Distributed Authoring and Versioning

IETF WEBDAV Working Group

World Wide Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning

Working Group Overview

Discussion List

The discussion list for the WEBDAV Working Group is <w3c-dist-auth@w3.org>. Joining this discussion list makes you a member of the working group.

Joining. Requests to join this discussion list may be sent to <w3c-dist-auth-request@w3.org> .
Archives. This discussion list has a hypertext archive, as well as an FTP archive (European mirror).

Related Working Groups

Current Draft Documents

==> Extensions for Distributed Authoring on the World Wide Web [PDF]
[List of Changes from 07]
Yaron Goland, Jim Whitehead, Asad Faizi, Steve Carter, Del Jensen

This document represents the current Design Team proposed solution for providing an interoperability specification for how to perform distributed authoring and versioning capability within the HTTP framework. Note that the text version of the document is the authoritative representation, and if there are differences between the text version and other versions, the text version is always correct. Currently at Internet-Draft revision 08, April 7, 1998.This draft was submitted to the IESG for standards track approval on April 9, 1998..

Paul Leach, Rich Salz

This document describes the format and creation algorithm for universally unique identifiers (UUIDs). UUIDs are used in the WebDAV Distributed Authoring protocol specification for lock tokens. Currently at Internet-Draft revision 01, February 4, 1998. This draft was submitted to the IESG for standards track approval on March 5, 1998.

==> Requirements for Advanced Collection Functionality in WebDAV
Judith Slein

This draft sets out requirements for more advanced, optional collection functionality beyond that supported by the distributed authoring protocol specification. It extends the base functionality in two general directions: support for referential members, and support for ordered collections. Currently at Internet-Draft revision 01, May 20, 1998.

==> WebDAV Advanced Collections Protocol
Judith Slein

This draft specifies a protocol for creating and manipulating referential members and ordered collections. Currently at Internet-Draft revision 00, June 5, 1998.

==> HTTP-based Distributed Content Editing Scenarios
Ora Lassila
[Version History]

This document collects scenarios of usage of distributed authoring and versioning tools which have been described by working group members. Currently at Internet-Draft revision level 00, May 31, 1997, <draft-ietf-webdav-scenarios-00.txt>. This draft replaces <draft-lassila-http-edit-dist-00.txt>.

==> Access Control Requirements Home Page
Requirements for Access Control within Distributed Authoring and Versioning Environments on the World Wide Web Howard Palmer

This is the editor's web page for the access control requirements document. The latest draft of the access control requirements document is currently at Internet-Draft revision level 00, November 17, 1997, <draft-ietf-webdav-acreq-00.txt>.

==> WebDAV ACL Protocol
Paul Leach, Yaron Y. Goland

This document describes a protocol for access control on web resources on a WebDAV server. Currently at Internet-Draft revision level 00, November 10, 1997, <draft-ietf-webdav-acl-00.txt>.

==> A Web Versioning Protocol
Jim Whitehead

This document describes a protocol for versioning and variant authoring of Web resources. Currently at Internet-Draft revision level 00, June 9, 1998., <draft-whitehead-webdav-versioning-00.txt>.


These documents have been approved by the IESG.

==> Requirements for a Distributed Authoring and Versioning Protocol for the World Wide Web
Judith Slein, Fabio Vitali, Jim Whitehead, David Durand
[Version History]

This document describes high-level functional requirements for distributed authoring and versioning on the Web, and has been issued as Internet Informational RFC 2291. This document is now complete.


There have been many meetings held on the topic of distributed authoring and versioning on the Web. The minutes, agenda, and participants are available for many of the meetings. In reverse chronological order:

Archival Documents

==> Distributed Authoring and Versioning Protocol
Jim Cunningham, Asad Faizi

This protocol specification provides an example of how some of the distributed authoring and versioning requirements can be satisfied by method extensions to HTTP. Currently at author's draft v0.1.

==> Version management with meta-level links via HTTP/1.1
K. Ota, K. Takahashi, K. Sekiya

This Internet-Draft describes version management of WWW resources within the HTTP/1.1 framework. The approach uses meta-level links, which is not an anchor of HTML format, but an attribute of the resource. This allows versioning to be performed on non-HTML format resources.

==> WebDAV Tree Operations
Yaron Y. Goland, Saveen Reddy

This document specifies the methods DELETE-TREE, COPY-TREE, and MOVE-TREE which perform the equivalent of a DELETE, COPY, and MOVE across a collection and all its progeny. Currently at Internet-Draft revision level 01, November 6, 1997, <draft-ietf-webdav-depth-01.txt>.

Existing Work

==> draft-ietf-html-relrev-00.txt
Hypertext links in HTML
Murray Maloney, SoftQuad

This document presents a list of standard HTML link types for use in the HTML LINK element. Issued as an Internet-Draft, it is currently expired, but still of interest to this working group.

==> Authoring Tools Breakout Session at WWW4

Discussion on how to achieve interoperability among distributed web content authoring tools was the focus of this breakout session following the "development tools" session on developers day at WWW4. This session identified a list of issues which affect the interoperability of distributed editing tools, including access control, getting raw HTML before server processing, authentication, versioning (the lost update problem), document DTD labeling, BROWSE and MKDIR methods, editing of variants, and others.

==> The BSCW System
Papers and Information on BSCW

This system provides a shared workspace for interacting with web content. The system supports Netscape 2/3 Gold style POST writing of content to a BSCW web server, checkout/checkin of content, and support for notification of other user's actions within the workspace.

==> DMA 1.0 Specification

The Document Management Alliance is a task force of the Association for Information and Image Management International (AIIM) which is charged with developing an interoperability specification across document management systems. The DMA 1.0 specification has been approved for general use by the DMA Advisory Council as of December, 1997.

==> Open Document Management API

The Open Document Management API (ODMA) is a standard API used between client applications and document management systems.

Versioning and Configuration Management

Providing support for managing the history of a document, allowing for parallel development of an entity, managing the membership of versionable collections of versioned entities, and providing support for browsing collections of versioned entities are all important problems that need to be addressed to support interoperability of distributed web content authoring tools. These issues are being addressed by a sub-group, the Working Group on Versioning and Configuration Management of World Wide Web Content.

Distributed Web Content Authoring Tools

==> Microsoft FrontPage
FrontPage Product Information

Microsoft FrontPage, formerly Vermeer FrontPage, is an HTML editor which can save work to an HTTP server which has been augmented with the FrontPage server extensions.

==> America Online PrimeHost AOLpress and AOLserver
Documentation for AOLpress and AOLserver

The America Online PrimeHost hosting service, formerly known as the GNN Hosting Service, which in turn was formerly known as NaviSoft, provides a service for using their AOLpress software to publish web pages on their server for a monthly fee. Since you can currently download fully-functional, but non-supported versions of their AOLpress and AOLserver tools, it is also possible to experiment with these tools.

AOLpress employs the PUT method to write content to the AOLserver, which implements access control features which control, among other methods, who can PUT to particular namespaces within the server. The documentation for the AOLserver describes how it distinguishes BROWSE, PUT, MKDIR and DELETE as different administrative rights on operations.

==> Netscape Communicator
Communicator Data Sheet

Netscape Communicator provides authoring of HTML documents, along with publishing capability. Communicator can use the FTP and HTTP protocols to remotely write content into the namespace of the HTTP server.

==> MKS Web Integrity
Web Integrity Data Sheet

Web Integrity provides remote authoring and versioning capability. Versioning features include check-in/check-out, change history, and visual differencing.

==> NetObjects TeamFusion
White Paper (PDF)

A multiuser client/server authoring system which supports checkin/checkout version control and a content contribution applet which allows remote uploading of web site content by end-users.

==> W3C Amaya Browser/Editor

Amaya is a graphical web browser that also provides web authoring capabilities. Its main features are WYSIWYG editing of web pages, cascading style sheets, a full implementation of HTML 3.2, and publishing on remote HTTP servers using the PUT method.

==> W3C Line Mode Browser
Command Reference Manual

This character-based web browser was developed for use on terminals, but can be run in interactive mode, non-interactive mode, and as a proxy client. Among its many features, the Line Mode Browser has a PUT command which writes a document to a remote HTTP server from either the local filesystem or a remote HTTP server.

University of California, Irvine
Jim Whitehead <ejw@ics.uci.edu>
Department of Information and Computer Science
247 ICS2 #3425
Irvine, CA 92697-3425

Last modified: 9 June 1998