Re: multipart objects - directories

Alan Emtage <> Sun, 08 May 1994 01:50 UTC

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Date: Sat, 07 May 1994 20:28:48 -0400
To: Markus Stumpf <>,
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From: Alan Emtage <>
Subject: Re: multipart objects - directories
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Ok, mail #3,

At 03:30 AM 5/4/94 +0200, Markus Stumpf wrote:
>Me again ;)
>I ran over two other problems:
>Some "Template-Type: SOFTWARE" e.g. comes in more than one part, like e.g.
>   some.gz.aa
>   some.gz.ab
>   [ ... ]
>How would you describe this with the methods given in the current draft?
>One template for each of the parts? This is kinda ugly and hard to maintain.
>But I couldn't find any provisions for such multipart objects.

Hmmm. I certainly don't think that there should be a template for each one 
of these things. That's going to be a nightmare to compse and maintain. In 
addition, the fact that someone may split something up (to get it through 
mail or USENET for example) has little or no bearing on this. How about we 
solve this problem with just putting a wildcard (say "*") at the end of the 
"Pathname" and so for the above you'd say Pathname: /<blah>/some.gz.* or 

>The other problem is with providing information about directories.
>Assume a directory named /pub/comp/security. The directory should contain
>security related information regarding the computer area.
>IMHO it would be useful to have a AFA-OBJECT called DIRECTORY to describe
>the contents of a directory.
>This would be extremely useful in the beginning of IAFAising FTP archives,
>as it is much easier and much less work to write one template describing
>a directory than 100 to describe each file in this directory.

That's a good idea... I suppose that this would be most related to the 
current "DOCUMENT" type? Would you like to suggest the the elements you'd 
like to see in there?

>It would REALLY be nice to have some more traffic on the list or some
>more information about what's going on. All I found as comments to the
>latest draft was Martijns and mine.
>No more interest from the others? Or are you all reporting to Alan
>or Peter directly? In this case it would be nice to have some regularly
>information about what's going on.

Actually Markus, we haven't seen much more email that you have seen on the 
list. A few people have written, mainly typos and formatting corrections 
rather than anything else. I guess that means that the document is perfect 
:-) Seriously, I think people believe that this is well in hand and there 
really isn't much controversy here.... which I hope is true (now of course 
that I've said that, all hell is going to break loose :-).

>We have now more than 1900 AFA templates for our FTP archive and we
>assume some local standards on things that are still somewhat unclear.
>Some folks are writing scripts to handle AFA templates to create e.g.
>databases and HTML files. Some things like the Location:, Host:, Port:,
>.... thingy are still rather unhandy!
>I have always urged folks here to write IAFA templates and so did
>Martijn with ALIWEB. But the more templates we have the harder it
>will become to convert them to a newer and better working standard.
>And at the end we will have more and more different versions of 
>templates according to the various drafts and the main work will not
>be collecting and index them but converting them to some common base.

We (here at Bunyip) are currently hoping to start testing to large scale 
gathering of the IAFA template information within the next month or so 
(we're a little behind schedule). Once some of the basic data has been 
gathered we hope to open it up to the general user community to guage the 
vaibility of the methods used.


Alan Emtage,                                 "In Canada the Left is more
Bunyip Information Systems                    Gauche than Sinister"
Montreal, Canada                                    -The Economist
Tel: +1 514 875-8611
FAX: +1 514 875-8134