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From "Paul Carey (JIRA)" <j...@apache.org>
Subject [jira] Created: (COUCHDB-226) HTTP response codes on doc conflict and database conflict may not agree with HTTP spec
Date Sat, 24 Jan 2009 13:19:59 GMT
HTTP response codes on doc conflict and database conflict may not agree with HTTP spec 
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                 Key: COUCHDB-226
                 URL: https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/COUCHDB-226
             Project: CouchDB
          Issue Type: Bug
          Components: HTTP Interface
    Affects Versions: 0.9
            Reporter: Paul Carey
            Priority: Blocker


I'm creating this issue as per Jan's request. It was originally posted to the mailing list
a short while ago.

==== 

An attempt to create an already existing database returns a 409.

$ curl -v -s -X PUT localhost:5984/shiny_new_db 2>&1 | grep '< HTTP'
< HTTP/1.1 201 Created

$ curl -v -s -X PUT localhost:5984/shiny_new_db 2>&1 | grep '< HTTP'
< HTTP/1.1 409 Conflict

>From the 409 section of the HTTP spec [1]
"This code is only allowed in situations where it is expected that the user might be able
to resolve the conflict and resubmit the request."

But the database already exists - there is no resolution, so I'm not sure a 409 is the best
response code here.

The 412 section of the spec states
"The precondition given in one or more of the request-header fields evaluated to false"
Arguably, this is what should be returned when an attempt is made to re-create a pre-existing
database - the precondition is that you can PUT to a database URI at most once.


As for document conflict, CouchDB returns a 412.

$ curl -v -s -X PUT -d '{"_id":"foo"}' localhost:5984/shiny_new_db/foo
2>&1 | grep '< HTTP'
< HTTP/1.1 201 Created

$ curl -v -s -X PUT -d '{"_id":"foo"}' localhost:5984/shiny_new_db/foo
2>&1 | grep '< HTTP'
< HTTP/1.1 412 Precondition Failed

I think a document conflict might have returned a 409 at some point in the past. In fact this
is what the Document API wiki page [2] states it returns. Given that the user may resolve
the conflict and resubmit the request, a 409 makes sense here.

To clarify, unless I'm missing something, I think an attempt to create an already existing
database should return a 412 and an attempt to update a document that results in a conflict
should return a 409.

[1] http://www.w3.org/Protocols/rfc2616/rfc2616-sec10.html
[2] http://wiki.apache.org/couchdb/HTTP_Document_API


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