Some popular file explorer GUI programs support WebDAV extensions that allow a user to browse a DAV share as though it was just another directory on the local computer and to perform basic tree editing operations on the items in that share. For example, Windows Explorer is able to browse a WebDAV server as a “network place.” Users can drag files to and from the desktop, or can rename, copy, or delete files in the usual way. But because it’s only a feature of the file explorer, the DAV share isn’t visible to ordinary applications. All DAV interaction must happen through the explorer interface.
Microsoft was one of the original backers of the WebDAV specification and first started shipping a client in Windows 98, which was known as Web Folders. This client was also shipped in Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000.
The original Web Folders client was an extension to Explorer, the main GUI program used to browse filesystems. It works well enough. In Windows 98, the feature might need to be explicitly installed if Web Folders aren’t already visible inside My Computer. In Windows 2000, simply add a new “network place,” enter the URL, and the WebDAV share will pop up for browsing.
With the release of Windows XP, Microsoft started shipping a new implementation of Web Folders, known as the WebDAV Mini-Redirector. The new implementation is a filesystem-level client, allowing WebDAV shares to be mounted as drive letters. Unfortunately, this implementation ...