Mod_Dav Turning the Web into a Writable Medium

Date view Thread view Subject view Author view

From: Roddy Young (
Date: Tue Jun 13 2000 - 07:00:49 PDT

For Immediate Release


      Sally Khudairi and Roderic Olvera Young
      ZOT Group


Apache Now Supporting Open-Source WebDAV module and the Writable Web - 13 June 2000 - (Web-based Distributed
Authoring and Versioning) and the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) today
introduced an add-on to the Apache HTTP Server that will provide its 9
million users unprecedented control of information on the Web. With the
release of the mod_dav module, authored by one of the ASF's volunteer
contributors, the world's number one Web server gains new power.
mod_dav adds WebDAV capabilities to the Apache HTTP Server, an open-source
software product. With this addition, the ASF ensures its users will have
the most secure, efficient, and extensible server available.

"The introduction of mod_dav version 1.0 is a significant step toward the
WebDAV vision of a collaborative, writable Web. Today, Web browsing is
primarily done in a read-only manner. This was not the original conception
of the Web in early 1990, which could both read and write in the
By providing a full-featured, standards-compliant, open-source implementation
of the WebDAV protocol, I am hopeful many more communities will be able to use
it and reap the benefits of remote collaboration," said Greg Stein, author of
mod_dav version 1.0.

For the first time on the Web, Apache Server users can control information
remotely and collaboratively, using interoperable tools that employ metadata
and version control. The loosely knit members of the ASF are again break new
ground by adopting the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)
WebDAV standard.

"Greg Stein has shown real leadership developing WebDAV for Apache, as well
as organizing the entire WebDAV development community. My guardian angel
was definitely looking out for me the day Greg got involved with WebDAV,"
said Jim Whitehead, Chair, IETF Working Group on WebDAV.

Companies such as IBM, Rational Software,, and SuSE, use
mod_dav in their products and services. Adobe's GoLive and
Microsoft's Internet Explorer 5 and Office 2000 also use WebDAV as part of
their operations and integrate seamlessly with mod_dav. The open-source
community has embraced WebDAV as well, as evidenced by the Sitecopy and
Goliath products, and the Nautilus file viewer for the GNOME project.

The ASF, a large force behind the open-source movement, has taken a leadership
role by encouraging progressive software companies to incorporate the new,
free mod_dav add-on and offer their customers an easier way to work on the
Web. In addition, the next major version of the server, Apache 2.0, will
include mod_dav, providing built-in WebDAV capabilities to Apache users.

"The evolution of WebDAV has been exciting to watch. Now Apache's 9 million
users worldwide can gain the benefit of managing files on a Web site,
querying the properties of the files, editing resources on the Web server
without downloading them first, and setting access permissions on files and
lock files during editing," said Brian Behlendorf, co-founder of the ASF and
CTO for Collab.Net.

"We have reached an important milestone in the progress of the Web from
being a read-only tool to reaching its true goal: making Internet
collaboration as easy as using a hypertext browser. The addition of mod_dav
to Apache will make it possible for Internet Service Providers, both large
and small, to give their customers complete write access to their own
personal and project web sites without requiring the use of vendor-specific
tools or complex file-transfer mechanisms," said Roy Fielding, chief
scientist at eBuilt, Inc., and co-author of the HTTP standards.

"WebDAV is another soon-to-be crucial piece of the Internet and Web
technology which has been driven by need," remarked Ken Coar, ASF director
and IBM senior engineer. "As the WebDAV protocols are developed by the
groups in the Internet Engineering Task Force, their implementation by
mod_dav for Apache actually brings it to the arena where it can be tested
and used in live production environments. This can only lead to the
improvement and refinement of WebDAV -- and, not incidentally, the Apache
Web server. In a word, 'cool!'"

Key technology and industry players support and praise mod_dav and WebDAV:

"IBM is pleased to continue its contribution to open-source software
and Web standards. mod_dav will be incorporated into a forthcoming
release of IBM's Websphere Application Server, which includes IBM's
Apache derivitive Web server (IBM HTTP Server). We believe inclusion
of mod_dav into our Websphere products will bring great benefit to our
-- Bill Stoddard, Manager, IBM's Apache HTTP Server development team and
ASF member

"GoLive 5.0 demonstrates Adobe's initiative with one of the first client
implementations of the new writable HTTP protocol, WebDAV. Support in
GoLive 5.0 for the versioning and synchronization capabilities of the open
WebDAV standard creates new possibilities for collaborating on Website
development. We are committed to enabling the most powerful workgroup
solutions for the creation and management of complex Web sites, and WebDAV
is a key component for next generation Web tools."
-- Michael Hopwood, Director of Product Management, Adobe

"The ASF's implementation of the WebDAV protocol is an exciting step towards
the general industry adoption of the standard. WebDAV will allow software
development teams to collaborate seamlessly and securely across geographic
boundaries. Rational is proud to be a contributor to the creation of WebDAV,
and will continue to participate in its advancement in an effort to provide
the development community with consistent best practices across disciplines."
-- Geoff Clemm, Chief Engineer, Rational Software and Co-author of
the WebDAV versioning protocol

The add-on mod_dav module for the Apache HTTP Server is available at

The Apache Software Foundation provides organizational, legal, and financial
support for the Apache open-source software projects. Formerly known as the
Apache Group, the Foundation incorporated as a membership-based,
not-for-profit corporation to ensure that the Apache projects continue to
exist beyond the participation of individual volunteers, to enable
contributions of intellectual property and financial support, and to provide
a vehicle for limiting legal exposure while participating in open-source
projects. For more information on the Apache Software Foundation, please see

With the goal of realizing the original vision of the World Wide Web as a
readable and writable collaborative medium, initial work on WebDAV began in
1995 as an ad-hoc meeting of developers interested in leveraging the reach
of the Internet for remote authoring. Their efforts helped form the Internet
Engineering Task Force (IETF) WebDAV Working Group, chartered to address key
issues encountered with Web remote authoring tools and develop standard
extensions to the HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) to enable users to
collaboratively edit and manage files on remote Web servers. The group's
collective efforts lasted more than two years and resulted in the WebDAV
standard, along with a series of WebDAV-related specifications, including
DASL and Delta-V. Developments of the working group are available at, the definitive source for information on WebDAV.


Date view Thread view Subject view Author view

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Tue Jun 13 2000 - 07:23:23 PDT