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Re: [Long] Request Opinion on DID Documents and “SANC” (proposed nested publishing system)

From: Steven Rowat <steven_rowat@sunshine.net>
Date: Tue, 20 Feb 2018 09:16:51 -0800
To: =Drummond Reed <drummond.reed@evernym.com>
Cc: Credentials Community Group <public-credentials@w3.org>
Message-ID: <16bb0ce4-4208-0f27-1717-d1bf2858b913@sunshine.net>
On 2018-02-19 11:44 PM, =Drummond Reed wrote:
> Steven, I caught this just before bed, so a few quick thoughts:
>  1. Using DIDs to identified works produced by an author (what you
>     call SANCs) is indeed a classic example of what DIDs are designed for.
>  2. It can work exactly as you describe, with every SANC getting its
>     own DID and DID document.

Thank you, that's very helpful and what I'd hoped.

>  3. However given the closely related nature of some of the SANCs you
>     describe, many of them that are logically related *could* also be
>     described with DID service URL (see the DID Spec Completion
>     Proposals
>     <https://docs.google.com/document/d/1aR8V_JUJdq1Sbi47wCV5aa-dEY0e-V2RqwPNP5ci1bg/edit#>
>     for details). This is basically a path rooted on a DID. The only
>     real difference is that all the SANCs you described don't
>     necessarily need their own DIDs and DID documents. But they do
>     need to be rooted on a DID that the author controls.

This is also helpful and interesting.
I had looked at the DID Spec Completion Proposals, but I was out of my 
depth there and became confused. I've looked at it again, and still 
don't understand (for starters):

What's the difference between a "DID Service URL" and a "Target URL"?

It looks to me like I might express it like this, for my SANC system 
(just a stab in the dark):
The DID Service URL gives a path to a resource (ie, to one of the 
SANCs, by name and identifier) but doesn't actually go as far as where 
that SANC physically be retrieved from. In other words, the DID 
Service URL can resolve information about the SANC, but not get the 
SANC itself.

The Target URL takes the final step of providing a resolvable URL that 
will get the SANC itself.

Am I groping in the right direction here?


> It's just an optimization, but it could help with efficiency.
> =Drummond
> On Mon, Feb 19, 2018 at 8:18 PM, Steven Rowat 
> <steven_rowat@sunshine.net <mailto:steven_rowat@sunshine.net>> wrote:
>     Greetings,
>     (Please excuse the long post; I’ve shortened it several times but it’s
>     a relatively complex proposal, so I don’t think I can present it well
>     any shorter.)
>     I’m mulling an idea that a DID method might allow a nested publishing
>     system that links all designated stand-alone works by a single author.
>     I’ve been calling such works SANCs (“stand-alone nested chunks”).
>     “Nested” because they include smaller chunks inside a larger work,
>     like stand-alone chapters from a book, special-use paragraphs inside a
>     chapter, sample excerpts from a piece of music, or self-explanatory
>     Figures from a scientist’s data set.
>     I post here a first description of the idea, to ask if such a SANC
>     publishing system seems technically feasible with DIDs. My hunch is
>     that it’s an inevitable development when DIDs and linked data exist,
>     and possibly people are already working on it elsewhere, though I
>     don’t know of any at present.
>     I give a slightly longer summary and two examples below, and some
>     rationale at the end for why this might be a valuable use of the DID
>     system.
>     Any feedback appreciated.
>     Summary:
>     In the proposed Stand-Alone Nested Chunk (SANC) system, a
>     “stand-alone” work is any discrete work by an author that the author
>     believes will have its own audience or use. Taking text as an example,
>     a SANC could be as small as a single sentence, paragraph, or graphic
>     deemed noteworthy; or as large as a series of books. Every SANC gets a
>     DID Document. Every DID Document contains meta-data (and/or links) to
>     facilitate end-user access to the parent section of a SANC; laterally
>     to other SANCs at the same level; and to other larger works or groups
>     of works, all of which are also SANCs. Depending on the
>     implementation, portions of this linked access might use a permissions
>     language like ODRL, including for payments, sample excerpts, and usage
>     rights.
>     Example 1, Scientist:
>     Scientist M issues a report, “String Theory Today”, with Abstract,
>     Purpose, Method, Graphs, Data (containing Figures), Discussion and
>     Conclusions. Scientist M has published many different reports over
>     his/her career. Five earlier reports were directly related to String
>     Theory. From the current report, Scientist M believes that the
>     Abstract, Data, Conclusions, and two of the Figures from Data, and the
>     last paragraph of the Conclusions, would each be useful in various
>     collaborations, including as stand-alone statements in news and
>     science-preview sites.
>     Scientist M therefore, to get up to speed in the SANC / DID system,
>     issues (or authorizes the issuing of) DID Documents for each SANC that
>     is designated as a meaningful unit:
>     —Scientist M him/herself; (1 DID Doc)
>     —M’s full list of past reports; (a DID Doc for each report)
>     —M’s group of String Theory reports; (1 DID Doc for the group)
>     —M’s New report, “String Theory Today”; (1 DID Doc)
>     —Abstract, Data, and Conclusions of the new report (3 DID Docs);
>     —2 Figures from the Data; (2 DID Docs)
>     —A paragraph from the Conclusions (1 DID Doc).
>     Every DID Document contains a way to access all other works (SANCs) by
>     the same author, including getting meta-data about the author and
>     his/her works.
>     Example 2, Musician/lyricist/poet:
>     For each of the following:
>     —“A thing of beauty is a joy forever”.
>     —“No eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn”.
>     —“This is the way the world ends / not with a bang but a whimper”.
>     Who wrote it? What larger work is it part of? What else did they
>     write? Can we read their other work now? Do we have to ask permission
>     or pay someone in order to get access to their work?
>     The proposed SANC / DID system could answer all these questions on the
>     basis of the user encountering a single work by the author, of any
>     size.
>     Discussion:
>     The questions posed in Example 2 could equally apply to Example 1; and
>     to any other examples that can be envisioned for other types of works.
>     And an argument might be made that all these questions can be answered
>     by searching the Internet, but I see at least two strong reasons why a
>     SANC / DID system would be an improvement:
>     1. Author control:
>     Currently, Google, Wikipedia, and various advertisers and plagiarizing
>     sites constitute an industry feeding on the data that is created
>     and/or enabled by authors. In the SANC / DID system, an author has the
>     right to arrange and benefit from both the meta-data linking the SANCs
>     and from the SANCs themselves.
>     2. More Effective Distribution:
>     Young authors, or authors of any age who are just starting out, will
>     often not be easy for an end-user to track down, even if their works
>     have real value to the society. If an end-user can answer all the
>     above questions easily, via a single work (SANC) they encounter by the
>     author, it will increase the dissemination speed of that author’s
>     works through the society, with much less middleman overhead.
>     Final note: I think there are a large number of people who might make
>     use of a SANC / DID Document system to publish their work: novelists,
>     journalists, filmmakers, bloggers, and so forth. And it isn’t limited
>     to single persons: groups—any legal entity—could make use of it;
>     including governments who have complex layered material they must
>     supply; corporations with internal documents or user-manuals to
>     manage; and educational institutions with intricately inter-related
>     course materials.
>     All feedback appreciated, especially detailed warnings. ☺
>     Steven Rowat
Received on Tuesday, 20 February 2018 17:17:48 UTC

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