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Re: [foaf-protocols] WebID test suite

From: Mo McRoberts <mo.mcroberts@bbc.co.uk>
Date: Wed, 29 Jun 2011 21:54:51 +0100
Cc: public-xg-webid@w3.org
Message-Id: <69BDACD4-1BF6-4CB4-8F36-C1C9F4DAD970@bbc.co.uk>
To: Henry Story <henry.story@bblfish.net>
On 29 Jun 2011, at 21:14, Henry Story wrote:

> Are there mechanisms in place that help synchronise the way these OIDs get used? The meaning of words (and so OIDs)  depends according to David Lewis "... on the conventions [the user] is party to. And these conventions are regularities in behaviour, sustained in an interest in co-ordination and an expectation that others will do their part" ( in "Convention: A Philosophical Analysis") Words do not get their meaning unless their is co-ordination. OIDs are words with global meaning, so there needs to be global coordination for them to be able to stabilise on a meaning. For this to work there has to be games that drive this co-ordination towards a stable point. If the main interchange format for the meaning of these words does not publish the OIDS, then how could there be a coordination problem that aligned the meaning of these OIDs with one another? 

By convention, existing schema are reused just as they are in RDF land.

See /etc/openldap/schema/* on pretty much any Linux or Mac OS X box for a selection of common schemata.

>> A fun project for somebody one day would be to run a web service on a well-known URI which spat out RDFS/OWL/whatever for the objectClasses and attributes at a particular OID. Would be a nice extension to Harald Alvestrand’s OID browser… [e.g., http://www.alvestrand.no/objectid/2.5.html]
> yes, that would be very interesting. Two further studies that would be needed in addition to this are:
> - are these OIDs really used the same way, across enterprises? If so, what forced people to using them the same way

Nothing -forces- people, just as nothing forces people to use FOAF or Dublin Core. Crafting new attributes and classes is expensive and increases the time spent configuring or customising software which talks to those directory services, so inertia dictates people tend towards

> - what is the proportion of these OIDs that do have such a widespread meaning?

Most of the ones you see “in the wild” do — browse around Harald’s site, or oid-info.com and you'll see there's an awful lot of “well-known” OIDs, but there are plenty of essentially private arcs too. Most large companies will have an arc or two under which they put private attributes, internal SNMP traps and so on.

Naturally, every critical extension in an X.509 cert is identified by an OID too :)


Mo McRoberts - Data Analyst - Digital Public Space,
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Received on Wednesday, 29 June 2011 20:55:28 UTC

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