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Re: Last Call: draft-ietf-webdav-rfc2518bis (HTTP Extensions for Distributed Authoring - WebDAV) to Proposed Standard

From: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 2007 14:46:02 +0100
Message-ID: <45B6119A.3030009@gmx.de>
To: Ted Hardie <hardie@qualcomm.com>
CC: Kevin Wiggen <kwiggen@xythos.com>, Cullen Jennings <fluffy@cisco.com>, Manfred Baedke <manfred.baedke@greenbytes.de>, Geoffrey M Clemm <geoffrey.clemm@us.ibm.com>, ietf@ietf.org, WebDav <w3c-dist-auth@w3.org>

Ted Hardie schrieb:
> At 1:36 PM -0800 1/19/07, Kevin Wiggen wrote:
>> I think what the spec needs is some love and attention.  If enough of us (and I will volunteer to READ and COMMENT) spend time on this, I think we can come to some sort of resolution.  I would hate to see the work done by the working group, Geoff, Julian, Lisa, etc go to waste.
> I would also hate to see the work of this working group go to waste.  But I do not
> believe that an additional two months, starting with a document that is not
> up to date or the product of working group discussion, is at all a practical

Ted, could you please elaborate why you think the document is not "up to 
date"? It is based on draft 17, and during the past year, I've made sure 
that any change that has been applied to the WG draft has been applied 
to my document as well (see 

Also, it *is* a result of working group discussion, in that it proposes 
resolutions to issues that the WG has brought up. No, it doesn't 
necessarily reflect *consensus*, but nor does the WG draft, I'd say.

> time estimate.  As its Area Advisor, I gave this working group a six month
> time line to finish its work eighteen months ago.  The last three months of

And you were right in doing so, as the WG had been making no noticeable 
progress for a very long time before; a fact that I complained about 
often enough.

Unfortunately, the first three months of that period were lost as well, 
and that's a shame (see for instance 
To make things worse, after the WG last call eleven months ago most 
issues that were raised have been left unfixed, although resolutions for 
many of them were made.

> that period saw more significant activity than the working group had had
> in the previous year.  Close to the deadline, Cullen asked that the WG be
> extended as there were a few final issues that needed resolution. 
> We are now almost a year on from that point.  Suggesting that an additional
> two months would resolve things is, bluntly, completely contrary to the
> experience of this WG. 

You are right, but just in the case as the WG continues to work the way 
it did before.

> The first draft of this document was issued  *five years ago*.  If it is better
> than 2518, it is time to push it out the door and making a new line in the sand. 
> Too much of what to do with webdav is now "lore" in the heads of the
> current implementors and unavailable without sifting through the WG
> archives.  I believe getting this document out will help, even if it does not solve
> the problem completely or meet its original goal (to get to Draft Standard).

Well, it's IMHO a bad idea to push out a document with known *bugs*, in 
particular if it's easy to fix them. I will start an errata list right 
away (just like I did for RFC3648/3744), but the *right* thing to do 
would be not to publish the document knowing about these problems.

> That doesn't preclude there ever being a 2518ter or a Draft Standard here.

I care a lot about a specification that is correct, and a bit less about 
it's status in the standards ladder. So it seems to me that work on a 
revision will have to start right away, no matter whether there's an 
IETF WG or not.

> But with the current inputs, we are well past the point of diminishing returns.
> Getting this document out as a Proposed Standard seems to me, both personally
> and as the working group's area advisor, the best balance of retaining the work
> that has been done and setting the stage for eventual further work.

I would agree if the current document wasn't fixable. But it is.

Best regards, Julian
Received on Tuesday, 23 January 2007 13:46:20 UTC

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