|Network Working Group||L. Dusseault, Editor|
|Request for Comments: 4918||CommerceNet|
|Obsoletes: 2518||June 2007|
|Category: Standards Track|
HTTP Extensions for Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV)
This document specifies an Internet standards track protocol for the Internet community, and requests discussion and suggestions for improvements. Please refer to the current edition of the “Internet Official Protocol Standards” (STD 1) for the standardization state and status of this protocol. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.
Copyright © The IETF Trust (2007). All Rights Reserved.
Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV) consists of a set of methods, headers, and content-types ancillary to HTTP/1.1 for the management of resource properties, creation and management of resource collections, URL namespace manipulation, and resource locking (collision avoidance).
RFC 2518 was published in February 1999, and this specification obsoletes RFC 2518 with minor revisions mostly due to interoperability experience.
This document describes an extension to the HTTP/1.1 protocol that allows clients to perform remote Web content authoring operations. This extension provides a coherent set of methods, headers, request entity body formats, and response entity body formats that provide operations for:
Properties: The ability to create, remove, and query information about Web pages, such as their authors, creation dates, etc.
Collections: The ability to create sets of documents and to retrieve a hierarchical membership listing (like a directory listing in a file system).
Locking: The ability to keep more than one person from working on a document at the same time. This prevents the "lost update problem", in which modifications are lost as first one author, then another, writes changes without merging the other author's changes.
Namespace Operations: The ability to instruct the server to copy and move Web resources, operations that change the mapping from URLs to resources.
Requirements and rationale for these operations are described in a companion document, "Requirements for a Distributed Authoring and Versioning Protocol for the World Wide Web" [RFC2291].
The sections below provide a detailed introduction to various WebDAV abstractions: resource properties (Section 4), collections of resources (Section 5), locks (Section 6) in general, and write locks (Section 7) specifically.
These abstractions are manipulated by the WebDAV-specific HTTP methods (Section 9) and the extra HTTP headers (Section 10) used with WebDAV methods. General considerations for handling HTTP requests and responses in WebDAV are found in Section 8.
While the status codes provided by HTTP/1.1 are sufficient to describe most error conditions encountered by WebDAV methods, there are some errors that do not fall neatly into the existing categories. This specification defines extra status codes developed for WebDAV methods (Section 11) and describes existing HTTP status codes (Section 12) as used in WebDAV. Since some WebDAV methods may operate over many resources, the Multi-Status response (Section 13) has been introduced to return status information for multiple resources. Finally, this version of WebDAV introduces precondition and postcondition (Section 16) XML elements in error response bodies.
WebDAV uses XML ([REC-XML]) for property names and some values, and also uses XML to marshal complicated requests and responses. This specification contains DTD and text definitions of all properties (Section 15) and all other XML elements (Section 14) used in marshalling. WebDAV includes a few special rules on extending WebDAV XML marshalling in backwards-compatible ways (Section 17).
Finishing off the specification are sections on what it means for a resource to be compliant with this specification (Section 18), on internationalization support (Section 19), and on security (Section 20).
Since this document describes a set of extensions to the HTTP/1.1 protocol, the augmented BNF used herein to describe protocol elements is exactly the same as described in Section 2.1 of [RFC2616], including the rules about implied linear whitespace. Since this augmented BNF uses the basic production rules provided in Section 2.2 of [RFC2616], these rules apply to this document as well. Note this is not the standard BNF syntax used in other RFCs.
The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT", "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119].
Note that in natural language, a property like the "creationdate" property in the "DAV:" XML namespace is sometimes referred to as "DAV:creationdate" for brevity.
URI/URL - A Uniform Resource Identifier and Uniform Resource Locator, respectively. These terms (and the distinction between them) are defined in [RFC3986].
URI/URL Mapping - A relation between an absolute URI and a resource. Since a resource can represent items that are not network retrievable, as well as those that are, it is possible for a resource to have zero, one, or many URI mappings. Mapping a resource to an "http" scheme URI makes it possible to submit HTTP protocol requests to the resource using the URI.
Collection - Informally, a resource that also acts as a container of references to child resources. Formally, a resource that contains a set of mappings between path segments and resources and meets the requirements defined in Section 5.
Internal Member (of a Collection) - Informally, a child resource of a collection. Formally, a resource referenced by a path segment mapping contained in the collection.
Internal Member URL (of a Collection) - A URL of an internal member, consisting of the URL of the collection (including trailing slash) plus the path segment identifying the internal member.
Member (of a Collection) - Informally, a "descendant" of a collection. Formally, an internal member of the collection, or, recursively, a member of an internal member.
Member URL (of a Collection) - A URL that is either an internal member URL of the collection itself, or is an internal member URL of a member of that collection.
Property - A name/value pair that contains descriptive information about a resource.
Live Property - A property whose semantics and syntax are enforced by the server. For example, the live property DAV:getcontentlength has its value, the length of the entity returned by a GET request, automatically calculated by the server.
Dead Property - A property whose semantics and syntax are not enforced by the server. The server only records the value of a dead property; the client is responsible for maintaining the consistency of the syntax and semantics of a dead property.
Principal - A distinct human or computational actor that initiates access to network resources.
State Token - A URI that represents a state of a resource. Lock tokens are the only state tokens defined in this specification.
Properties are pieces of data that describe the state of a resource. Properties are data about data.
Properties are used in distributed authoring environments to provide for efficient discovery and management of resources. For example, a 'subject' property might allow for the indexing of all resources by their subject, and an 'author' property might allow for the discovery of what authors have written which documents.
The DAV property model consists of name/value pairs. The name of a property identifies the property's syntax and semantics, and provides an address by which to refer to its syntax and semantics.
There are two categories of properties: "live" and "dead". A live property has its syntax and semantics enforced by the server. Live properties include cases where a) the value of a property is protected and maintained by the server, and b) the value of the property is maintained by the client, but the server performs syntax checking on submitted values. All instances of a given live property MUST comply with the definition associated with that property name. A dead property has its syntax and semantics enforced by the client; the server merely records the value of the property verbatim.
Properties already exist, in a limited sense, in HTTP message headers. However, in distributed authoring environments, a relatively large number of properties are needed to describe the state of a resource, and setting/returning them all through HTTP headers is inefficient. Thus, a mechanism is needed that allows a principal to identify a set of properties in which the principal is interested and to set or retrieve just those properties.
The value of a property is always a (well-formed) XML fragment.
XML has been chosen because it is a flexible, self-describing, structured data format that supports rich schema definitions, and because of its support for multiple character sets. XML's self-describing nature allows any property's value to be extended by adding elements. Clients will not break when they encounter extensions because they will still have the data specified in the original schema and MUST ignore elements they do not understand.
XML's support for multiple character sets allows any human-readable property to be encoded and read in a character set familiar to the user. XML's support for multiple human languages, using the "xml:lang" attribute, handles cases where the same character set is employed by multiple human languages. Note that xml:lang scope is recursive, so an xml:lang attribute on any element containing a property name element applies to the property value unless it has been overridden by a more locally scoped attribute. Note that a property only has one value, in one language (or language MAY be left undefined); a property does not have multiple values in different languages or a single value in multiple languages.
A property is always represented with an XML element consisting of the property name, called the "property name element". The simplest example is an empty property, which is different from a property that does not exist:
The value of the property appears inside the property name element. The value may be any kind of well-formed XML content, including both text-only and mixed content. Servers MUST preserve the following XML Information Items (using the terminology from [REC-XML-INFOSET]) in storage and transmission of dead properties:
For the property name Element Information Item itself:
On all Element Information Items in the property value:
On Attribute Information Items in the property value:
On Character Information Items in the property value:
Since prefixes are used in some XML vocabularies (XPath and XML Schema, for example), servers SHOULD preserve, for any Information Item in the value:
XML Infoset attributes not listed above MAY be preserved by the server, but clients MUST NOT rely on them being preserved. The above rules would also apply by default to live properties, unless defined otherwise.
Servers MUST ignore the XML attribute xml:space if present and never use it to change whitespace handling. Whitespace in property values is significant.
Consider a dead property 'author' created by the client as follows:
<D:prop xml:lang="en" xmlns:D="DAV:"> <x:author xmlns:x='http://example.com/ns'> <x:name>Jane Doe</x:name> <!-- Jane's contact info --> <x:uri type='email' added='2005-11-26'>mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org</x:uri> <x:uri type='web' added='2005-11-27'>http://www.example.com</x:uri> <x:notes xmlns:h='http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml'> Jane has been working way <h:em>too</h:em> long on the long-awaited revision of <![CDATA[<RFC2518>]]>. </x:notes> </x:author> </D:prop>
When this property is requested, a server might return:
<D:prop xmlns:D='DAV:'><author xml:lang='en' xmlns:x='http://example.com/ns' xmlns='http://example.com/ns' xmlns:h='http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml'> <x:name>Jane Doe</x:name> <x:uri added="2005-11-26" type="email" >mailto:email@example.com</x:uri> <x:uri added="2005-11-27" type="web" >http://www.example.com</x:uri> <x:notes> Jane has been working way <h:em>too</h:em> long on the long-awaited revision of <RFC2518>. </x:notes> </author> </D:prop>
Note in this example:
Implementation note: there are cases such as editing scenarios where clients may require that XML content is preserved character by character (such as attribute ordering or quoting style). In this case, clients should consider using a text-only property value by escaping all characters that have a special meaning in XML parsing.
A property name is a universally unique identifier that is associated with a schema that provides information about the syntax and semantics of the property.
Because a property's name is universally unique, clients can depend upon consistent behavior for a particular property across multiple resources, on the same and across different servers, so long as that property is "live" on the resources in question, and the implementation of the live property is faithful to its definition.
The XML namespace mechanism, which is based on URIs ([RFC3986]), is used to name properties because it prevents namespace collisions and provides for varying degrees of administrative control.
The property namespace is flat; that is, no hierarchy of properties is explicitly recognized. Thus, if a property A and a property A/B exist on a resource, there is no recognition of any relationship between the two properties. It is expected that a separate specification will eventually be produced that will address issues relating to hierarchical properties.
Finally, it is not possible to define the same property twice on a single resource, as this would cause a collision in the resource's property namespace.
Some HTTP resources are dynamically generated by the server. For these resources, there presumably exists source code somewhere governing how that resource is generated. The relationship of source files to output HTTP resources may be one to one, one to many, many to one, or many to many. There is no mechanism in HTTP to determine whether a resource is even dynamic, let alone where its source files exist or how to author them. Although this problem would usefully be solved, interoperable WebDAV implementations have been widely deployed without actually solving this problem, by dealing only with static resources. Thus, the source vs. output problem is not solved in this specification and has been deferred to a separate document.
This section provides a description of a type of Web resource, the collection, and discusses its interactions with the HTTP URL namespace and with HTTP methods. The purpose of a collection resource is to model collection-like objects (e.g., file system directories) within a server's namespace.
All DAV-compliant resources MUST support the HTTP URL namespace model specified herein.
The HTTP URL namespace is a hierarchical namespace where the hierarchy is delimited with the "/" character.
An HTTP URL namespace is said to be consistent if it meets the following conditions: for every URL in the HTTP hierarchy there exists a collection that contains that URL as an internal member URL. The root, or top-level collection of the namespace under consideration, is exempt from the previous rule. The top-level collection of the namespace under consideration is not necessarily the collection identified by the absolute path '/' -- it may be identified by one or more path segments (e.g., /servlets/webdav/...)
Neither HTTP/1.1 nor WebDAV requires that the entire HTTP URL namespace be consistent -- a WebDAV-compatible resource may not have a parent collection. However, certain WebDAV methods are prohibited from producing results that cause namespace inconsistencies.
Collection resources differ from other resources in that they also act as containers. Some HTTP methods apply only to a collection, but some apply to some or all of the resources inside the container defined by the collection. When the scope of a method is not clear, the client can specify what depth to apply. Depth can be either zero levels (only the collection), one level (the collection and directly contained resources), or infinite levels (the collection and all contained resources recursively).
A collection's state consists of at least a set of mappings between path segments and resources, and a set of properties on the collection itself. In this document, a resource B will be said to be contained in the collection resource A if there is a path segment mapping that maps to B and that is contained in A. A collection MUST contain at most one mapping for a given path segment, i.e., it is illegal to have the same path segment mapped to more than one resource.
Properties defined on collections behave exactly as do properties on non-collection resources. A collection MAY have additional state such as entity bodies returned by GET.
For all WebDAV-compliant resources A and B, identified by URLs "U" and "V", respectively, such that "V" is equal to "U/SEGMENT", A MUST be a collection that contains a mapping from "SEGMENT" to B. So, if resource B with URL "http://example.com/bar/blah" is WebDAV compliant and if resource A with URL "http://example.com/bar/" is WebDAV compliant, then resource A must be a collection and must contain exactly one mapping from "blah" to B.
Although commonly a mapping consists of a single segment and a resource, in general, a mapping consists of a set of segments and a resource. This allows a server to treat a set of segments as equivalent (i.e., either all of the segments are mapped to the same resource, or none of the segments are mapped to a resource). For example, a server that performs case-folding on segments will treat the segments "ab", "Ab", "aB", and "AB" as equivalent. A client can then use any of these segments to identify the resource. Note that a PROPFIND result will select one of these equivalent segments to identify the mapping, so there will be one PROPFIND response element per mapping, not one per segment in the mapping.
Collection resources MAY have mappings to non-WebDAV-compliant resources in the HTTP URL namespace hierarchy but are not required to do so. For example, if resource X with URL "http://example.com/bar/blah" is not WebDAV compliant and resource A with "URL http://example.com/bar/" identifies a WebDAV collection, then A may or may not have a mapping from "blah" to X.
If a WebDAV-compliant resource has no WebDAV-compliant internal members in the HTTP URL namespace hierarchy, then the WebDAV-compliant resource is not required to be a collection.
There is a standing convention that when a collection is referred to by its name without a trailing slash, the server MAY handle the request as if the trailing slash were present. In this case, it SHOULD return a Content-Location header in the response, pointing to the URL ending with the "/". For example, if a client invokes a method on http://example.com/blah (no trailing slash), the server may respond as if the operation were invoked on http://example.com/blah/ (trailing slash), and should return a Content-Location header with the value http://example.com/blah/. Wherever a server produces a URL referring to a collection, the server SHOULD include the trailing slash. In general, clients SHOULD use the trailing slash form of collection names. If clients do not use the trailing slash form the client needs to be prepared to see a redirect response. Clients will find the DAV:resourcetype property more reliable than the URL to find out if a resource is a collection.
Clients MUST be able to support the case where WebDAV resources are contained inside non-WebDAV resources. For example, if an OPTIONS response from "http://example.com/servlet/dav/collection" indicates WebDAV support, the client cannot assume that "http://example.com/servlet/dav/" or its parent necessarily are WebDAV collections.
A typical scenario in which mapped URLs do not appear as members of their parent collection is the case where a server allows links or redirects to non-WebDAV resources. For instance, "/col/link" might not appear as a member of "/col/", although the server would respond with a 302 status to a GET request to "/col/link"; thus, the URL "/col/link" would indeed be mapped. Similarly, a dynamically-generated page might have a URL mapping from "/col/index.html", thus this resource might respond with a 200 OK to a GET request yet not appear as a member of "/col/".
Some mappings to even WebDAV-compliant resources might not appear in the parent collection. An example for this case are servers that support multiple alias URLs for each WebDAV-compliant resource. A server may implement case-insensitive URLs, thus "/col/a" and "/col/A" identify the same resource, yet only either "a" or "A" is reported upon listing the members of "/col". In cases where a server treats a set of segments as equivalent, the server MUST expose only one preferred segment per mapping, consistently chosen, in PROPFIND responses.
The ability to lock a resource provides a mechanism for serializing access to that resource. Using a lock, an authoring client can provide a reasonable guarantee that another principal will not modify a resource while it is being edited. In this way, a client can prevent the "lost update" problem.
This specification allows locks to vary over two client-specified parameters, the number of principals involved (exclusive vs. shared) and the type of access to be granted. This document defines locking for only one access type, write. However, the syntax is extensible, and permits the eventual specification of locking for other access types.
This section provides a concise model for how locking behaves. Later sections will provide more detail on some of the concepts and refer back to these model statements. Normative statements related to LOCK and UNLOCK method handling can be found in the sections on those methods, whereas normative statements that cover any method are gathered here.
The most basic form of lock is an exclusive lock. Exclusive locks avoid having to deal with content change conflicts, without requiring any coordination other than the methods described in this specification.
However, there are times when the goal of a lock is not to exclude others from exercising an access right but rather to provide a mechanism for principals to indicate that they intend to exercise their access rights. Shared locks are provided for this case. A shared lock allows multiple principals to receive a lock. Hence any principal that has both access privileges and a valid lock can use the locked resource.
With shared locks, there are two trust sets that affect a resource. The first trust set is created by access permissions. Principals who are trusted, for example, may have permission to write to the resource. Among those who have access permission to write to the resource, the set of principals who have taken out a shared lock also must trust each other, creating a (typically) smaller trust set within the access permission write set.
Starting with every possible principal on the Internet, in most situations the vast majority of these principals will not have write access to a given resource. Of the small number who do have write access, some principals may decide to guarantee their edits are free from overwrite conflicts by using exclusive write locks. Others may decide they trust their collaborators will not overwrite their work (the potential set of collaborators being the set of principals who have write permission) and use a shared lock, which informs their collaborators that a principal may be working on the resource.
The WebDAV extensions to HTTP do not need to provide all of the communications paths necessary for principals to coordinate their activities. When using shared locks, principals may use any out-of-band communication channel to coordinate their work (e.g., face-to-face interaction, written notes, post-it notes on the screen, telephone conversation, email, etc.) The intent of a shared lock is to let collaborators know who else may be working on a resource.
Shared locks are included because experience from Web-distributed authoring systems has indicated that exclusive locks are often too rigid. An exclusive lock is used to enforce a particular editing process: take out an exclusive lock, read the resource, perform edits, write the resource, release the lock. This editing process has the problem that locks are not always properly released, for example, when a program crashes or when a lock creator leaves without unlocking a resource. While both timeouts (Section 6.6) and administrative action can be used to remove an offending lock, neither mechanism may be available when needed; the timeout may be long or the administrator may not be available.
A successful request for a new shared lock MUST result in the generation of a unique lock associated with the requesting principal. Thus, if five principals have taken out shared write locks on the same resource, there will be five locks and five lock tokens, one for each principal.
A WebDAV-compliant resource is not required to support locking in any form. If the resource does support locking, it may choose to support any combination of exclusive and shared locks for any access types.
The reason for this flexibility is that locking policy strikes to the very heart of the resource management and versioning systems employed by various storage repositories. These repositories require control over what sort of locking will be made available. For example, some repositories only support shared write locks, while others only provide support for exclusive write locks, while yet others use no locking at all. As each system is sufficiently different to merit exclusion of certain locking features, this specification leaves locking as the sole axis of negotiation within WebDAV.
The creator of a lock has special privileges to use the lock to modify the resource. When a locked resource is modified, a server MUST check that the authenticated principal matches the lock creator (in addition to checking for valid lock token submission).
The server MAY allow privileged users other than the lock creator to destroy a lock (for example, the resource owner or an administrator). The 'unlock' privilege in [RFC3744] was defined to provide that permission.
There is no requirement for servers to accept LOCK requests from all users or from anonymous users.
Note that having a lock does not confer full privilege to modify the locked resource. Write access and other privileges MUST be enforced through normal privilege or authentication mechanisms, not based on the possible obscurity of lock token values.
A lock token is a type of state token that identifies a particular lock. Each lock has exactly one unique lock token generated by the server. Clients MUST NOT attempt to interpret lock tokens in any way.
Lock token URIs MUST be unique across all resources for all time. This uniqueness constraint allows lock tokens to be submitted across resources and servers without fear of confusion. Since lock tokens are unique, a client MAY submit a lock token in an If header on a resource other than the one that returned it.
When a LOCK operation creates a new lock, the new lock token is returned in the Lock-Token response header defined in Section 10.5, and also in the body of the response.
Servers MAY make lock tokens publicly readable (e.g., in the DAV:lockdiscovery property). One use case for making lock tokens readable is so that a long-lived lock can be removed by the resource owner (the client that obtained the lock might have crashed or disconnected before cleaning up the lock). Except for the case of using UNLOCK under user guidance, a client SHOULD NOT use a lock token created by another client instance.
This specification encourages servers to create Universally Unique Identifiers (UUIDs) for lock tokens, and to use the URI form defined by "A Universally Unique Identifier (UUID) URN Namespace" ([RFC4122]). However, servers are free to use any URI (e.g., from another scheme) so long as it meets the uniqueness requirements. For example, a valid lock token might be constructed using the "opaquelocktoken" scheme defined in Appendix C.
A lock MAY have a limited lifetime. The lifetime is suggested by the client when creating or refreshing the lock, but the server ultimately chooses the timeout value. Timeout is measured in seconds remaining until lock expiration.
The timeout counter MUST be restarted if a refresh lock request is successful (see Section 9.10.2). The timeout counter SHOULD NOT be restarted at any other time.
If the timeout expires, then the lock SHOULD be removed. In this case the server SHOULD act as if an UNLOCK method was executed by the server on the resource using the lock token of the timed-out lock, performed with its override authority.
Servers are advised to pay close attention to the values submitted by clients, as they will be indicative of the type of activity the client intends to perform. For example, an applet running in a browser may need to lock a resource, but because of the instability of the environment within which the applet is running, the applet may be turned off without warning. As a result, the applet is likely to ask for a relatively small timeout value so that if the applet dies, the lock can be quickly harvested. However, a document management system is likely to ask for an extremely long timeout because its user may be planning on going offline.
A client MUST NOT assume that just because the timeout has expired, the lock has immediately been removed.
Likewise, a client MUST NOT assume that just because the timeout has not expired, the lock still exists. Clients MUST assume that locks can arbitrarily disappear at any time, regardless of the value given in the Timeout header. The Timeout header only indicates the behavior of the server if extraordinary circumstances do not occur. For example, a sufficiently privileged user may remove a lock at any time, or the system may crash in such a way that it loses the record of the lock's existence.
Since server lock support is optional, a client trying to lock a resource on a server can either try the lock and hope for the best, or perform some form of discovery to determine what lock capabilities the server supports. This is known as lock capability discovery. A client can determine what lock types the server supports by retrieving the DAV:supportedlock property.
Any DAV-compliant resource that supports the LOCK method MUST support the DAV:supportedlock property.
If another principal locks a resource that a principal wishes to access, it is useful for the second principal to be able to find out who the first principal is. For this purpose the DAV:lockdiscovery property is provided. This property lists all outstanding locks, describes their type, and MAY even provide the lock tokens.
Any DAV-compliant resource that supports the LOCK method MUST support the DAV:lockdiscovery property.
This section describes the semantics specific to the write lock type. The write lock is a specific instance of a lock type, and is the only lock type described in this specification.
An exclusive write lock protects a resource: it prevents changes by any principal other than the lock creator and in any case where the lock token is not submitted (e.g., by a client process other than the one holding the lock).
Clients MUST submit a lock-token they are authorized to use in any request that modifies a write-locked resource. The list of modifications covered by a write-lock include:
Of the methods defined in HTTP and WebDAV, PUT, POST, PROPPATCH, LOCK, UNLOCK, MOVE, COPY (for the destination resource), DELETE, and MKCOL are affected by write locks. All other HTTP/WebDAV methods defined so far -- GET in particular -- function independently of a write lock.
The next few sections describe in more specific terms how write locks interact with various operations.
While those without a write lock may not alter a property on a resource it is still possible for the values of live properties to change, even while locked, due to the requirements of their schemas. Only dead properties and live properties defined as lockable are guaranteed not to change while write locked.
Although the write locks provide some help in preventing lost updates, they cannot guarantee that updates will never be lost. Consider the following scenario:
Two clients A and B are interested in editing the resource 'index.html'. Client A is an HTTP client rather than a WebDAV client, and so does not know how to perform locking.
Client A doesn't lock the document, but does a GET, and begins editing.
Client B does LOCK, performs a GET and begins editing.
Client B finishes editing, performs a PUT, then an UNLOCK.
Client A performs a PUT, overwriting and losing all of B's changes.
There are several reasons why the WebDAV protocol itself cannot prevent this situation. First, it cannot force all clients to use locking because it must be compatible with HTTP clients that do not comprehend locking. Second, it cannot require servers to support locking because of the variety of repository implementations, some of which rely on reservations and merging rather than on locking. Finally, being stateless, it cannot enforce a sequence of operations like LOCK / GET / PUT / UNLOCK.
WebDAV servers that support locking can reduce the likelihood that clients will accidentally overwrite each other's changes by requiring clients to lock resources before modifying them. Such servers would effectively prevent HTTP 1.0 and HTTP 1.1 clients from modifying resources.
WebDAV clients can be good citizens by using a lock / retrieve / write /unlock sequence of operations (at least by default) whenever they interact with a WebDAV server that supports locking.
HTTP 1.1 clients can be good citizens, avoiding overwriting other clients' changes, by using entity tags in If-Match headers with any requests that would modify resources.
Information managers may attempt to prevent overwrites by implementing client-side procedures requiring locking before modifying WebDAV resources.
WebDAV provides the ability to send a LOCK request to an unmapped URL in order to reserve the name for use. This is a simple way to avoid the lost-update problem on the creation of a new resource (another way is to use If-None-Match header specified in Section 14.26 of [RFC2616]). It has the side benefit of locking the new resource immediately for use of the creator.
Note that the lost-update problem is not an issue for collections because MKCOL can only be used to create a collection, not to overwrite an existing collection. When trying to lock a collection upon creation, clients can attempt to increase the likelihood of getting the lock by pipelining the MKCOL and LOCK requests together (but because this doesn't convert two separate operations into one atomic operation, there's no guarantee this will work).
A successful lock request to an unmapped URL MUST result in the creation of a locked (non-collection) resource with empty content. Subsequently, a successful PUT request (with the correct lock token) provides the content for the resource. Note that the LOCK request has no mechanism for the client to provide Content-Type or Content-Language, thus the server will use defaults or empty values and rely on the subsequent PUT request for correct values.
A resource created with a LOCK is empty but otherwise behaves in every way as a normal resource. It behaves the same way as a resource created by a PUT request with an empty body (and where a Content-Type and Content-Language was not specified), followed by a LOCK request to the same resource. Following from this model, a locked empty resource:
The client is expected to update the locked empty resource shortly after locking it, using PUT and possibly PROPPATCH.
Alternatively and for backwards compatibility to [RFC2518], servers MAY implement Lock-Null Resources (LNRs) instead (see definition in Appendix D). Clients can easily interoperate both with servers that support the old model LNRs and the recommended model of "locked empty resources" by only attempting PUT after a LOCK to an unmapped URL, not MKCOL or GET, and by not relying on specific properties of LNRs.
There are two kinds of collection write locks. A depth-0 write lock on a collection protects the collection properties plus the internal member URLs of that one collection, while not protecting the content or properties of member resources (if the collection itself has any entity bodies, those are also protected). A depth-infinity write lock on a collection provides the same protection on that collection and also provides write lock protection on every member resource.
Expressed otherwise, a write lock of either kind protects any request that would create a new resource in a write locked collection, any request that would remove an internal member URL of a write locked collection, and any request that would change the segment name of any internal member.
Thus, a collection write lock protects all the following actions:
The collection's lock token is required in addition to the lock token on the internal member itself, if it is locked separately.
In addition, a depth-infinity lock affects all write operations to all members of the locked collection. With a depth-infinity lock, the resource identified by the root of the lock is directly locked, and all its members are indirectly locked.
If a depth-infinity write LOCK request is issued to a collection containing member URLs identifying resources that are currently locked in a manner that conflicts with the new lock (see Section 6.1, point 3), the request MUST fail with a 423 (Locked) status code, and the response SHOULD contain the 'no-conflicting-lock' precondition.
If a lock request causes the URL of a resource to be added as an internal member URL of a depth-infinity locked collection, then the new resource MUST be automatically protected by the lock. For example, if the collection /a/b/ is write locked and the resource /c is moved to /a/b/c, then resource /a/b/c will be added to the write lock.
A user agent has to demonstrate knowledge of a lock when requesting an operation on a locked resource. Otherwise, the following scenario might occur. In the scenario, program A, run by User A, takes out a write lock on a resource. Program B, also run by User A, has no knowledge of the lock taken out by program A, yet performs a PUT to the locked resource. In this scenario, the PUT succeeds because locks are associated with a principal, not a program, and thus program B, because it is acting with principal A's credential, is allowed to perform the PUT. However, had program B known about the lock, it would not have overwritten the resource, preferring instead to present a dialog box describing the conflict to the user. Due to this scenario, a mechanism is needed to prevent different programs from accidentally ignoring locks taken out by other programs with the same authorization.
In order to prevent these collisions, a lock token MUST be submitted by an authorized principal for all locked resources that a method may change or the method MUST fail. A lock token is submitted when it appears in an If header. For example, if a resource is to be moved and both the source and destination are locked, then two lock tokens must be submitted in the If header, one for the source and the other for the destination.
COPY /~fielding/index.html HTTP/1.1 Host: www.example.com Destination: http://www.example.com/users/f/fielding/index.html If: <http://www.example.com/users/f/fielding/index.html> (<urn:uuid:f81d4fae-7dec-11d0-a765-00a0c91e6bf6>)
HTTP/1.1 204 No Content
In this example, even though both the source and destination are locked, only one lock token must be submitted (the one for the lock on the destination). This is because the source resource is not modified by a COPY, and hence unaffected by the write lock. In this example, user agent authentication has previously occurred via a mechanism outside the scope of the HTTP protocol, in the underlying transport layer.
Consider a collection "/locked" with an exclusive, depth-infinity write lock, and an attempt to delete an internal member "/locked/member":
DELETE /locked/member HTTP/1.1 Host: example.com
HTTP/1.1 423 Locked Content-Type: application/xml; charset="utf-8" Content-Length: xxxx <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?> <D:error xmlns:D="DAV:"> <D:lock-token-submitted> <D:href>/locked/</D:href> </D:lock-token-submitted> </D:error>
Thus, the client would need to submit the lock token with the request to make it succeed. To do that, various forms of the If header (see Section 10.4) could be used.
"Tagged-List" format, for "http://example.com/locked/":
If: <http://example.com/locked/> (<urn:uuid:150852e2-3847-42d5-8cbe-0f4f296f26cf>)
"Tagged-List" format, for "http://example.com/locked/member":
If: <http://example.com/locked/member> (<urn:uuid:150852e2-3847-42d5-8cbe-0f4f296f26cf>)
Note that, for the purpose of submitting the lock token, the actual form doesn't matter; what's relevant is that the lock token appears in the If header, and that the If header itself evaluates to true.
A COPY method invocation MUST NOT duplicate any write locks active on the source. However, as previously noted, if the COPY copies the resource into a collection that is locked with a depth-infinity lock, then the resource will be added to the lock.
A successful MOVE request on a write locked resource MUST NOT move the write lock with the resource. However, if there is an existing lock at the destination, the server MUST add the moved resource to the destination lock scope. For example, if the MOVE makes the resource a child of a collection that has a depth-infinity lock, then the resource will be added to that collection's lock. Additionally, if a resource with a depth-infinity lock is moved to a destination that is within the scope of the same lock (e.g., within the URL namespace tree covered by the lock), the moved resource will again be added to the lock. In both these examples, as specified in Section 7.5, an If header must be submitted containing a lock token for both the source and destination.
A client MUST NOT submit the same write lock request twice. Note that a client is always aware it is resubmitting the same lock request because it must include the lock token in the If header in order to make the request for a resource that is already locked.
However, a client may submit a LOCK request with an If header but without a body. A server receiving a LOCK request with no body MUST NOT create a new lock -- this form of the LOCK request is only to be used to "refresh" an existing lock (meaning, at minimum, that any timers associated with the lock MUST be reset).
Clients may submit Timeout headers of arbitrary value with their lock refresh requests. Servers, as always, may ignore Timeout headers submitted by the client, and a server MAY refresh a lock with a timeout period that is different than the previous timeout period used for the lock, provided it advertises the new value in the LOCK refresh response.
If an error is received in response to a refresh LOCK request, the client MUST NOT assume that the lock was refreshed.
Servers MUST return authorization errors in preference to other errors. This avoids leaking information about protected resources (e.g., a client that finds that a hidden resource exists by seeing a 423 Locked response to an anonymous request to the resource).
In HTTP/1.1, method parameter information was exclusively encoded in HTTP headers. Unlike HTTP/1.1, WebDAV encodes method parameter information either in an XML ([REC-XML]) request entity body, or in an HTTP header. The use of XML to encode method parameters was motivated by the ability to add extra XML elements to existing structures, providing extensibility; and by XML's ability to encode information in ISO 10646 character sets, providing internationalization support.
In addition to encoding method parameters, XML is used in WebDAV to encode the responses from methods, providing the extensibility and internationalization advantages of XML for method output, as well as input.
When XML is used for a request or response body, the Content-Type type SHOULD be application/xml. Implementations MUST accept both text/xml and application/xml in request and response bodies. Use of text/xml is deprecated.
All DAV-compliant clients and resources MUST use XML parsers that are compliant with [REC-XML] and [REC-XML-NAMES]. All XML used in either requests or responses MUST be, at minimum, well formed and use namespaces correctly. If a server receives XML that is not well-formed, then the server MUST reject the entire request with a 400 (Bad Request). If a client receives XML that is not well-formed in a response, then the client MUST NOT assume anything about the outcome of the executed method and SHOULD treat the server as malfunctioning.
Note that processing XML submitted by an untrusted source may cause risks connected to privacy, security, and service quality (see Section 20). Servers MAY reject questionable requests (even though they consist of well-formed XML), for instance, with a 400 (Bad Request) status code and an optional response body explaining the problem.
URLs appear in many places in requests and responses. Interoperability experience with [RFC2518] showed that many clients parsing Multi-Status responses did not fully implement the full Reference Resolution defined in Section 5 of [RFC3986]. Thus, servers in particular need to be careful in handling URLs in responses, to ensure that clients have enough context to be able to interpret all the URLs. The rules in this section apply not only to resource URLs in the 'href' element in Multi-Status responses, but also to the Destination and If header resource URLs.
The sender has a choice between two approaches: using a relative reference, which is resolved against the Request-URI, or a full URI. A server MUST ensure that every 'href' value within a Multi-Status response uses the same format.
WebDAV only uses one form of relative reference in its extensions, the absolute path.
Simple-ref = absolute-URI | ( path-absolute [ "?" query ] )
Within Simple-ref productions, senders MUST NOT:
Identifiers for collections SHOULD end in a '/' character.
Consider the collection http://example.com/sample/ with the internal member URL http://example.com/sample/a%20test and the PROPFIND request below:
PROPFIND /sample/ HTTP/1.1 Host: example.com Depth: 1
In this case, the server should return two 'href' elements containing either
Note that even though the server may be storing the member resource internally as 'a test', it has to be percent-encoded when used inside a URI reference (see Section 2.1 of [RFC3986]). Also note that a legal URI may still contain characters that need to be escaped within XML character data, such as the ampersand character.
Some of these new methods do not define bodies. Servers MUST examine all requests for a body, even when a body was not expected. In cases where a request body is present but would be ignored by a server, the server MUST reject the request with 415 (Unsupported Media Type). This informs the client (which may have been attempting to use an extension) that the body could not be processed as the client intended.
HTTP defines many headers that can be used in WebDAV requests and responses. Not all of these are appropriate in all situations and some interactions may be undefined. Note that HTTP 1.1 requires the Date header in all responses if possible (see Section 14.18, [RFC2616]).
The server MUST do authorization checks before checking any HTTP conditional header.
HTTP 1.1 recommends the use of ETags rather than modification dates, for cache control, and there are even stronger reasons to prefer ETags for authoring. Correct use of ETags is even more important in a distributed authoring environment, because ETags are necessary along with locks to avoid the lost-update problem. A client might fail to renew a lock, for example, when the lock times out and the client is accidentally offline or in the middle of a long upload. When a client fails to renew the lock, it's quite possible the resource can still be relocked and the user can go on editing, as long as no changes were made in the meantime. ETags are required for the client to be able to distinguish this case. Otherwise, the client is forced to ask the user whether to overwrite the resource on the server without even being able to tell the user if it has changed. Timestamps do not solve this problem nearly as well as ETags.
Strong ETags are much more useful for authoring use cases than weak ETags (see Section 13.3.3 of [RFC2616]). Semantic equivalence can be a useful concept but that depends on the document type and the application type, and interoperability might require some agreement or standard outside the scope of this specification and HTTP. Note also that weak ETags have certain restrictions in HTTP, e.g., these cannot be used in If-Match headers.
Note that the meaning of an ETag in a PUT response is not clearly defined either in this document or in RFC 2616 (i.e., whether the ETag means that the resource is octet-for-octet equivalent to the body of the PUT request, or whether the server could have made minor changes in the formatting or content of the document upon storage). This is an HTTP issue, not purely a WebDAV issue.
Because clients may be forced to prompt users or throw away changed content if the ETag changes, a WebDAV server SHOULD NOT change the ETag (or the Last-Modified time) for a resource that has an unchanged body and location. The ETag represents the state of the body or contents of the resource. There is no similar way to tell if properties have changed.
HTTP and WebDAV did not use the bodies of most error responses for machine-parsable information until the specification for Versioning Extensions to WebDAV introduced a mechanism to include more specific information in the body of an error response (Section 1.6 of [RFC3253]). The error body mechanism is appropriate to use with any error response that may take a body but does not already have a body defined. The mechanism is particularly appropriate when a status code can mean many things (for example, 400 Bad Request can mean required headers are missing, headers are incorrectly formatted, or much more). This error body mechanism is covered in Section 16.
Note that the HTTP response headers "Etag" and "Last-Modified" (see [RFC2616], Sections 14.19 and 14.29) are defined per URL (not per resource), and are used by clients for caching. Therefore servers must ensure that executing any operation that affects the URL namespace (such as COPY, MOVE, DELETE, PUT, or MKCOL) does preserve their semantics, in particular:
In practice this means that servers
Note that these considerations also apply to specific use cases, such as using PUT to create a new resource at a URL that has been mapped before, but has been deleted since then.
Finally, WebDAV properties (such as DAV:getetag and DAV: getlastmodified) that inherit their semantics from HTTP headers must behave accordingly.
The following status codes are added to those defined in HTTP/1.1 [RFC2616].
The 207 (Multi-Status) status code provides status for multiple independent operations (see Section 13 for more information).
The 422 (Unprocessable Entity) status code means the server understands the content type of the request entity (hence a 415(Unsupported Media Type) status code is inappropriate), and the syntax of the request entity is correct (thus a 400 (Bad Request) status code is inappropriate) but was unable to process the contained instructions. For example, this error condition may occur if an XML request body contains well-formed (i.e., syntactically correct), but semantically erroneous, XML instructions.
The 423 (Locked) status code means the source or destination resource of a method is locked. This response SHOULD contain an appropriate precondition or postcondition code, such as 'lock-token-submitted' or 'no-conflicting-lock'.
The 424 (Failed Dependency) status code means that the method could not be performed on the resource because the requested action depended on another action and that action failed. For example, if a command in a PROPPATCH method fails, then, at minimum, the rest of the commands will also fail with 424 (Failed Dependency).
The 507 (Insufficient Storage) status code means the method could not be performed on the resource because the server is unable to store the representation needed to successfully complete the request. This condition is considered to be temporary. If the request that received this status code was the result of a user action, the request MUST NOT be repeated until it is requested by a separate user action.
These HTTP codes are not redefined, but their use is somewhat extended by WebDAV methods and requirements. In general, many HTTP status codes can be used in response to any request, not just in cases described in this document. Note also that WebDAV servers are known to use 300-level redirect responses (and early interoperability tests found clients unprepared to see those responses). A 300-level response MUST NOT be used when the server has created a new resource in response to the request.
Any request can contain a conditional header defined in HTTP (If-Match, If-Modified-Since, etc.) or the "If" or "Overwrite" conditional headers defined in this specification. If the server evaluates a conditional header, and if that condition fails to hold, then this error code MUST be returned. On the other hand, if the client did not include a conditional header in the request, then the server MUST NOT use this status code.
This status code is used in HTTP 1.1 only for Request-URIs, not URIs in other locations.
A Multi-Status response conveys information about multiple resources in situations where multiple status codes might be appropriate. The default Multi-Status response body is a text/xml or application/xml HTTP entity with a 'multistatus' root element. Further elements contain 200, 300, 400, and 500 series status codes generated during the method invocation. 100 series status codes SHOULD NOT be recorded in a 'response' XML element.
Although '207' is used as the overall response status code, the recipient needs to consult the contents of the multistatus response body for further information about the success or failure of the method execution. The response MAY be used in success, partial success and also in failure situations.
The 'multistatus' root element holds zero or more 'response' elements in any order, each with information about an individual resource. Each 'response' element MUST have an 'href' element to identify the resource.
A Multi-Status response uses one out of two distinct formats for representing the status:
HTTP defines the Location header to indicate a preferred URL for the resource that was addressed in the Request-URI (e.g., in response to successful PUT requests or in redirect responses). However, use of this header creates ambiguity when there are URLs in the body of the response, as with Multi-Status. Thus, use of the Location header with the Multi-Status response is intentionally undefined.
Redirect responses (300-303, 305, and 307) defined in HTTP 1.1 normally take a Location header to indicate the new URI for the single resource redirected from the Request-URI. Multi-Status responses contain many resource addresses, but the original definition in [RFC2518] did not have any place for the server to provide the new URI for redirected resources. This specification does define a 'location' element for this information (see Section 14.9). Servers MUST use this new element with redirect responses in Multi-Status.
Clients encountering redirected resources in Multi-Status MUST NOT rely on the 'location' element being present with a new URI. If the element is not present, the client MAY reissue the request to the individual redirected resource, because the response to that request can be redirected with a Location header containing the new URI.
In this section, the final line of each section gives the element type declaration using the format defined in [REC-XML]. The "Value" field, where present, specifies further restrictions on the allowable contents of the XML element using BNF (i.e., to further restrict the values of a PCDATA element). Note that all of the elements defined here may be extended according to the rules defined in Section 17. All elements defined here are in the "DAV:" namespace.
<!ELEMENT allprop EMPTY >
<!ELEMENT collection EMPTY >
<!ELEMENT depth (#PCDATA) >
<!ELEMENT error ANY >
<!ELEMENT exclusive EMPTY >
<!ELEMENT href (#PCDATA)>
<!ELEMENT include ANY >
<!ELEMENT multistatus (response*, responsedescription?) >
<!ELEMENT owner ANY >
<!ELEMENT prop ANY >
<!ELEMENT propertyupdate (remove | set)+ >
<!ELEMENT propname EMPTY >
<!ELEMENT propstat (prop, status, error?, responsedescription?) >
<!ELEMENT responsedescription (#PCDATA) >
<!ELEMENT status (#PCDATA) >
<!ELEMENT timeout (#PCDATA) >
For DAV properties, the name of the property is also the same as the name of the XML element that contains its value. In the section below, the final line of each section gives the element type declaration using the format defined in [REC-XML]. The "Value" field, where present, specifies further restrictions on the allowable contents of the XML element using BNF (i.e., to further restrict the values of a PCDATA element).
A protected property is one that cannot be changed with a PROPPATCH request. There may be other requests that would result in a change to a protected property (as when a LOCK request affects the value of DAV:lockdiscovery). Note that a given property could be protected on one type of resource, but not protected on another type of resource.
A computed property is one with a value defined in terms of a computation (based on the content and other properties of that resource, or even of some other resource). A computed property is always a protected property.
COPY and MOVE behavior refers to local COPY and MOVE operations.
For properties defined based on HTTP GET response headers (DAV:get*), the header value could include LWS as defined in [RFC2616], Section 4.2. Server implementors SHOULD strip LWS from these values before using as WebDAV property values.
<!ELEMENT creationdate (#PCDATA) >
<!ELEMENT displayname (#PCDATA) >
<!ELEMENT getcontentlanguage (#PCDATA) >
<!ELEMENT getcontentlength (#PCDATA) >
<!ELEMENT getcontenttype (#PCDATA) >
<!ELEMENT getetag (#PCDATA) >
<!ELEMENT getlastmodified (#PCDATA) >
<!ELEMENT lockdiscovery (activelock)* >
PROPFIND /container/ HTTP/1.1 Host: www.example.com Content-Length: xxxx Content-Type: application/xml; charset="utf-8" <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?> <D:propfind xmlns:D='DAV:'> <D:prop><D:lockdiscovery/></D:prop> </D:propfind>
HTTP/1.1 207 Multi-Status Content-Type: application/xml; charset="utf-8" Content-Length: xxxx <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?> <D:multistatus xmlns:D='DAV:'> <D:response> <D:href>http://www.example.com/container/</D:href> <D:propstat> <D:prop> <D:lockdiscovery> <D:activelock> <D:locktype><D:write/></D:locktype> <D:lockscope><D:exclusive/></D:lockscope> <D:depth>0</D:depth> <D:owner>Jane Smith</D:owner> <D:timeout>Infinite</D:timeout> <D:locktoken> <D:href >urn:uuid:f81de2ad-7f3d-a1b2-4f3c-00a0c91a9d76</D:href> </D:locktoken> <D:lockroot> <D:href>http://www.example.com/container/</D:href> </D:lockroot> </D:activelock> </D:lockdiscovery> </D:prop> <D:status>HTTP/1.1 200 OK</D:status> </D:propstat> </D:response> </D:multistatus>
This resource has a single exclusive write lock on it, with an infinite timeout.
Example: (fictional example to show extensibility)
<x:resourcetype xmlns:x="DAV:"> <x:collection/> <f:search-results xmlns:f="http://www.example.com/ns"/> </x:resourcetype>
<!ELEMENT supportedlock (lockentry)* >
PROPFIND /container/ HTTP/1.1 Host: www.example.com Content-Length: xxxx Content-Type: application/xml; charset="utf-8" <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?> <D:propfind xmlns:D="DAV:"> <D:prop><D:supportedlock/></D:prop> </D:propfind>
HTTP/1.1 207 Multi-Status Content-Type: application/xml; charset="utf-8" Content-Length: xxxx <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?> <D:multistatus xmlns:D="DAV:"> <D:response> <D:href>http://www.example.com/container/</D:href> <D:propstat> <D:prop> <D:supportedlock> <D:lockentry> <D:lockscope><D:exclusive/></D:lockscope> <D:locktype><D:write/></D:locktype> </D:lockentry> <D:lockentry> <D:lockscope><D:shared/></D:lockscope> <D:locktype><D:write/></D:locktype> </D:lockentry> </D:supportedlock> </D:prop> <D:status>HTTP/1.1 200 OK</D:status> </D:propstat> </D:response> </D:multistatus>
As introduced in Section 8.7, extra information on error conditions can be included in the body of many status responses. This section makes requirements on the use of the error body mechanism and introduces a number of precondition and postcondition codes.
A "precondition" of a method describes the state of the server that must be true for that method to be performed. A "postcondition" of a method describes the state of the server that must be true after that method has been completed.
Each precondition and postcondition has a unique XML element associated with it. In a 207 Multi-Status response, the XML element MUST appear inside an 'error' element in the appropriate 'propstat or 'response' element depending on whether the condition applies to one or more properties or to the resource as a whole. In all other error responses where this specification's 'error' body is used, the precondition/postcondition XML element MUST be returned as the child of a top-level 'error' element in the response body, unless otherwise negotiated by the request, along with an appropriate response status. The most common response status codes are 403 (Forbidden) if the request should not be repeated because it will always fail, and 409 (Conflict) if it is expected that the user might be able to resolve the conflict and resubmit the request. The 'error' element MAY contain child elements with specific error information and MAY be extended with any custom child elements.
This mechanism does not take the place of using a correct numeric status code as defined here or in HTTP, because the client must always be able to take a reasonable course of action based only on the numeric code. However, it does remove the need to define new numeric codes. The new machine-readable codes used for this purpose are XML elements classified as preconditions and postconditions, so naturally, any group defining a new condition code can use their own namespace. As always, the "DAV:" namespace is reserved for use by IETF-chartered WebDAV working groups.
A server supporting this specification SHOULD use the XML error whenever a precondition or postcondition defined in this document is violated. For error conditions not specified in this document, the server MAY simply choose an appropriate numeric status and leave the response body blank. However, a server MAY instead use a custom condition code and other supporting text, because even when clients do not automatically recognize condition codes, they can be quite useful in interoperability testing and debugging.
Example - Response with precondition code
HTTP/1.1 423 Locked Content-Type: application/xml; charset="utf-8" Content-Length: xxxx <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?> <D:error xmlns:D="DAV:"> <D:lock-token-submitted> <D:href>/workspace/webdav/</D:href> </D:lock-token-submitted> </D:error>
In this example, a client unaware of a depth-infinity lock on the parent collection "/workspace/webdav/" attempted to modify the collection member "/workspace/webdav/proposal.doc".
All these elements are in the "DAV:" namespace. If not specified otherwise, the content for each condition's XML element is defined to be empty.
<!ELEMENT lock-token-submitted (href+) >
<!ELEMENT no-conflicting-lock (href)* >
The XML namespace extension ([REC-XML-NAMES]) is used in this specification in order to allow for new XML elements to be added without fear of colliding with other element names. Although WebDAV request and response bodies can be extended by arbitrary XML elements, which can be ignored by the message recipient, an XML element in the "DAV:" namespace SHOULD NOT be used in the request or response body unless that XML element is explicitly defined in an IETF RFC reviewed by a WebDAV working group.
For WebDAV to be both extensible and backwards-compatible, both clients and servers need to know how to behave when unexpected or unrecognized command extensions are received. For XML processing, this means that clients and servers MUST process received XML documents as if unexpected elements and attributes (and all children of unrecognized elements) were not there. An unexpected element or attribute includes one that may be used in another context but is not expected here. Ignoring such items for purposes of processing can of course be consistent with logging all information or presenting for debugging.
This restriction also applies to the processing, by clients, of DAV property values where unexpected XML elements SHOULD be ignored unless the property's schema declares otherwise.
This restriction does not apply to setting dead DAV properties on the server where the server MUST record all XML elements.
Additionally, this restriction does not apply to the use of XML where XML happens to be the content type of the entity body, for example, when used as the body of a PUT.
Processing instructions in XML SHOULD be ignored by recipients. Thus, specifications extending WebDAV SHOULD NOT use processing instructions to define normative behavior.
XML DTD fragments are included for all the XML elements defined in this specification. However, correct XML will not be valid according to any DTD due to namespace usage and extension rules. In particular:
Note that this means that elements containing elements cannot be extended to contain text, and vice versa.
With DTD validation relaxed by the rules above, the constraints described by the DTD fragments are normative (see for example Appendix A). A recipient of a WebDAV message with an XML body MUST NOT validate the XML document according to any hard-coded or dynamically-declared DTD.
Note that this section describes backwards-compatible extensibility rules. There might also be times when an extension is designed not to be backwards-compatible, for example, defining an extension that reuses an XML element defined in this document but omitting one of the child elements required by the DTDs in this specification.
A DAV-compliant resource can advertise several classes of compliance. A client can discover the compliance classes of a resource by executing OPTIONS on the resource and examining the "DAV" header which is returned. Note particularly that resources, rather than servers, are spoken of as being compliant. That is because theoretically some resources on a server could support different feature sets. For example, a server could have a sub-repository where an advanced feature like versioning was supported, even if that feature was not supported on all sub-repositories.
Since this document describes extensions to the HTTP/1.1 protocol, minimally all DAV-compliant resources, clients, and proxies MUST be compliant with [RFC2616].
A resource that is class 2 or class 3 compliant must also be class 1 compliant.
A class 1 compliant resource MUST meet all "MUST" requirements in all sections of this document.
Class 1 compliant resources MUST return, at minimum, the value "1" in the DAV header on all responses to the OPTIONS method.
A class 2 compliant resource MUST meet all class 1 requirements and support the LOCK method, the DAV:supportedlock property, the DAV:lockdiscovery property, the Time-Out response header and the Lock-Token request header. A class 2 compliant resource SHOULD also support the Timeout request header and the 'owner' XML element.
Class 2 compliant resources MUST return, at minimum, the values "1" and "2" in the DAV header on all responses to the OPTIONS method.
A resource can explicitly advertise its support for the revisions to [RFC2518] made in this document. Class 1 MUST be supported as well. Class 2 MAY be supported. Advertising class 3 support in addition to class 1 and 2 means that the server supports all the requirements in this specification. Advertising class 3 and class 1 support, but not class 2, means that the server supports all the requirements in this specification except possibly those that involve locking support.
DAV: 1, 3
In the realm of internationalization, this specification complies with the IETF Character Set Policy [RFC2277]. In this specification, human-readable fields can be found either in the value of a property, or in an error message returned in a response entity body. In both cases, the human-readable content is encoded using XML, which has explicit provisions for character set tagging and encoding, and requires that XML processors read XML elements encoded, at minimum, using the UTF-8 [RFC3629] and UTF-16 [RFC2781] encodings of the ISO 10646 multilingual plane. XML examples in this specification demonstrate use of the charset parameter of the Content-Type header (defined in [RFC3023]), as well as XML charset declarations.
XML also provides a language tagging capability for specifying the language of the contents of a particular XML element. The "xml:lang" attribute appears on an XML element to identify the language of its content and attributes. See [REC-XML] for definitions of values and scoping.
WebDAV applications MUST support the character set tagging, character set encoding, and the language tagging functionality of the XML specification. Implementors of WebDAV applications are strongly encouraged to read "XML Media Types" [RFC3023] for instruction on which MIME media type to use for XML transport, and on use of the charset parameter of the Content-Type header.
Names used within this specification fall into four categories: names of protocol elements such as methods and headers, names of XML elements, names of properties, and names of conditions. Naming of protocol elements follows the precedent of HTTP, using English names encoded in US-ASCII for methods and headers. Since these protocol elements are not visible to users, and are simply long token identifiers, they do not need to support multiple languages. Similarly, the names of XML elements used in this specification are not visible to the user and hence do not need to support multiple languages.
WebDAV property names are qualified XML names (pairs of XML namespace name and local name). Although some applications (e.g., a generic property viewer) will display property names directly to their users, it is expected that the typical application will use a fixed set of properties, and will provide a mapping from the property name and namespace to a human-readable field when displaying the property name to a user. It is only in the case where the set of properties is not known ahead of time that an application need display a property name to a user. We recommend that applications provide human-readable property names wherever feasible.
For error reporting, we follow the convention of HTTP/1.1 status codes, including with each status code a short, English description of the code (e.g., 423 (Locked)). While the possibility exists that a poorly crafted user agent would display this message to a user, internationalized applications will ignore this message, and display an appropriate message in the user's language and character set.
Since interoperation of clients and servers does not require locale information, this specification does not specify any mechanism for transmission of this information.
This section is provided to detail issues concerning security implications of which WebDAV applications need to be aware.
All of the security considerations of HTTP/1.1 (discussed in [RFC2616]) and XML (discussed in [RFC3023]) also apply to WebDAV. In addition, the security risks inherent in remote authoring require stronger authentication technology, introduce several new privacy concerns, and may increase the hazards from poor server design. These issues are detailed below.
Due to their emphasis on authoring, WebDAV servers need to use authentication technology to protect not just access to a network resource, but the integrity of the resource as well. Furthermore, the introduction of locking functionality requires support for authentication.
A password sent in the clear over an insecure channel is an inadequate means for protecting the accessibility and integrity of a resource as the password may be intercepted. Since Basic authentication for HTTP/1.1 performs essentially clear text transmission of a password, Basic authentication MUST NOT be used to authenticate a WebDAV client to a server unless the connection is secure. Furthermore, a WebDAV server MUST NOT send a Basic authentication challenge in a WWW-Authenticate header unless the connection is secure. An example of a secure connection would be a Transport Layer Security (TLS) connection employing a strong cipher suite and server authentication.
WebDAV applications MUST support the Digest authentication scheme [RFC2617]. Since Digest authentication verifies that both parties to a communication know a shared secret, a password, without having to send that secret in the clear, Digest authentication avoids the security problems inherent in Basic authentication while providing a level of authentication that is useful in a wide range of scenarios.
Denial-of-service attacks are of special concern to WebDAV servers. WebDAV plus HTTP enables denial-of-service attacks on every part of a system's resources.
WebDAV servers need to be aware of the possibility of a denial-of-service attack at all levels. The proper response to such an attack MAY be to simply drop the connection. Or, if the server is able to make a response, the server MAY use a 400-level status request such as 400 (Bad Request) and indicate why the request was refused (a 500-level status response would indicate that the problem is with the server, whereas unintentional DoS attacks are something the client is capable of remedying).
WebDAV provides, through the PROPFIND method, a mechanism for listing the member resources of a collection. This greatly diminishes the effectiveness of security or privacy techniques that rely only on the difficulty of discovering the names of network resources. Users of WebDAV servers are encouraged to use access control techniques to prevent unwanted access to resources, rather than depending on the relative obscurity of their resource names.
When submitting a lock request, a user agent may also submit an 'owner' XML field giving contact information for the person taking out the lock (for those cases where a person, rather than a robot, is taking out the lock). This contact information is stored in a DAV:lockdiscovery property on the resource, and can be used by other collaborators to begin negotiation over access to the resource. However, in many cases, this contact information can be very private, and should not be widely disseminated. Servers SHOULD limit read access to the DAV:lockdiscovery property as appropriate. Furthermore, user agents SHOULD provide control over whether contact information is sent at all, and if contact information is sent, control over exactly what information is sent.
Since property values are typically used to hold information such as the author of a document, there is the possibility that privacy concerns could arise stemming from widespread access to a resource's property data. To reduce the risk of inadvertent release of private information via properties, servers are encouraged to develop access control mechanisms that separate read access to the resource body and read access to the resource's properties. This allows a user to control the dissemination of their property data without overly restricting access to the resource's contents.
XML supports a facility known as "external entities", defined in Section 4.2.2 of [REC-XML], which instructs an XML processor to retrieve and include additional XML. An external XML entity can be used to append or modify the document type declaration (DTD) associated with an XML document. An external XML entity can also be used to include XML within the content of an XML document. For non-validating XML, such as the XML used in this specification, including an external XML entity is not required by XML. However, XML does state that an XML processor may, at its discretion, include the external XML entity.
External XML entities have no inherent trustworthiness and are subject to all the attacks that are endemic to any HTTP GET request. Furthermore, it is possible for an external XML entity to modify the DTD, and hence affect the final form of an XML document, in the worst case, significantly modifying its semantics or exposing the XML processor to the security risks discussed in [RFC3023]. Therefore, implementers must be aware that external XML entities should be treated as untrustworthy. If a server chooses not to handle external XML entities, it SHOULD respond to requests containing external entities with the 'no-external-entities' condition code.
There is also the scalability risk that would accompany a widely deployed application that made use of external XML entities. In this situation, it is possible that there would be significant numbers of requests for one external XML entity, potentially overloading any server that fields requests for the resource containing the external XML entity.
Furthermore, there's also a risk based on the evaluation of "internal entities" as defined in Section 4.2.2 of [REC-XML]. A small, carefully crafted request using nested internal entities may require enormous amounts of memory and/or processing time to process. Server implementers should be aware of this risk and configure their XML parsers so that requests like these can be detected and rejected as early as possible.
This specification encourages the use of "A Universally Unique Identifier (UUID) URN Namespace" ([RFC4122]) for lock tokens (Section 6.5), in order to guarantee their uniqueness across space and time. Version 1 UUIDs (defined in Section 4) MAY contain a "node" field that "consists of an IEEE 802 MAC address, usually the host address. For systems with multiple IEEE addresses, any available one can be used". Since a WebDAV server will issue many locks over its lifetime, the implication is that it may also be publicly exposing its IEEE 802 address.
There are several risks associated with exposure of IEEE 802 addresses. Using the IEEE 802 address:
This risk only applies to host-address-based UUID versions. Section 4 of [RFC4122] describes several other mechanisms for generating UUIDs that do not involve the host address and therefore do not suffer from this risk.
HTTP has the ability to host programs that are executed on client machines. These programs can take many forms including Web scripts, executables, plug-in modules, and macros in documents. WebDAV does not change any of the security concerns around these programs, yet often WebDAV is used in contexts where a wide range of users can publish documents on a server. The server might not have a close trust relationship with the author that is publishing the document. Servers that allow clients to publish arbitrary content can usefully implement precautions to check that content published to the server is not harmful to other clients. Servers could do this by techniques such as restricting the types of content that is allowed to be published and running virus and malware detection software on published content. Servers can also mitigate the risk by having appropriate access restriction and authentication of users that are allowed to publish content to the server.
This specification defines two URI schemes:
Note that defining new URI schemes for XML namespaces is now discouraged. "DAV:" was defined before standard best practices emerged.
XML namespaces disambiguate WebDAV property names and XML elements. Any WebDAV user or application can define a new namespace in order to create custom properties or extend WebDAV XML syntax. IANA does not need to manage such namespaces, property names, or element names.
The message header fields below should be added to the permanent registry (see [RFC3864]).
Header field name: DAV
Applicable protocol: http
Author/Change controller: IETF
Specification document: this specification (Section 10.1)
Header field name: Depth
Applicable protocol: http
Author/Change controller: IETF
Specification document: this specification (Section 10.2)
Header field name: Destination
Applicable protocol: http
Author/Change controller: IETF
Specification document: this specification (Section 10.3)
Header field name: If
Applicable protocol: http
Author/Change controller: IETF
Specification document: this specification (Section 10.4)
Header field name: Lock-Token
Applicable protocol: http
Author/Change controller: IETF
Specification document: this specification (Section 10.5)
Header field name: Overwrite
Applicable protocol: http
Author/Change controller: IETF
Specification document: this specification (Section 10.6)
This specification defines the HTTP status codes
to be updated in the registry at <http://www.iana.org/assignments/http-status-codes>.
Note: the HTTP status code 102 (Processing) has been removed in this specification; its IANA registration should continue to reference RFC 2518.
A specification such as this thrives on piercing critical review and withers from apathetic neglect. The authors gratefully acknowledge the contributions of the following people, whose insights were so valuable at every stage of our work.
Contributors to RFC 2518
Terry Allen, Harald Alvestrand, Jim Amsden, Becky Anderson, Alan Babich, Sanford Barr, Dylan Barrell, Bernard Chester, Tim Berners-Lee, Dan Connolly, Jim Cunningham, Ron Daniel, Jr., Jim Davis, Keith Dawson, Mark Day, Brian Deen, Martin Duerst, David Durand, Lee Farrell, Chuck Fay, Wesley Felter, Roy Fielding, Mark Fisher, Alan Freier, George Florentine, Jim Gettys, Phill Hallam-Baker, Dennis Hamilton, Steve Henning, Mead Himelstein, Alex Hopmann, Andre van der Hoek, Ben Laurie, Paul Leach, Ora Lassila, Karen MacArthur, Steven Martin, Larry Masinter, Michael Mealling, Keith Moore, Thomas Narten, Henrik Nielsen, Kenji Ota, Bob Parker, Glenn Peterson, Jon Radoff, Saveen Reddy, Henry Sanders, Christopher Seiwald, Judith Slein, Mike Spreitzer, Einar Stefferud, Greg Stein, Ralph Swick, Kenji Takahashi, Richard N. Taylor, Robert Thau, John Turner, Sankar Virdhagriswaran, Fabio Vitali, Gregory Woodhouse, and Lauren Wood.
Two from this list deserve special mention. The contributions by Larry Masinter have been invaluable; he both helped the formation of the working group and patiently coached the authors along the way. In so many ways he has set high standards that we have toiled to meet. The contributions of Judith Slein were also invaluable; by clarifying the requirements and in patiently reviewing version after version, she both improved this specification and expanded our minds on document management.
We would also like to thank John Turner for developing the XML DTD.
The authors of RFC 2518 were Yaron Goland, Jim Whitehead, A. Faizi, Steve Carter, and D. Jensen. Although their names had to be removed due to IETF author count restrictions, they can take credit for the majority of the design of WebDAV.
Additional Acknowledgements for This Specification
Significant contributors of text for this specification are listed as contributors in the section below. We must also gratefully acknowledge Geoff Clemm, Joel Soderberg, and Dan Brotsky for hashing out specific text on the list or in meetings. Joe Hildebrand and Cullen Jennings helped close many issues. Barry Lind described an additional security consideration and Cullen Jennings provided text for that consideration. Jason Crawford tracked issue status for this document for a period of years, followed by Elias Sinderson.
Julian Reschke <green/>bytes GmbH Hafenweg 16, 48155 Muenster, Germany EMail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Elias Sinderson University of California, Santa Cruz 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 EMail: email@example.com
Jim Whitehead University of California, Santa Cruz 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 EMail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Y. Y. Goland Microsoft Corporation One Microsoft Way Redmond, WA 98052-6399 EMail: email@example.com
E. J. Whitehead, Jr. Dept. Of Information and Computer Science University of California, Irvine Irvine, CA 92697-3425 EMail: firstname.lastname@example.org
A. Faizi Netscape 685 East Middlefield Road Mountain View, CA 94043 EMail: email@example.com
S. R. Carter Novell 1555 N. Technology Way M/S ORM F111 Orem, UT 84097-2399 EMail: firstname.lastname@example.org
D. Jensen Novell 1555 N. Technology Way M/S ORM F111 Orem, UT 84097-2399 EMail: email@example.com
|[REC-XML]||Bray, T., Paoli, J., Sperberg-McQueen, C., Maler, E., and F. Yergeau, “Extensible Markup Language (XML) 1.0 (Fourth Edition)”, W3C REC-xml-20060816, August 2006, <http://www.w3.org/TR/2006/REC-xml-20060816/>.|
|[REC-XML-INFOSET]||Cowan, J. and R. Tobin, “XML Information Set (Second Edition)”, W3C REC-xml-infoset-20040204, February 2004, <http://www.w3.org/TR/2004/REC-xml-infoset-20040204/>.|
|[REC-XML-NAMES]||Bray, T., Hollander, D., Layman, A., and R. Tobin, “Namespaces in XML 1.0 (Second Edition)”, W3C REC-xml-names-20060816, August 2006, <http://www.w3.org/TR/2006/REC-xml-names-20060816/>.|
|[RFC2119]||Bradner, S., “Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement Levels”, BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.|
|[RFC2277]||Alvestrand, H., “IETF Policy on Character Sets and Languages”, BCP 18, RFC 2277, January 1998.|
|[RFC2616]||Fielding, R., Gettys, J., Mogul, J., Frystyk, H., Masinter, L., Leach, P., and T. Berners-Lee, “Hypertext Transfer Protocol -- HTTP/1.1”, RFC 2616, June 1999.|
|[RFC2617]||Franks, J., Hallam-Baker, P., Hostetler, J., Lawrence, S., Leach, P., Luotonen, A., and L. Stewart, “HTTP Authentication: Basic and Digest Access Authentication”, RFC 2617, June 1999.|
|[RFC3339]||Klyne, G., Ed. and C. Newman, “Date and Time on the Internet: Timestamps”, RFC 3339, July 2002.|
|[RFC3629]||Yergeau, F., “UTF-8, a transformation format of ISO 10646”, STD 63, RFC 3629, November 2003.|
|[RFC3986]||Berners-Lee, T., Fielding, R., and L. Masinter, “Uniform Resource Identifier (URI): Generic Syntax”, STD 66, RFC 3986, January 2005.|
|[RFC4122]||Leach, P., Mealling, M., and R. Salz, “A Universally Unique IDentifier (UUID) URN Namespace”, RFC 4122, July 2005.|
|[RFC2291]||Slein, J., Vitali, F., Whitehead, E., and D. Durand, “Requirements for a Distributed Authoring and Versioning Protocol for the World Wide Web”, RFC 2291, February 1998.|
|[RFC2518]||Goland, Y., Whitehead, E., Faizi, A., Carter, S., and D. Jensen, “HTTP Extensions for Distributed Authoring -- WEBDAV”, RFC 2518, February 1999.|
|[RFC2781]||Hoffman, P. and F. Yergeau, “UTF-16, an encoding of ISO 10646”, RFC 2781, February 2000.|
|[RFC3023]||Murata, M., St. Laurent, S., and D. Kohn, “XML Media Types”, RFC 3023, January 2001.|
|[RFC3253]||Clemm, G., Amsden, J., Ellison, T., Kaler, C., and J. Whitehead, “Versioning Extensions to WebDAV (Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning)”, RFC 3253, March 2002.|
|[RFC3648]||Whitehead, J. and J. Reschke, Ed., “Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV) Ordered Collections Protocol”, RFC 3648, December 2003.|
|[RFC3744]||Clemm, G., Reschke, J., Sedlar, E., and J. Whitehead, “Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV) Access Control Protocol”, RFC 3744, May 2004.|
|[RFC3864]||Klyne, G., Nottingham, M., and J. Mogul, “Registration Procedures for Message Header Fields”, BCP 90, RFC 3864, September 2004.|
XML supports two mechanisms for indicating that an XML element does not have any content. The first is to declare an XML element of the form <A></A>. The second is to declare an XML element of the form <A/>. The two XML elements are semantically identical.
XML is a flexible data format that makes it easy to submit data that appears legal but in fact is not. The philosophy of "Be flexible in what you accept and strict in what you send" still applies, but it must not be applied inappropriately. XML is extremely flexible in dealing with issues of whitespace, element ordering, inserting new elements, etc. This flexibility does not require extension, especially not in the area of the meaning of elements.
There is no kindness in accepting illegal combinations of XML elements. At best, it will cause an unwanted result and at worst it can cause real damage.
The following request body for a PROPFIND method is illegal.
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?> <D:propfind xmlns:D="DAV:"> <D:allprop/> <D:propname/> </D:propfind>
The definition of the propfind element only allows for the allprop or the propname element, not both. Thus, the above is an error and must be responded to with a 400 (Bad Request).
Imagine, however, that a server wanted to be "kind" and decided to pick the allprop element as the true element and respond to it. A client running over a bandwidth limited line who intended to execute a propname would be in for a big surprise if the server treated the command as an allprop.
Additionally, if a server were lenient and decided to reply to this request, the results would vary randomly from server to server, with some servers executing the allprop directive, and others executing the propname directive. This reduces interoperability rather than increasing it.
The previous example was illegal because it contained two elements that were explicitly banned from appearing together in the propfind element. However, XML is an extensible language, so one can imagine new elements being defined for use with propfind. Below is the request body of a PROPFIND and, like the previous example, must be rejected with a 400 (Bad Request) by a server that does not understand the expired-props element.
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?> <D:propfind xmlns:D="DAV:" xmlns:E="http://www.example.com/standards/props/"> <E:expired-props/> </D:propfind>
To understand why a 400 (Bad Request) is returned, let us look at the request body as the server unfamiliar with expired-props sees it.
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?> <D:propfind xmlns:D="DAV:" xmlns:E="http://www.example.com/standards/props/"> </D:propfind>
As the server does not understand the 'expired-props' element, according to the WebDAV-specific XML processing rules specified in Section 17, it must process the request as if the element were not there. Thus, the server sees an empty propfind, which by the definition of the propfind element is illegal.
Please note that had the extension been additive, it would not necessarily have resulted in a 400 (Bad Request). For example, imagine the following request body for a PROPFIND:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?> <D:propfind xmlns:D="DAV:" xmlns:E="http://www.example.com/standards/props/"> <D:propname/> <E:leave-out>*boss*</E:leave-out> </D:propfind>
The previous example contains the fictitious element leave-out. Its purpose is to prevent the return of any property whose name matches the submitted pattern. If the previous example were submitted to a server unfamiliar with 'leave-out', the only result would be that the 'leave-out' element would be ignored and a propname would be executed.
WebDAV was designed to be, and has been found to be, backward-compatible with HTTP 1.1. The PUT and DELETE methods are defined in HTTP and thus may be used by HTTP clients as well as WebDAV-aware clients, but the responses to PUT and DELETE have been extended in this specification in ways that only a WebDAV client would be entirely prepared for. Some theoretical concerns were raised about whether those responses would cause interoperability problems with HTTP-only clients, and this section addresses those concerns.
Since any HTTP client ought to handle unrecognized 400-level and 500-level status codes as errors, the following new status codes should not present any issues: 422, 423, and 507 (424 is also a new status code but it appears only in the body of a Multistatus response.) So, for example, if an HTTP client attempted to PUT or DELETE a locked resource, the 423 Locked response ought to result in a generic error presented to the user.
The 207 Multistatus response is interesting because an HTTP client issuing a DELETE request to a collection might interpret a 207 response as a success, even though it does not realize the resource is a collection and cannot understand that the DELETE operation might have been a complete or partial failure. That interpretation isn't entirely justified, because a 200-level response indicates that the server "received, understood, and accepted" the request, not that the request resulted in complete success.
One option is that a server could treat a DELETE of a collection as an atomic operation, and use either 204 No Content in case of success, or some appropriate error response (400 or 500 level) for an error. This approach would indeed maximize backward compatibility. However, since interoperability tests and working group discussions have not turned up any instances of HTTP clients issuing a DELETE request against a WebDAV collection, this concern is more theoretical than practical. Thus, servers are likely to be completely successful at interoperating with HTTP clients even if they treat any collection DELETE request as a WebDAV request and send a 207 Multi-Status response.
In general, server implementations are encouraged to use the detailed responses and other mechanisms defined in this document rather than make changes for theoretical interoperability concerns.
The 'opaquelocktoken' URI scheme was defined in [RFC2518] (and registered by IANA) in order to create syntactically correct and easy-to-generate URIs out of UUIDs, intended to be used as lock tokens and to be unique across all resources for all time.
An opaquelocktoken URI is constructed by concatenating the 'opaquelocktoken' scheme with a UUID, along with an optional extension. Servers can create new UUIDs for each new lock token. If a server wishes to reuse UUIDs, the server MUST add an extension, and the algorithm generating the extension MUST guarantee that the same extension will never be used twice with the associated UUID.
OpaqueLockToken-URI = "opaquelocktoken:" UUID [Extension] ; UUID is defined in Section 3 of [RFC4122]. Note that LWS ; is not allowed between elements of ; this production. Extension = path ; path is defined in Section 3.3 of [RFC3986]
The original WebDAV model for locking unmapped URLs created "lock-null resources". This model was over-complicated and some interoperability and implementation problems were discovered. The new WebDAV model for locking unmapped URLs (see Section 7.3) creates "locked empty resources". Lock-null resources are deprecated. This section discusses the original model briefly because clients MUST be able to handle either model.
In the original "lock-null resource" model, which is no longer recommended for implementation:
Clients can easily interoperate both with servers that support the old model "lock-null resources" and the recommended model of "locked empty resources" by only attempting PUT after a LOCK to an unmapped URL, not MKCOL or GET.
A WebDAV client implemented to this specification might find servers that create lock-null resources (implemented before this specification using [RFC2518]) as well as servers that create locked empty resources. The response to the LOCK request will not indicate what kind of resource was created. There are a few techniques that help the client deal with either type.
Many WebDAV clients that have already been implemented have account settings (similar to the way email clients store IMAP account settings). Thus, the WebDAV client would be able to authenticate with its first couple requests to the server, provided it had a way to get the authentication challenge from the server with realm name, nonce, and other challenge information. Note that the results of some requests might vary according to whether or not the client is authenticated -- a PROPFIND might return more visible resources if the client is authenticated, yet not fail if the client is anonymous.
There are a number of ways the client might be able to trigger the server to provide an authentication challenge. This appendix describes a couple approaches that seem particularly likely to work.
The first approach is to perform a request that ought to require authentication. However, it's possible that a server might handle any request even without authentication, so to be entirely safe, the client could add a conditional header to ensure that even if the request passes permissions checks, it's not actually handled by the server. An example of following this approach would be to use a PUT request with an "If-Match" header with a made-up ETag value. This approach might fail to result in an authentication challenge if the server does not test authorization before testing conditionals as is required (see Section 8.5), or if the server does not need to test authorization.
Example - forcing auth challenge with write request
PUT /forceauth.txt HTTP/1.1 Host: www.example.com If-Match: "xxx" Content-Type: text/plain Content-Length: 0
The second approach is to use an Authorization header (defined in [RFC2617]), which is likely to be rejected by the server but which will then prompt a proper authentication challenge. For example, the client could start with a PROPFIND request containing an Authorization header containing a made-up Basic userid:password string or with actual plausible credentials. This approach relies on the server responding with a "401 Unauthorized" along with a challenge if it receives an Authorization header with an unrecognized username, invalid password, or if it doesn't even handle Basic authentication. This seems likely to work because of the requirements of RFC 2617:
"If the origin server does not wish to accept the credentials sent with a request, it SHOULD return a 401 (Unauthorized) response. The response MUST include a WWW-Authenticate header field containing at least one (possibly new) challenge applicable to the requested resource."
There's a slight problem with implementing that recommendation in some cases, because some servers do not even have challenge information for certain resources. Thus, when there's no way to authenticate to a resource or the resource is entirely publicly available over all accepted methods, the server MAY ignore the Authorization header, and the client will presumably try again later.
Example - forcing auth challenge with Authorization header
PROPFIND /docs/ HTTP/1.1 Host: www.example.com Authorization: Basic QWxhZGRpbjpvcGVuIHNlc2FtZQ== Content-type: application/xml; charset="utf-8" Content-Length: xxxx [body omitted]
This section lists major changes between this document and RFC 2518, starting with those that are likely to result in implementation changes. Servers will advertise support for all changes in this specification by returning the compliance class "3" in the DAV response header (see Sections 10.1 and 18.3).
Collections and Namespace Operations
Headers and Marshalling
Collections and Namespace Operations
Headers and Marshalling
The definition of collection state has been fixed so it doesn't vary anymore depending on the Request-URI (see Section 5.2).
The DAV header now allows non-IETF extensions through URIs in addition to compliance class tokens. It also can now be used in requests, although this specification does not define any associated semantics for the compliance classes defined in here (see Section 10.1).
In RFC 2518, the definition of the Depth header (Section 9.2) required that, by default, request headers would be applied to each resource in scope. Based on implementation experience, the default has now been reversed (see Section 10.2).
The TimeType format used in the Timeout request header and the "timeout" XML element used to be extensible. Now, only the two formats defined by this specification are allowed (see Section 10.7).
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