Windows XP’s broken WebDAV for Zope, use Netdrive

You know, I just want it to work! I am not sure what the details are regarding the WebDAV functionality in Windows XP and why it doesn’t work properly. I just know that I want to connect to my Zope server and transfer/edit files. There is something in the OPTIONS header that causes the Web Folders to fail when you try to setup a new “Network Place” in XP.

It’s worth mentioning that it DOES connect fine to Apache or IIS, just not Zope. Hmmm… Maybe Zope is broke? I don’t care. I just need, and want, to use Zope and DAV, and the nice web folders in XP does not work.

I downloaded some trialware WebDAV client and tested a connection to Zope, it works fine using XP, so I know it was just the Microsoft implementation of DAV. I believe you can find results on a Google search for “options” “webdav” “xp” “unable to connect” to see what I mean. XP also has a problem if you connect to a server and need to open in a subfolder. (as opposed to the root) I ran into a site that said you could use a net use command, that would be sweet, but if your server doesnt communicate MS style, it still wont work. I tried it with Apache, still wouldnt work. (map a drive example: net use x: password /user:username)

Every Windows based DAV client I found was a commercial product. I want something free. So, I thought, maybe I could just build a simple drive mapping app in VB.NET that utilized some DAV API. Hmm… did some searching and BAM! I found Novell’s Netdrive!

Novell has a WebDAV client for use on their IFolder product, but it works on other DAV servers. Wow, this is perfect! It connects right to the Zope server with no problems. You install it, add a new site, and it adds a new mapped drive to Windows Explorer. Very COOOOL!

You can find it by searching the Novell support pages. Thanks for the great product Novell! I think I’ll have to try out your new Linux servers.

PS. I was able to open and edit files just fine from XP on a Zope. I could copy from one server and paste to another, mostly. There seems to be some kind of failure when doing a copy of ZSQL methods. But, for the most part I can work around that. Just having a mapped drive to Zope is awesome!

EDIT: 2005-03-04
I did some testing and have found that this solution does not work perfectly with Zope. When you edit a dtml document, for example, the DAV client sends back a simple text document, which will not parse correctly in Zope. As a result, don’t use Netdrive to edit your objects, unless you find out why it saves the object incorrectly. Use it for copying objects though, works pretty good.

Edit: 2005-12-29
Using Netdrive with Apache for PHP use works beautifully! I use it all the time now, it’s like having a slow hard drive to my web server!