For a long time, I’ve argued that eventually HTTP would be the protocol behind everything. We’ve already seen HTTP start being the main interface to e-mail (web mail), and HTTP become a key Remote Procedure Call technology (using SOAP and web services). It even seems to be the underlying protocol for Subversion.
So it should be no surprise, then, that I’m a big fan of the WebDAV specification. WebDAV was originally intended to be the HTTP-based protocol for tools like Subversion and CVS. It uses HTTP requests to create, inspect, update and version objects on a web server.
I’ve written any number of utilities that work on top of WebDAV, and I once contributed to the Apache Slide project. But I’ve been a bit saddened by WebDAV’s lack of adoption. Really, no big developments have happened with WebDAV since Microsoft office launched their support.
Except, I’ve just run across CalDAV: a WebDAV-based approach to calendaring. It’s competing with iCal and a handful of other calendar standards.
I suspect WebDAV will have the same problem with calendaring as it had with source code repositories: people are pretty-much tied in to a main calendaring technology and do feel the need to have a new protocol. But people are starting to feel more and more need to schedule meetings across multiple organizations.
It’s a long shot, but I’m hungry for something to break WebDAV out of the slump it’s been in.