Re: Problem with aggregation and stateless DAP
- To: James Gallagher <address@hidden>
- Subject: Re: Problem with aggregation and stateless DAP
- From: Benno Blumenthal <address@hidden>
- Date: Tue, 24 Jan 2006 12:48:44 -0500
James Gallagher wrote:
I talked with Benno about this at AGU (I think) and forgot to relay
that conversation to this thread. What I remember was that Benno
argued for use of an ETag and/or Last-Modified along with Expires
headers. This has the benefit that the DAP stays stateless and it
However... It seems to me that state is ultimately an optimization.
I'd like to reopen the discussion and make sure that we get a cogent
statement about the situation written somewhere. The answer might be
in my email somewhere, but I was going to write a quick summary on
the wiki and after scanning the messages for a bit, I couldn't. So...
John: Can you send a description of your idea about adding state and
Benno: Can you send me a description of your idea about using ETag,
I was not advocating a solution, I just pointed out that the
Last-Modified time would be sufficient "state" if the client specified
it in a request.
I would state the problem slightly differently from John:
The problem is to deal with datasets that change faster between the
client's dds request and its subsequent dods requests. If the client is
behind a sufficiently slow link, it won't be able to request a dds and
then request the dods file before the dataset changes. And if it is so
silly as to assume that the dds has not changed ...
ETags are one HTTP/1.1 method for handling multiple versions -- but I
have no experience with them.
John's problem is particularly nasty because the server deletes data and
then essentially reuses the (OpenDAP) url. Someone pointed out that as
a data provider he would never do that -- once he uses a url to serve
data, he never changes its meaning. So for him, a rapiding changing
dataset is only getting longer, and there is no major problem with a
server serving to a client that thinks the dataset is shorter as long as
the client always asks for a particular coordinate range in the dods
request, a reasonable strategy for dealing with the more common problem.
Dr. M. Benno Blumenthal address@hidden
International Research Institute for climate and society
The Earth Institute at Columbia University
Lamont Campus, Palisades NY 10964-8000 (845) 680-4450
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