Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

4747Re: [rest-discuss] REST and the design of HTTP methods

Expand Messages
  • Julian Reschke
    Jan 2, 2005
    • 0 Attachment
      Roy T. Fielding wrote:
      > ...
      > Yeah, Yaron's twisted little view of history. It would be more
      > accurate to say
      > that some people insisted HTTP could not carry internationalized data in
      > header fields (which is blatantly false -- it is only inconveniently
      > encoded),
      > and thus spawned an incredibly convoluted XML format for properties,
      > which
      > later got boiled down to name-value pairs (like all metadata systems).
      > DASL
      > got invented because an XML search interface was needed to deal with
      > the complex
      > properties, but was later dropped due to lack of interest in a
      > half-assed
      > variation of what the real database people were working on with XQuery.

      OK, another interesting read is in Jim Whitehead's and Yaron Goland's
      "The WebDAV Property Design"

      I came to WebDAV only in early 2001 (when all design decisions were
      already made and DeltaV was nearing completion). However, I do agree
      with some of the points made about using HTTP headers for properties, in

      HTTP header values can use non-ASCII characters (RFC2231), but the
      header names itself can't (or am I missing something)? So if it is a
      requirement that property *names* can use arbitrary characters, they
      can't be mapped to header names.

      It would be an interesting exercise to define a new request header for
      GET/HEAD that would basically transport PROPFIND (depth=0) information
      in headers. Anybody interested?

      > The issue of identification started because of a really bad paper tiger
      > design
      > for munging URIs that was proposed by someone else, rejected, and then
      > replaced
      > by me during a meeting at Xerox PARC with the imagemap-style URI
      > provided
      > by the server. Larry did not object to that style of munging. The
      > design was
      > not used by WebDAV because the editors chose not to for some unknown
      > reason,
      > not because there was any objection from the working group (on the
      > contrary,
      > both Henrik and I objected to the extra methods). All of that nonsense

      I'd really like to see that proposal, however I haven't been able to
      find it in the mailing list archives so far. Unfortunately, the other
      archive that's supposed to have it
      (<http://ftp.ics.uci.edu/pub/ietf/webdav/>) seems to be
      misconfigured/down right down.

      > about extra round-trips is just bullshit invented by Yaron --
      > Microsoft's own
      > implementations had no such concern for round-trips and actually made
      > two
      > unnecessary requests prior to each WebDAV resource action just to check
      > if it
      > was actually WebDAV-enabled.
      > WebDAV is stuck with that design because we let Microsoft dominate the
      > working group as the only significant implementation. Apache's mod_dav
      > didn't come along until much later. Henrik's implementation in libwww,
      > completed during the HTTP/1.1 design, was ignored because it didn't use
      > XML.

      Although I'm not happy with many parts of the WebDAV design, there
      doesn't seem to be a lot of competition, probably because it's "good
      enough". However, that doesn't mean that it wouldn't be a good thing to
      actually document an alternate design -- maybe it could get traction
      outside the Microsoft world (such as Apache/mod_dav and Apache Slide).

      Best regards, Julian

      <green/>bytes GmbH -- http://www.greenbytes.de -- tel:+492512807760
    • Show all 25 messages in this topic