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The WebDAV Book of Why - V. Alpha 3 (fwd)

From: Dan Brickley <Daniel.Brickley@bristol.ac.uk>
Date: Fri, 18 Feb 2000 01:56:46 +0000 (GMT)
To: www-rdf-interest@w3.org
cc: yarong@Exchange.Microsoft.com
Message-ID: <Pine.GHP.4.21.0002180127560.3259-100000@mail.ilrt.bris.ac.uk>


Further to the RDF/WebDAV discussions [1] on the RDF Interest Group,
here's an interesting set of posts from a WebDAV perspective. 

Worthwhile reading for anyone trying to get a handle on the background
to various WebDAV design decisions, though please bear in mind the
Yaron's "this is a personal view" disclaimer below.

It's interesting that RDF and WebDAV have made similar decisions
w.r.t. inventing concatenation conventions on top of the bare XML
Namespaces spec. RDF is more hopeful about dereferencing property URIs
than WebDAV, but both felt the need to have a simple URI name for
metadata properties, rather than the purer mathematic pair provided by
the core XML Namespaces spec...

BTW I'm planning an 'RDF IG issue tracking' page, with
sections at least for 'RDF Model', 'RDF Schema', 'RDF Syntax', 'WebDAV
Interoperability', 'Z39.50 Interoperability', 'XLinks-in-RDF', 'XML
Schema Interoperability' as a minimum starting point. More on this
separately. My hope is we can start to document more carefully
the similarities and differences between the RDF and other information
models, respond in a more organised fashion to 'last calls' etc...

On this front, I'd like to thank Perry for his RDF/WebDAV comparison
work [2] and encourage feedback on his notes from IG members familiar
with both WebDAV and RDF.



[1] http://www.w3.org/RDF/Interest

[2] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-rdf-interest/2000Feb/0013.html

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2000 16:47:52 -0800
From: Yaron Goland <yarong@Exchange.Microsoft.com>
To: "W3c-Dist-Auth (E-mail)" <w3c-dist-auth@w3.org>
Subject: The WebDAV Book of Why - V. Alpha 3
Resent-Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2000 19:48:58 -0500 (EST)
Resent-From: w3c-dist-auth@w3.org

The WebDAV Book of Why
V.Alpha 3 - 2/17/2000 2:39 PM

1         Introduction
This is my personal collection of posts from the WebDAV mailing list. I use
this collection to save me time in answering questions about the design of
the WebDAV distributed authoring standard. In here you will find answers to
everything you ever wanted to know, but were wise enough not to ask, about
how WebDAV ended up the way it did.
Many of these papers contain histories of how various features were
developed. Almost all the histories are wrong. The reason they are wrong is
a)    I have a lousy memory
b)    I didn't bother to actually research my answers
c)    All of the above
On the other hand I have been reviewing some of the old drafts, meeting
notes and mailing lists and there is quite a story in there. Did you know
that WebDAV was originally written to use POST? That WebDAV had support for
fully distributed searching and eventing? We have all the drafts, all the
meeting notes and the entire mail archive. I'm sure there is a researcher
out there who would just love to dive in to a fully documented history of
the development of a protocol. For more information please contact Jim
Whitehead, chief librarian and head researcher of the WebDAV archives.
Nothing said here is official, binding, normative, a standard or
representative of working group consensus. The official history of the
working group is contained in the meeting minutes, the mailing list and the
untold drafts the working group produced. The final word on all standards
issues is the RFC and failing that, working group consensus.

2         Changes
This is the third Alpha release of this reference.
The following new articles were added:
Why are WebDAV's XML namespace rules different than the W3C's?
If you are going to write WebDAV Standards - PLEASE READ THIS
Thoughts on writing standards that real clients can support or "why the
server can just say no" philosophy doesn't work
Why IDs need to be Opaque Tokens
Why IE's Web Folders are accessed through File/Open
The following article Was Removed:
Versioning, Collections and Sources
3         Index

3.1    Properties
A History of WebDAV's Property Design
<http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-dist-auth/1998OctDec/0074.html> -
An explanation of WebDAV's property design, in the form of a fairy tale.
The DAV Property/Message Object Model
<http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-dist-auth/1998JulSep/0044.html> -
Explains the relationship of WebDAV to XML
HTTP Design Issues, lessons from WebDAV's Property and Depth header
<http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-dist-auth/1998OctDec/0303.html> -
Learn from our mistakes in WebDAV, read this if you are going to write
application protocols
Ramifications of WebDAV's property design decisions
<http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-dist-auth/1998OctDec/0302.html> -
This post explores the screw ups we made in the WebDAV property design.

3.2    XML
Why are WebDAV's XML namespace rules different than the W3C's?
How WebDAV Uses the Value argument in defining XML elements
XML Attributes and the WebDAV object model
<http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-dist-auth/1998JulSep/0084.html> -
Why WebDAV doesn't use XML attributes

3.3    COPY/MOVE
COPY and Methods
<http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-dist-auth/1999JanMar/0096.html> -
Discusses all aspects of COPY's behavior but how it deals with properties.
COPY and Properties
<http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-dist-auth/1999JanMar/0097.html> -
Focuses in on explaining COPY's behavior with properties.
Why MOVE isn't really defined as a COPY followed by a DELETE
Why MOVE Eats Write Locks

3.4    Odds and Ends
Collections, Resourcetype and Hierarchy in WebDAV
<http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-dist-auth/1998OctDec/0305.html> -
Explains the reasoning behind the design of collections and how they
interact with the namespace, how hierarchy works, etc. This one is really
long but touches on an enormous number of topics.
Whatever Happened to the Destroy Header and the UNDELETE method?
Why Multi-Status is a 2xx Response

3.5    Useful Design Heuristics
When to Use the Header vs. the Body for Method Arguments
If you are going to write WebDAV Standards - PLEASE READ THIS
<http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-dist-auth/1999JanMar/0130.html> -
Explains how to structure early drafts so as to get maximum consensus in the
shortest period of time.
Thoughts on writing standards that real clients can support or "why the
server can just say no" philosophy doesn't work

3.6    General Philosophy
Levels of HTTP Nirvana or POST Vs. New Methods
Why IDs need to be Opaque Tokens
<http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-dist-auth/1999JulSep/0256.html> -
This paper explains, in gory detail, why URL Munging is a really bad idea.
Why IE's Web Folders are accessed through File/Open
<http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-dist-auth/2000JanMar/0247.html> -
Ever wonder how Microsoft designs UI? 
Received on Thursday, 17 February 2000 20:57:32 UTC

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