W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-xg-webid@w3.org > February 2011

Re: Documenting implicit assumptions?

From: Toby Inkster <tai@g5n.co.uk>
Date: Tue, 01 Feb 2011 09:50:59 +0000
To: nathan@webr3.org
Cc: Henry Story <henry.story@bblfish.net>, Benjamin Heitmann <benjamin.heitmann@deri.org>, public-xg-webid@w3.org, Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>, Michael Hausenblas <michael.hausenblas@deri.org>, Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <1296553860.21876.212.camel@ophelia2.g5n.co.uk>
On Mon, 2011-01-31 at 18:07 +0000, Nathan wrote:
> Well historically many other issues have been brought up and 
> consequently rejected or ignored, tell me what has changed in the 
> protocol since FOAF+SSL [1] almost 3 years ago?
> [1] http://blogs.sun.com/bblfish/entry/foaf_ssl_creating_a_global 

Since that document? In terms of the protocol itself, we've got a
reasonably stable vocab for describing X.509 certificates; and we've
decided on subjectAltName as the place to announce the WebID URI. Not
much, but nevertheless important steps for interoperability.

That blog post was not the beginning though, but the culmination of a
period of discussions on the semantic-web@w3.org mailing list where a
lot of changes were made. If you go back to:

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/semantic-web/2008Mar/0207.html

You'll see quite a bit has changed. The WebID URI was previously
announced in the HTTP "From" header. And the client's WebID profile
previously included not a modulus and exponent but the key's serial
number. (Which doesn't work by the way - the serial number is too easy
to forge, though I didn't realise that back then. Henry's innovation of
using the modulus and exponent was a critical one.)

I think you'll see a pattern like this with a lot of inventions. A
period of rapid changes at the start, followed by a longer period of
slower refinements - many of which are important, but none of which are
earth-shattering. (I bet in those first few weeks, they must have tried
tonnes of different shapes, but since then development of the wheel has
been mostly bikeshedding.)

-- 
Toby A Inkster
<mailto:mail@tobyinkster.co.uk>
<http://tobyinkster.co.uk>
Received on Tuesday, 1 February 2011 09:51:57 UTC

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