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Re: v6: external members

From: Jim Davis <jdavis@parc.xerox.com>
Date: Mon, 26 Jan 1998 10:24:05 PST
Message-Id: <>
To: "Roy T. Fielding" <fielding@kiwi.ics.uci.edu>, w3c-dist-auth@w3.org
At 06:49 PM 1/24/98 PST, Roy T. Fielding wrote:
>It seems to me that the use of PROPFIND to provide a namespace listing
>is merely providing a window to the namespace allocation functionality
>of the server.  It has become so stripped down as to no longer correspond
>to what is normally referred to as a collection (at least within other
>Hypertext systems).

I am not sure I understand Roy, but if I do, I agree with him, conditionally.

Let me elaborate and expand on what I think this means.

The proposed semantics for collection are so weak as to not be "worthy" of
the name "collection".

If these semantica are retained  (I would prefer expanded semantics, e.g.
external members as first class citizens, and optional support for
ordering) then perhaps a better name, more faithful to the actual
semantics, would be "directory"  or "folder".  I find "namespace" to be too
generic, since one may speak of a namespace of domain names, but perhaps
the term "namespace" is used in a coherent way throughout the spec.  If
that's the generally accepted term in the HTTP community (forgive my
ignorance) then it's fine.

If so, shouldn't the method MKCOL be renamed to MAKENAMESPACE (or MKDIR) as

This would leave the (you should excuse the term) "namespace" of method
names free for a future Web extension that actually supported collections.

To reiterate, this is conditional agreement.  If I can't have collections
with rich semantics I'd rather just have MKDIR and be done with it.

Roy also wrote:

>With that sense, external members ==> server-side redirects.

which I simply don't get.

Best regards

Received on Monday, 26 January 1998 13:28:28 UTC

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