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RE: Spec clarifications

From: Jim Whitehead <ejw@ics.uci.edu>
Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 13:36:44 -0800
Message-ID: <01BD37BB.430BC9E0.ejw@ics.uci.edu>
To: "'Sanford L. Barr'" <sbarr@interwoven.com>, "'w3c-dist-auth@w3.org'" <w3c-dist-auth@w3.org>
A couple of additions to Yaron's points are below:

On Wednesday, February 11, 1998 7:22 PM, Sanford L. Barr 
[SMTP:sbarr@interwoven.com] wrote:

> As I read the spec it seems that the current WEBDAV protocol is very 
> site, live content centric (content is taken directly from a live site,
> edited and returned directly to the live site).

A very astute observation.  However, I do agree with Yaron that WebDAV 
provides significant value for collaborators working on content at the 
first stage of the web publishing process.  I have always thought that a 
good Web-based workflow system (shameless plug: my favorite is the 
web-based Endeavors system being developed at U.C. Irvine, 
http://www.ics.uci.edu/pub/endeavors/endeavors.html), which itself can be 
based on the WebDAV protocol, is the best way to manage flow of web content 
from the authoring repository to the published repository.

> *) How to discover "real" source of a file (seems vague from spec)

On servers which support the source link, a WebDAV client will be able to 
retrieve the value of the "source" property (Section 12.11), which will 
contain a link which points to the source of the resource.  I expect this 
link will be a live link on most servers.

> In closing, I'm hoping that the working group will take a careful
> consideration of the issues involved with WEBDAV integrating with 
> versioning and workflow systems before ratifying the current draft
> specification.  I'd personally like to see the industry adopt WEBDAV, but 
> in it's current form, the omission of versioning and the lack of enabling 
> even the most simple workflow trigger (collection submit) seems to limit
> its overall usefulness, and makes it difficult to integrate effectively
> into existing site management, versioning and workflow systems.  I 
> with a little extra refinement and discussion the current spec could be
> extended to address these needs.

Echoing Yaron, versioning has long been a work item of the WebDAV working 
group, and it still is.  You, myself, the WebDAV Design Team, and many 
others are very interested in developing a web versioning standard, and I 
expect work on this will progress very rapidly once the Distributed 
Authoring specification has been completed.

The key issue with splitting up the specifications into ones for ordered 
collections, access control, and versioning is to keep their size down. 
 Already at 80+ pages the Distributed Authoring spec. is arguably too 
large. By dividing the specifications, the amount of work required to 
review each specification is reduced, and the ability to focus on the 
hundreds of minor details in each spec. is increased.

Also, far from being "a little extra refinement", I suspect we will find 
the versioning specification will be on the order of 40-50 pages long. 
 Taking on such a task now would delay the adoption of the Distributed 
Authoring features by many months, a needless delay given there is 
significant utility to the set of features in the Distributed Authoring 

So, I hope you will join me in pushing the Distributed Authoring 
specification forward for approval, and starting to work on the versioning 
protocol draft.

- Jim
Received on Thursday, 12 February 1998 17:36:23 UTC

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