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Re: I-D ACTION:draft-hopmann-collection-props-00.txt

From: John Stracke <francis@netscape.com>
Date: Mon, 11 Jan 1999 13:03:53 -0800
Message-ID: <369A6739.E03C87CC@netscape.com>
To: w3c-dist-auth@w3.org
Miles Thompson wrote:

> Surely the whole purpose of a standard is that the whole thing,
> *all* the properties and methods, API etc can be treated as a 'bundle'
> that I can assume to exist.

This is not the case; standards are not monolithic.  WebDAV is built over
HTTP, but that doesn't mean that every HTTP server should support WebDAV.
Similarly, the collection properties proposal is built over WebDAV, but not
every WebDAV server would have to support the collection properties.

More generally, even within a single spec, there are often parts that not
everybody will support.  Most HTTP servers don't support PUT; many (most?)
routers ignore the TOS field; many SMTP servers laugh in your face if you
try to use EXPN or VRFY.  You just have to deal with it.

> If I cannot assume some properties exist
> then I would have to, as you say, fall back on more primitive methods,
> in which case why even put them in the spec?

They are not in the spec; they are in a separate spec of their own.

I believe the point of specifying them is that, for certain classes of
client, they will provide certain efficiency benefits; since some vendors
are going to want those benefits, we should standardize how you get them,
rather than keeping quiet and watching everybody define their own
mechanisms.  It does introduce an extra axis of variation, but at least it
standardizes that axis.

|John (Francis) Stracke    |My opinions are my own.|S/MIME supported |
|Software Retrophrenologist|=========================================|
|Netscape Comm. Corp.      | You buttered your bread, now lie in it. |
|francis@netscape.com      |                                         |
Received on Monday, 11 January 1999 16:04:00 UTC

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