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Re: subversion 1.11.0 on FreeBSD 11.2: ... does not support the HTTP/DAV protocol

From: Branko Čibej <brane_at_apache.org>
Date: Tue, 6 Nov 2018 11:09:53 +0100

On 06.11.2018 10:20, Dr. Rolf Jansen wrote:
> For a DAV noob, this error message is IMHO indeed not very helpful. You need to know that DAV is heavily based on XML. However, I have my doubts, that the other message „does not support the HTTP/DAV protocol“ is much more helpful to a SVN noob, because you need to know that in the given respect SVN is utilizing the DAV protocol. So far to the term non-solution.

That's not quite the case. Certainly the error message could be
better/different, but point is to have one specific enough that it's
easy to find the cause; it took less than 5 minutes in the reported
case. Ease of maintenance and issue triage are important.

> Complex, because this was not achieved by simply rephrasing the misleading error message,

It's not easily rephrased because it's a valid error. The server could
be attempting to respond correctly to a DAV request but for some reason
messing up the XML in the response, or it could not be sending a DAV
response at all. In order to tell the difference, one must first know if
we're parsing a DAV response. There are two ways to do this: the simple
one is to look for the mandatory DAV: header; the complex and
error-prone one is to see if the response looks vaguely like the XML one
might expect.

> but by adding another obstacle into the connection protocol and throwing a new message if somebody stumbles across.

I'm a bit amused by this talk of obstacles ... we're talking about a
well-defined protocol here, and yet you complain to the volunteers on
this project for implementing it, rather than to the paid staff at
GitHub for not implementing it. Oh the irony.

> Now in regards to the term non-problem. Misspelling of URL’s may happen to everybody, not only to noobs, and yes, I saw this „Malformed XML in response,“ in the past, I corrected the URL, pronto.

Again, good for you. Many of our users did not assume that the URL is
wrong but that there's something wrong with either the client or the
server ...

> Said all this, I would have simply amended this error message by a hint. „... check the URL is pointing to a SVN repository!“.

... and this hint implies that only the URL could be wrong, so it's

-- Brane
Received on 2018-11-06 11:10:04 CET

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