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Re: Recognizing a WebDAV enabled client

From: Michael Wechner <michael.wechner@wyona.com>
Date: Mon, 03 Jul 2006 16:21:29 +0200
Message-ID: <44A927E9.40205@wyona.com>
To: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>
CC: w3c-dist-auth@w3.org

Julian Reschke wrote:
> Michael Wechner schrieb:
>>> Well, so far there are no different versions, so the server doesn't 
>>> need to know.
>> but I guess there will be someday ;-)
> I think that if this happens the working group made a grave mistake.

grave mistakes can happen all the time, so I think one should be 
prepared from the very beginning

(thinking about the Titanic or Goedel's incompleteness theorem, whereas 
I don't think Goedel's theorem is wrong, but
it rather shows nicely that unexpectable stuff can happen ... ;-)
>>> If a spec revision or an extension should introduce a change where 
>>> the server does need to know, the client *then* can send the DAV 
>>> request header, as defined in 
>>> <http://greenbytes.de/tech/webdav/draft-ietf-webdav-rfc2518bis-15.html#dav-header>. 
>> ok. Do you know by any chance why BIND in particular is using this 
>> header?
> Sure. It's needed to that a client can communicate to the server that 
> it knows about the status code 208, which a server may use to collapse 
> repeating information in a PROPFIND response (see 
> <http://greenbytes.de/tech/webdav/draft-ietf-webdav-bind-14.html#rfc.section.7.1>). 

thanks for the explanation
>>>> Also the server might want to deliver a different response, e.g. if 
>>>> the GET request is being issued from a regular Web-Browser,
>>>> then the server might respond with a common (X)HTML, but if the GET 
>>>> request is being issued from Cadaver or OpenOffice then
>>>> the server might respond with an ODT file.
>>> Well, that's what the HTTP "Accept" request header is for.
>> right, this might makes sense for formats. But I would argue with 
>> another usecase, namely Custom Authentication
>> instead of HTTP authentication (BASIC or DIGEST).
> "Custom" authentication basically is authentication that bypasses 
> RFC2617. I know it's common, but it's not covered by IETF specs right 
> now. I agree that this is a problem that needs to be worked on, but I 
> fail to see how this is a WebDAV problem.

agreed, but are you aware of anyone trying to solve the problem of 
"custom" authentication?
> In particular, for WebDAV it's quite simple: the server should always 
> do RFC2617-based authentication if the request method is OPTIONS or 
> Things get harder with non-browser based protocols such as AtomPut 
> that do *not* use specific verbs.

well, I am coming from a similar background ;-)
>> Let's assume a resource is protected and a server would like to offer 
>> custom authentication, e.g. it would send
>> a HTML to a regular browser and some WebDAV specific XML to a WebDAV 
>> enabled client, whereas I haven't digged into
>> WebDAV far enough how something like this could be handled by the 
>> WebDAV spec.
> The WebDAV spec doesn't care, and doesn't need to.

thanks for clarifying

All the best

> Best regards, Julian

Michael Wechner
Wyona      -   Open Source Content Management   -    Apache Lenya
http://www.wyona.com                      http://lenya.apache.org
michael.wechner@wyona.com                        michi@apache.org
+41 44 272 91 61
Received on Monday, 3 July 2006 14:21:34 UTC

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