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RE: Detached Signatures Vs Detached Objects

From: Joseph M. Reagle Jr. <reagle@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 1999 16:32:31 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: "Prince, Adam" <adam.prince@scala.se>
Cc: w3c-ietf-xmldsig@w3.org
At 11:45 99/11/25 +0100, Prince, Adam wrote:
 >The issue I foresee and am trying to identify how it should be solved is:
 >I know that future generations of a document will be created and wish to
 >a reference to the future (as yet uncreated) generations how can I have 
 >application independent support for this?.  


The W3C has issued the Resource Description Framework (RDF) [1] for this
very purpose. There are numerous application specific schema's and semantics
using XML syntax. RDF defines a data model and XML syntax for describing a
portion of interoperable application semantics that will be common to many
data applications. The semantics RDF focusses on are the relationships
between resources.

 >The clearest example of this I can think of is a digitally signed
 >contract that states the employee must comply with the current employee 
 >handbook that is always maintained at 
 >..../intranet/HR/current-employee-handbook.htm.  Since this is a legal 
 >contract some form of non-repudiation may be required.

The RDF syntax ' rdf:about="http://mypage.com"' is an assertion about a
resource (and not necessarily it's content at any moment.)

Consequently you could have an XML/RDF application like the following, and
sign that:

<?xml version="1.0"?>

[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-rdf-syntax/

Joseph Reagle Jr.   
Policy Analyst           mailto:reagle@w3.org
XML-Signature Co-Chair   http://www.w3.org/People/Reagle/
Received on Monday, 29 November 1999 16:33:02 UTC

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