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From: Jim Whitehead <ejw@cse.ucsc.edu>
Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2001 17:16:41 -0800
To: "Roy T. Fielding" <fielding@ebuilt.com>
Cc: "WebDAV" <w3c-dist-auth@w3.org>
> Under what conditions did it not work?  Do you mean just never
> implemented?

The source link was never implemented.

The two reasons I have heard for this (there may be more) are:

(a) Server implementors did not want to handle the namespace complexity of
automatically creating new areas of the namespace for source resources. That
is, on most servers, the source resources would be "synthetic" -- the server
would be making up the URL for the source resource, and would be managing
interactions with this synthetic resource.

(b) There was insufficient direction given to client implementors on how to
use and handle the source link, especially in the case of multiple sources
for a given resource. The user interfaces of almost all existing DAV clients
implicitly assume there is just a single "source" representation for a
resource. Perhaps DAV's closeness to a traditional network file system
protocol is coming back to haunt us. Certainly, it would involve significant
UI and operational shifts to accommodate more.

I think existing client UIs could handle a standard mechanism to get at 1
source representation for a resource. I do not think they can handle a
mechanism that provides access to multiple source representations. Efforts
to do so will, like the source link, be ignored. I think it is instructive
that the only mechanism that has gained any traction so far is the Translate
header, which provides access to one source representation.

- Jim
Received on Monday, 29 October 2001 20:20:39 UTC

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