have to remember arguments
going back four years do care, and get mighty confused in the process.

In other words, I'd prefer the original names.


It is my belief the rough consensus of the working group is opposed to 
changing the method names.  If there are any new voices in favor of 
changing the method names, please speak up now, otherwise I will consider 
this issue closed, and the next revision of the draft will contain the old 
method names (COPY, MOVE, LOCK, UNLOCK).

- Jim

[1] Jim Davis, 
[2] Roy Fielding, 
[3] Marc Eaddy, 
[4] Ron Daniel, Jr., 
[5] Asad Faizi, http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-dist-auth/1997Oc  
Received on Monday, 5 January 1998 19:22:18 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.4.0 : Friday, 17 January 2020 20:01:12 UTC