Brian Behlendorf (
Sat, 30 Jul 1994 05:50:58 +0200

On Thu, 28 Jul 1994 wrote:
> Recently I posted in one of the www NetNews groups a RFS (Request For Status
> :-) on some stuff I had read about collaborative computing features such as
> check-in and check-out being considered for integration into the WWW
> architecture. Some responses I received indicated that these are/were under
> consideration for the next generation of HTTP, but current leaning is to NOT
> include them, and that this new HTTP spec was being discussed here.

I haven't seen TOO much discussion on HTTP here (is there another mailing
list for this? I can't even find the HTTP/1.1 spec...) but looking at the
1.0 spec at CERN indicates there are alreadyt proposed methods "CHECKIN"
and "CHECKOUT", though no server nor browser implements it as far as I can
tell (though I'm considering using it for an internal publishing system
I'm specing out).

> We are already using Mosaic/WWW to provide access to internal information and
> documentation. It would be nice to be able to use the SAME interface for
> actual retrieval, annotation/updating, and depositing of documentation, as one
> might do in a development project. So, I'd like to cast a vote in favor of
> considering keeping these around.

Just like RCS or SCCS. It's a *necessary* thing when you have a
valuable body of documents maintained by numerous people. I was
really happy to find it already suggested in the protocol.

> I understand there may be technical reasons why this is difficult,
> philosophical reasons why it shouldn't be done, and it is probably an issue of
> priority (I can't expect the good folks at CERN and NCSA to meet ALL my needs
> for the amount of money I pay them :-). If anybody could point me at past
> discussions of this topic, or summarize them (in private email is fine, I'll
> summarize back to the list), I'd appreciate it. (Is this mail list in a WAIS
> archive somewhere? I was hoping I'd get auto-mailed a FAQ with such info in it
> when I subscribed to the list :-}

There's a hypermail archive at
and Nick Arnett's similar archive which I have embarrassingly lost the
URL to.

I don't know how much the CHECKIN/OUT methods were discussed, but not a
whole lot was talked about the LINK method, which I'm looking at very