PATCH the message

Sam Ruby writes;
A much more interesting question to me is whether PATCH will operate at the content level or the transfer level. Or, to put it anther way, will patch operate at the infoset level, or will it be able to be directly applied to HTML as she is written?

PATCH means what ever the spec says it means. Anything else is a function of either the diff media type in use, or the particular implementation of the server that processes the message.

0 thoughts on “PATCH the message

  1. Mark Nottingham

    Right. The interesting question, to me, is whether client-side toolkits will evolve to the point where they’re smart enough to realise that they should PATCH when the user says to PUT — and whether that’ll be considered a feature or a bug.

    Given the state of client-side toolkits today, though, I think we’re in for a long-ish wait before we get a good answer.

  2. Mark Baker

    Yah, good question Mark. I actually gave this some thought during the discussions. What I realized was that PATCH is only (well, modulo the use of data-format specific diff formats that are aware of semantically meaningless changes) an optimized PUT in the case where strong etags are used (and If-Match on the PATCH request of course). Beyond that, it provides weaker guarantees about the terminal state of the resource and therefore isn’t just an optimized PUT.

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