2.1.12 WWW Distributed Authoring and Versioning (webdav)

NOTE: This charter is a snapshot of the 62nd IETF Meeting in Minneapolis, MN USA. It may now be out-of-date.

Last Modified: 2005-02-01


Lisa Dusseault <lisa@osafoundation.org>
Joe Hildebrand <jhildebrand@jabber.com>

Applications Area Director(s):

Ted Hardie <hardie@qualcomm.com>
Scott Hollenbeck <sah@428cobrajet.net>

Applications Area Advisor:

Ted Hardie <hardie@qualcomm.com>

Mailing Lists:

General Discussion: w3c-dist-auth@w3.org
To Subscribe: w3c-dist-auth-request@w3.org
In Body: Subject of subscribe
Archive: http://www.w3.org/pub/WWW/Archives/Public/w3c-dist-auth/

Description of Working Group:

The goal of this working group is to define extensions to the Hypertext
Transfer Protocol (HTTP) that enable remote collaborative authoring of
Web resources. This is the third charter for
this Working Group, and does not include items
that have already been completed by this Working
Group (base WebDAV Proposed Standard, ordered
collections extension, and access control

When the WebDAV working group was initially formed, it was reacting to
experience from circa-1995/96 HTML authoring tools that showed they
were unable to meet their user's needs using the facilities of the HTTP
protocol. The observed consequences were either postponed introduction
of distributed authoring capability, or the addition of nonstandard
extensions to the HTTP protocol. These extensions, developed in
isolation, are not interoperable. The WebDAV Distributed Authoring
Protocol, RFC 2518, addressed these concerns by providing facilities
overwrite prevention (locking), metadata management (properties), and
namespace management (copy, move, collections).

Despite their utility, several important capabilities were not
in the initial Distributed Authoring Protocol. It is a goal to create
protocols to support these capabilities:

* Referential Containment (Bindings): The WebDAV Distributed Authoring
Protocol has unusual containment semantics where multiple containment
is allowed, but not supported by any protocol operations, yet
container deletion assumes inclusion containment, deleting the
container and its members. Most object management systems provide
full support for referential containment, and have delete semantics
only remove the container without affecting contained objects.

* Namespace Redirection (Redirect References): HTTP, via its 301 and
302 responses, supports namespace redirection where a request on one
URL is returned to the client with instructions to resubmit the same
request to another URL.

As with most application layer protocols, implementation and field
experience on the WebDAV Distributed Authoring Protocol has highlighted
many issues that should be addressed as the protocol is advanced from
proposed to draft standard status. Some of these issues will require
additional deliberation within the WebDAV working group.


The following items were initially identified as being out of scope for
the WebDAV working group, and continue to be such:

* Definition of core attribute sets, beyond those attributes necessary
for the implementation of distributed authoring and versioning

* Creation of new authentication schemes

* HTTP server to server communication protocols

* Distributed authoring via protocols other than HTTP and SMTP

* Implementation of functionality by non-origin proxies


The further output of this working group is expected to be these

1. A Bindings Protocol, providing a specification of operations
supporting referential containment for WebDAV collections. [Proposed

2. A Redirect References Protocol, providing a specification of
operations for remote maintenance of namespace redirections, and the
interaction of these redirections with existing HTTP and WebDAV
methods. [Proposed Standard]

4. An updated version of WebDAV Distributed Authoring Protocol that
resolves known issues with the protocol. [Draft Standard]

At present, the Binding Protocol and Redirect Reference protocols have
been through a WG last call but major changes were made and another
WG last call seems advised. The revision of the WebDAV Distributed
Authoring Protocol has been started.

In addition to the IETF Internet-Draft repository
(http://www.ietf.org/ID.html), the most recent versions of these
documents are accessible via links from the WebDAV Home Page,
(http://www.ics.uci.edu/pub/ietf/webdav/), and on WebDAV Resources,

Goals and Milestones:

Done  Revise Access Control Protocol document. Submit as Internet-Draft.
Done  Meet at Pittsburgh IETF. Discuss Access Control Goals and Protocol documents. Discuss issues in WebDAV Distributed Authoring Protocol
Done  Revise Access Control Protocol document. Submit as Internet Draft.
Done  Revise Access Control Protocol, and Access Control Goals documents. Submit as Internet Draft. Begin working group last call for comments.
Done  Revise WebDAV Distributed Authoring Protocol. Submit as Internet-Draft
Done  Meet at San Diego IETF. Hold a review of the Access Control Goals and Protocol documents. Discuss comments raised during working group last call for comments. Discuss issues in WebDAV Distributed Authoring Protocol.
Done  Submit revised Ordered Collections protocol as Internet-Draft. Begin working group last call for comments.
Done  Meet at Minneapolis IETF. Discuss issues in WebDAV Distributed Authoring Protocol, and WebDAV property registry.
Done  Submit revised Ordered Collections protocol as Internet-Draft. Submit to IESG for approval as a Proposed Standard.
May 04  Revise Binding draft, submit as internet-draft. Begin working group last call.
Jul 04  Revise Redirect references draft. Begin working group last call.
Sep 04  Revise Binding as necessary, submit to IESG for approval as Proposed Standard.
Oct 04  Close more open issues in new draft of revised base protocol (RFC2518bis). Consider WG last call.
Oct 04  Revise Redirect references as necesssary, submit to IESG for approval as Proposed Standard.
Dec 04  Submit revised base protocol (RFC2518bis) to IESG for approval as Draft Standard.


  • draft-ietf-webdav-redirectref-protocol-11.txt
  • draft-ietf-webdav-bind-11.txt
  • draft-ietf-webdav-quota-06.txt

    Request For Comments:

    RFC2291 I Requirements for a Distributed Authoring and Versioning Protocol for the World Wide Web
    RFC2518 PS HTTP Extensions for Distributed Authoring -- WEBDAV
    RFC3648 Standard WebDAV Ordered Collections Protocol
    RFC3744 Standard WebDAV Access Control Protocol

    Current Meeting Report


    - Agenda bashing
    - drafts: BIND, Quota, Redirect, 2518bis
    - Meta: charter revision, individual submissions

    Chairs asked if there were any new comments on Bind. There were none. Joe talked about the last call and remaining issues and lack of quorum. The last call happened before the cutoff dates for this IETF, but chairs need to figure out if it's appropriate to do an IETF/IESG last call.

    Anybody here planning on implementing BIND? It is already implemented in SAP Netweaver and Apache Slide. Julian Reschke is both author of the draft and participates on behalf of Netweaver. There was some question on whether the implementors reviewed the document recently (but again note that one of the implementors is author of the draft). Nobody from the Apache Slide effort was participating as far as we could tell.

    A new draft of quota was produced recently with some functionality removed. At this point we're waiting for author's feedback.

    Redirect draft: progress waiting on author's implementation (Netweaver again) to push forward)

    RFC2518bis work: Chairs attempted to find an author with the time and focus to go ahead with 2518bis but haven't been successful. Julian noted that he'd volunteered. Joe pointed out that Julian already has plenty on his plate.

    What is the WG here for and how do we move forward? What should the charter be, or is there enough interest or participation? If there are only a couple individuals doing work, maybe they should be individual submissions anyway. If there isn't enough work and discussion in the WG, maybe it doesn't make sense to have this format of discussion. If none of the people participating in the discussion, coming to the meetings, is this the right format for this. Scott pointed out that Ted was absent this IETF and we'd wait for him to return for decisions like this. We'll take this to list and see if there's any discussion, rebuttal


    None received.