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From "Roy T. Fielding" <field...@kiwi.ICS.UCI.EDU>
Subject Re: mod_dav integration
Date Mon, 26 Jun 2000 09:48:13 GMT
To quote the closest thing we have to a mission statement:

   Apache exists to provide a robust and commercial-grade reference
   implementation of the HTTP protocol.  It must remain a platform upon
   which individuals and institutions can build reliable systems, both for
   experimental purposes and for mission-critical purposes.  We believe the
   tools of online publishing should be in the hands of everyone, and
   software companies should make their money providing value-added services
   such as specialized modules and support, amongst other things.  We realize
   that it is often seen as an economic advantage for one company to "own"
   a market - in the software industry that means to control tightly a
   particular conduit such that all others must pay.  This is typically done
   by "owning" the protocols through which companies conduct business, at the
   expense of all those other companies.  To the extent that the protocols of
   the World Wide Web remain "unowned" by a single company, the Web will
   remain a level playing field for companies large and small. Thus,
   "ownership" of the protocol must be prevented, and the existence of a
   robust reference implementation of the protocol, available absolutely for
   free to all companies, is a tremendously good thing.  

WebDAV is a proposed standard extension to HTTP/1.1.  So far, Microsoft
has been the only organization that effectively supports WebDAV for a
general-purpose Web server.  Greg has been doing an excellent job of
doing the work from the Apache perspective, but all of us here should know
by now the difference between a one-developer project and a project
backed by a larger organization.  People trust longevity.

Aside from the above, there is also the issue of security.  Anything
involving distributed authoring needs extensive security review, and the
only way to get that is to put it in the main server code.  Even if it
isn't active by default, it will get far more review here than if it
were in a separate project.

Finally, WebDAV is a critical feature for large ISPs, who have traditionally
been Apache's primary user base.  If we don't support it, who will take
our place?


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