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Collections ending in slashes: consensus reversal?

From: Lisa Dusseault <lisa@xythos.com>
Date: Tue, 21 Jan 2003 20:34:10 -0800
To: "Webdav WG" <w3c-dist-auth@w3c.org>
Message-ID: <000001c2c1cf$82d98640$620afea9@xythoslap>

At the Interop working group meeting several months ago, the consensus
of those attendees was that servers should be more strongly encouraged
to consistently end collection URLs with trailing slashes (TS).
Presumably this would replace some instances of SHOULD with MUST etc.

Today however, a different group of WG attendees came to the opposite
conclusion: that servers aren't going to get better at this (they
already have their reasons if they're not using TS consistently, e.g.
performance concerns of finding out if an internal resource is a
collection).  If servers won't get any better, then it's more pragmatic
to encourage clients to check for the TS all the time. Under this view,
clients should be easily capable of examining the TS before
concatenating the name of a new resource they're about to create.
Resource type is the correct way to determine whether a resource is a

There is some fallout if we move to the model of saying that it doesn't
matter whether the server uses a TS ending or not.  For example, if a
client creates a collection without a TS, and the server prefers to use
TS the server should respond with Content-Location and the "normal" name
for the collection. Also, vice versa. This means that the client knows
what to expect if it then does a PROPFIND on the resource. 

In other words, this puts the onus for handling TS on the client. 

I'd like to see some discussion if people have anything to add, or
summary of advantages & such. I'm thinking probably a straw poll shortly
if Jim concurs.

Received on Tuesday, 21 January 2003 23:34:15 UTC

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