Item141: Rewrite the web DAV plugin (37h)
Current State: Closed
Released In: n/a
has some limitations; as an Apache module, it is a PITA to install, a PITA to debug, only works on 1.3, uses TDB.
It needs modernising.
In 2004 I implemented the WebDAVPlugin
module to extend HTTP to support the DAV (Distributed Authoring and Versioning) protocol with TWiki content. DAV is a protocol extension to HTTP. It defines a set of requests that can be sent to a server to manage a remote filesystem. On the server side, DAV is installed as an Apache module called
, which intercepts DAV requests and handles them.
module was a c-code program based on the original
written for Apache 1.3, coupled with a TWiki plugin and external maintenance scripts.
Features of the module included:
- Support for TWiki ACLs in limiting access to TWiki topics and attachments
- Presentation of
data areas of TWiki topics for access via DAV
- Simplistic locking mechanism, for locking during updates
- No requirement to run
- No support for Apache 2 - tightly coupled to Apache 1.3
- No support for locking
- No support for Delta-V (the versioning API) or DASL (the proposed searching API)
- No subwebs
- No integration of pub and data views of topics
- Hard to test
- Tricky to install on "untested" platforms (OSX, Windows, VMS etc)
R1. Basic Requirements
- Must support Apache 2.x
- Must present database as a WebDAV resource.
- May (preferred) present the database as a hierarchical file system, where webs (directories) contain subwebs (subdirectories) and files (topics). Each topic must have a directory entry (for the topic text), and may have a second entry with a _files suffix that is a sub-directory, if there are any attachments on the topic. This sub-directory must contain entries for the attachments in the topic.
- OR may present the database as a hierarchical file system with two roots,
data contains webs (directories) which contain subwebs (subdirectories) and files (topics), and
pub which contains webs (directories) which contain subwebs (subdirectories) topics (subdirectories) which contain attachments (files)
- All attachments found in the database for a topic must be included, even if not present in the topic meta-data
- PROPFIND should support return of named topic meta-data properties from topics (TWiki properties)
- PROPFIND may support return of named topic meta-data properties from attachments (TWiki properties)
- Must work on TWiki 4.2.3
- Must work with the Internet Explorer webdav redirector
- Windows Vista support may require Web Folders.
- Should work in Firefox (with https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/540)
- Access to topics and attachments must be controlled by standard TWiki topic access controls.
- The user must be authenticated using their TWiki username and password before any WebDAV directories are visible
- Must support versioning of topic changes, a la TWiki
- Should support SSL access to DAV resources
- Must support Neon
A decision must be made between R1.3 and R1.4
R2. Web DAV specifics
- Should support DAV (RFC4918).
- Strict compliance is not required, however the server must work with Internet Explorer and the Windows redirector and shuld work with Firefox.
- Could support Delta-V (RFC3253). No design features may preclude this.
- Could support DASL (http://www.webdav.org/dasl/. No design features should preclude this.
The module will be based on the
module. This is a Perl module that performs the same functions as
, but does it in Perl. The module is layered on top of
. The goal is to create a
layer over the TWiki store. This idea presents some interesting possibilities:
- Not only would the TWiki store be available as a DAV store, but it would also be available to other users of
Filesys::Virtual (and would make it all a lot easier to unit test).
- Because it is a pure perl module, it should be installable in any Apache that supports
mod_perl (as long as all the many dependencies can be resolved!)
On the negative side:
Apache::WebDAV is Perl, and performance may not be great (though it should be good enough)
mod_perl, incompatible with Speedy CGI and FastCGI
- Written to use
mod_perl 1, and must be ported to
- It has not seen any maintenance since 2006, which suggests that either the 0.01 version is perfect (unlikely) or that the usage has not been heavy enough to debug it. Indeed, that is not surprising given the easy availability of the
mod_dav module for Apache 2.
- Still no Delta-V or DASL (this is no great loss unless someone has a specific requirement for this)
- May be limited to Apache login (tbd)
The other possible choice, of implementing a
provider, would probably
have delivered better performance, but it also creates a huge maintenance issue for the predominantly Perl-based TWiki community.
|| Estimate (hours)
| Port Apache::WebDAV to mod_perl 2
| Create Filesys::Virtual::TWiki
- The table above gives progress on the major tasks.
- As of 12/11/08, I have the basic WebDAV server going, and have a partial Filesys::Virtual::NextWiki that I can use to browse around from a WebDAV client.
- TWiki::Func is brain dead. It's impossible to get a list of attachments from the data store; you can only list the subset of attachments actually recorded in the topic meta-data. Short term, going to have to hack around TWiki::Func. Long-term, need to fix this in NextWiki.
- 11 Nov 2008 - 11:25
This is so cool. I envied the confluence-users for so long for their WebDAV
-Plugin. Maybe you want to have a look at this
. -- MartinSeibert
- 11 Nov 2008 - 21:25
This has been put on the back burner at the client's request.
Any news on this development yet? -- MartinSeibert
- 22 Apr 2009
Done, for a client who is currently testing. However it is not on public release. Contact AndreUlrich
- 22 Apr 2009
So, this is closed source to buy
- 19 May 2009
The implementation comprises two distinct parts, a file system module that interfaces to the Foswiki store, and a generic Apache module that is independent of Foswiki. The file system module is open source, and is released under the GPL. The Apache module (the hard part) is a generic work, written ground-up by me without reference to Foswiki, and is licensed differently. The combined work is not
being made publicly available. Please contact AndreUlrich
Because insufficient people committed to supporting the work, we took the risk and went ahead at our own expense (a significant investment for two small businesses).
- 30 May 2009
Are there any movements in this direction? Any hints about how long it will be on the "Waiting for Release" stage? Because it would be really nice to have a possibility to edit attachments directly.
- 11 Apr 2011
The implementation is complete, and we are just waiting for enough people to help use recover some of the (significant) development costs by buying a copy before we open source it.
If you want to discuss this further and perhaps buy a license or two, contact AndreUlrich
- 11 Apr 2011
The suite now supports FastCGI
, so lighttpd and nginx and IIS can all be used. Please contact me for availability.
- 20 Feb 2014