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Re: Fallback flow for /site-meta for top level domains

From: Mark Nottingham <mnot@mnot.net>
Date: Wed, 3 Dec 2008 21:37:57 +1100
Cc: Dirk Balfanz <balfanz@google.com>, www-talk@w3.org
Message-Id: <F9B8434D-D80E-4072-B76F-AC1FFC75F3C9@mnot.net>
To: Breno de Medeiros <breno@google.com>

So, let's walk through the actual use cases.

AIUI, you're saying that Joe will want to use
as his identifier, even though
is the correct one?

If so, a few thoughts;

1) These days, it's much more likely that the domain will actually be
so I can't help but feel that this argument is something of a straw-man.

2) Even putting that aside, if Joe puts
into his browser bar, he'll get
thanks to the automated action of the browser; he can (and probably  
will anyway) cut-and-paste that string.

3) Even putting that aside, he can easily learn
or his software can for him.

4) ...and if he doesn't like that, he can move to another provider  
which does provide better access (market economies and all that).

5) Even putting that aside, if the browsers are deciding to cowboy it  
up and automagically munge URLs in browser bars (probably in non- 
compatible ways, BTW), why does this need to be codified in a  
standard? Why not just let them do it on their own, like they're doing  

Don't get me wrong - if OpenID (for example) wants to specify this  
kind of behaviour, or if browsers / providers want to do it on their  
own, that's up to them. The problem is when we try to enshrine it in a  
*generic* metadata discovery mechanism that potentially will be used  
for lots of things.

On 03/12/2008, at 2:53 PM, Breno de Medeiros wrote:

> Ah, I see where your confusion is coming from. The average user does
> not know that www.vanity-domain.com/bob is a different URL from
> vanity-domain.com/bob (or alternatively, that www.vanity-domain.com is
> a different location than vanity-domain.com). We can thank all the
> major browsers for that.
> On Tue, Dec 2, 2008 at 7:45 PM, Breno de Medeiros <breno@google.com>  
> wrote:
>> The 'naked domain' version of the site may not be DNS-resolvable,
>> while the www. prepended version of the domain may be. In addition,
>> the fact that a resource URL does not exist (in the sense that it
>> might return a 404) does not mean that it cannot have meaningful
>> associated meta-data.
>> On Tue, Dec 2, 2008 at 6:40 PM, Mark Nottingham <mnot@mnot.net>  
>> wrote:
>>> On 03/12/2008, at 1:35 PM, Breno de Medeiros wrote:
>>>> On Tue, Dec 2, 2008 at 4:24 PM, Mark Nottingham <mnot@mnot.net>  
>>>> wrote:
>>>>> On 02/12/2008, at 1:25 PM, Dirk Balfanz wrote:
>>>>>> Well, here is the scenario: I buy foobar.com for $3/year at
>>>>>> cheapdomains.com. I pay an extra dollar to have "email", which  
>>>>>> means I
>>>>>> tell
>>>>>> them where I want my email forwarded. I pick dirk@foobar.com to  
>>>>>> be
>>>>>> forwarded
>>>>>> to dirk@gmail.com. I pay another extra dollar per year for "web
>>>>>> hosting",
>>>>>> which means I get a web interface on cheapdomains.com to create  
>>>>>> some web
>>>>>> pages, which get served on www.foobar.com. I set up a couple of  
>>>>>> pages
>>>>>> there
>>>>>> with pictures of my cats or whatever and I am done.
>>>>>> I now also want to use my email address dirk@foobar.com as my  
>>>>>> OpenID
>>>>>> identifier [1] because I heard that that will end my having to  
>>>>>> create
>>>>>> ever-more accounts on the web. I am told that in order to get  
>>>>>> that to
>>>>>> work I
>>>>>> need to host a page called "site-meta" on my site with some
>>>>>> weird-looking
>>>>>> text in it that I don't understand. But, hey, I know how to get  
>>>>>> that
>>>>>> served
>>>>>> off www.foobar.com so that's cool.
>>>>>> I have never heard of DNS.
>>>>>> Is that a use case we want to support?
>>>>>> Dirk.
>>>>>> [1] Let's assume that OpenID 3.0 and XRD 2.0 allow that and  
>>>>>> define some
>>>>>> way to discover OpenID endpoints from email addresses.
>>>>> /site-meta on http://foobar.com/ doesn't (and can't, on its own)  
>>>>> make any
>>>>> authoritative assertions about mailto:dirk@foobar.com; even  
>>>>> though the
>>>>> authority is the same, the URI scheme is different.
>>>> The email address is a distraction here. The core issue is  
>>>> independent of
>>>> that.
>>>> vanity-example.com (hosted only at www.vanity-example.com) is a  
>>>> small
>>>> site and wants to enable all their user URLs
>>>> www.vanity-example.com/bob, www.vanity-example.com/alice to be  
>>>> useful
>>>> as discovery endpoints for user services. Thankfully some other  
>>>> site,
>>>> more professionally managed, is willing to provide discovery  
>>>> services,
>>>> aggregation, etc., on behalf of the users of these vanity domains.
>>> You just lost me. Why is it important to have site metadata for a  
>>> site that
>>> doesn't exist, if the e-mail issue is a distraction?
>>> --
>>> Mark Nottingham     http://www.mnot.net/
>> --
>> --Breno
>> +1 (650) 214-1007 desk
>> +1 (408) 212-0135 (Grand Central)
>> MTV-41-3 : 383-A
>> PST (GMT-8) / PDT(GMT-7)
> -- 
> --Breno
> +1 (650) 214-1007 desk
> +1 (408) 212-0135 (Grand Central)
> MTV-41-3 : 383-A
> PST (GMT-8) / PDT(GMT-7)

Mark Nottingham     http://www.mnot.net/
Received on Wednesday, 3 December 2008 10:38:37 UTC

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