Infoworld: WebDAV Comes of Age

Justin Mason jm@jmason.org
Thu, 25 Oct 2001 13:13:10 +1000


> > Why haven't they kept the old "backwards compatibility" APIs in sync, and
> > capable of doing the wonderful new stuff that the new APIs can do?
> > It all seems to downright encourage third-party app breakage.
> >
> Im not quite sure i read you right.  Im assuming you are saying:
> "Why didnt MSFT make the existing APIs apps use for file access
> work with DAV in the first place.   What they did amounts to adding
> new 'secret' APIs that break 3rd  party apps or make them not support
> new things like MSFT apps do.."

Hi Josh, (sorry about the delay in replying)

That's more or less what I meant.  My POV is that, of these 2 options:

> We analyzed our options.  The main two were:
> 1)APIs to support a DAV URI as a file argument, we didnt actually think
> of the drive mapping shortcut that XP uses.
> 2) Implement a shell/namespace extension to support DAV in the same
> way that FTP was supported for IE.

#1 would have been the correct way to do it, to my mind, as #2 means
that only new releases of third-party apps could get DAV support.

However I see your points about the fact that the lower-level-stuff team
would have had to buy in on that; and also the incompatibilities in other
areas of existing file I/O, and how it could break backwards-compat in
other ways...

All in all, good explanation -- thanks!   I guess I haven't had to worry
about long-term backwards compat in my own code a while ;)

--j.