Authoring Tools Breakout Session

Update (Jun 96): W3C is mustering resources to carry this work forward. See: WWW Distributed Authoring Working Group Home Page

These are my notes from the break-out session following the "development tools" session on developer's day.



Interoperability among distributed (i.e. client/server) web authoring tools.


Strong Authentication

We agreed this was a requirement. Either md5 auth or a combination of SSL and basic auth would suffice. But no product should restrict folks to basic auth.

How to get "raw HTML," i.e. before server-side includes processing?

Accept: text/plain (or text/x-html-ssi, or whatever NCSA made up)

Lost update problem

Four levels of support:

  1. no support. Lost updates go undetected
  2. dectect lost update (timestamp, version/derived-from)
  3. prevent lost update (locking)
  4. provide fairness (long story... not really discussed at the meeting)

level 1 is not really acceptable. Need to find out/influence the HTTP 1.1 spec with respect to Version:, Derived-From:, etc.

Creating files and directories raises some issues.

Common Access Control Model

We decided this isn't a goal worth persuing. Everybody will implement their own forms-based access control model.

URL mapping

Again, interoperability here isn't likely.


Please label document with the DTD that your product supports, e.g.

<!doctype html system "">


These could be implemented in terms of GET and POST, but since they are likely to have different access control policies, they deserve their own methods.

What about a CREATE method?

Line Breaking

To pretty-print, or not to pretty-print. That is the question. Two issues:

Relative Links

Hmm... what was the issue here? I know NaviPress gets this wrong sometimes (e.g. when you save as, it doesn't fix relative links! And it goofs up images sometimes too.)

Server-Side API

Purveyor/MS ISAPI? NSAPI? CORBA-based access control?

Editing Variants

How to edit the french version of foo.html? Get the server to tell you it's at and edit that.

last update by $Author: connolly $ on $Date: 1998/05/21 17:40:09 $