[Framework-Team] Re: comments on plip187: WebDAV

Sidnei da Silva sidnei at enfoldsystems.com
Mon Feb 18 14:42:01 UTC 2008

On Feb 18, 2008 11:27 AM, Raphael Ritz <raphael.ritz at incf.org> wrote:
> Hi Sidnei,
> first of all thanks for your prompt reply!

Thank you for reviewing!

> >> (ii) Folders: When copying over (downloading) the default news folder I
> >> get a series of error messages from the aggregator topic's criteria
> >> (not too surprising) but no news items at all (and of course I've created
> >> a few in there before).
> >> More generally, folderish items seem to be problematic still.
> >
> > The 'news folder' is not a folder, is a 'smart folder'. It does
> > (should?) not contain files, but basically presents a search result.
> > As such, it is hard to decide what should happen there, and I'm open
> > for suggestions.
> No, it's a bit trickier than that: In current Plone 3 the news folder
> is an ATBTreeFolder which contains a topic as default view.
> It is perfectly fine (and actually supported through the default
> Plone UI) to add news items to this folder.
> The problem I was having is that when trying to download the
> *folder* I didn't get the news items contained in there probably
> because of the errors triggered by the contained topic.
> See what mean now?

I see. I am aware of that issue and intend to fix it very soon.

> > We could either:
> >
> >  - Display the 'contents' of a 'smart folder' and allow for
> > downloading them. The problem might be that since they are not
> > directly contained inside that 'smart folder', maybe some WebDAV
> > clients will complain that the URLs for those items are not 'contained
> > in' the parent.
> >  - Serialize the criteria for the 'smart folder', and display it as
> > non-folderish.
> >
> that seems to make most sense to me at the moment

That == ?

> > Another issue is, when you upload a file to a 'smart folder', where
> > should this file end up?
> I'm not sure we should even try this.

Why not?

> >> (iii) Extensibility: all marshallers don't seem to delegate the
> >> serialization
> >> of field values to the fields but rather apply some heuristics to the value.
> >> While the current implementations work for field types shipped with AT it
> >> is limiting when it comes to supporting custom field/data types.
> >> (e.g., my Record- and RecordsField (dict and list of dict types) are not
> >> treated correctly neither can I easily hook in my own serializations.
> >> I guess other complex field types like the ArrayField, the DataGridField,
> >> the CompoundField, etc. might have the same problem.
> >
> > I did not design the marshalling layer on AT, though I contributed
> > many improvements to it. It is completely possible to create a
> > marshaller that delegates to each field.
> That's kind of the point I was trying to make: it would
> certainly be possible (and not that hard even).

But would it be desirable to have this as default, since there is no
known editor that could edit whatever comes out of this? I don't think
so. I also think that's not what you're advocating, but it's better to

> > I don't see how your comment qualifies here though, as we don't ship
> > Plone with any of those different kinds of fields.
> While you are right in the strict sense I do propose
> to take a broader look at this. And from my perspective
> things could be better here. People often don't draw the
> fine line between Plone the product (as it comes OOTB)
> and Plone the platform/framework/whatever you call it.

My experience is that people do not care about WebDAV in general, and
once they care they can easily create such a marshaller if they want
to. The goal I have though is to have what ships with Plone be in a
working state, no more no less.

> > Moreover, my view (and certainly Alex's) on Working out-of-the-box
> > WebDAV
> I guess this is what I'm most worried about: Calling this
>   Working out-of-the-box WebDAV
> Maybe I'm the only one who has these "strange" expectations
> but for issues like the ones mentioned above I feel uncomfortable
> with advertising it as such.

I understand your concern, and I hope to be able to address the issue
with smart folders before the final 3.1 comes out, but after the PLIP
has been merged.

> >  We can incrementally improve on what we have on this
> > PLIP. Going from 100% broken to 100% working is not a trivial task
> > that can be achieved in one release cycle.
> Absolutely, and again I'm mostly worried about raising
> too high expectations where we aren't fully up to (yet)
> in order to avoid unnecessary frustration by those who
> might expect too much then.

I think we are already setting too high expectations, as Plone is
advertising WebDAV on the front page:

Plays Well with Others
LDAP, SQL, SOAP, Web Services (WSDL) and WebDAV — Plone works with them all.

So any improvement here is welcome.

Sidnei da Silva
Enfold Systems                http://enfoldsystems.com
Fax +1 832 201 8856     Office +1 713 942 2377 Ext 214

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