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Re: Thoughts on Discovery

From: Adrian Hope-Bailie <adrian@hopebailie.com>
Date: Tue, 29 Mar 2016 11:13:18 +0100
Message-ID: <CA+eFz_JC4G0LxZ5WL7JoZ87c+6Why=kd89ZeO3tCDtg8Wj6z3w@mail.gmail.com>
To: Melvin Carvalho <melvincarvalho@gmail.com>
Cc: Interledger Community Group <public-interledger@w3.org>
On 28 March 2016 at 22:25, Melvin Carvalho <melvincarvalho@gmail.com> wrote:

>
>
> On 28 March 2016 at 12:58, Adrian Hope-Bailie <adrian@hopebailie.com>
> wrote:
>
>> There have been some good discussions around the correct technology for
>> the discovery of a receiving account (ledger).
>>
>> The current proposal is to to use WebFinger (
>> https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc7033) which is the basis for discovery in
>> a variety of web based protocols such as OpenID Connect.
>>
>
> Which are the variety of web protocols webfinger is the basis for?
>
> Every system ive seen use this is what I would call "dead on arrival", I
> dont expect interledger to fair much better.  I've also never seen
> webfinger implemented correctly or work with other webfinger
> implementations.
>
> More data points would be interesting.
>

As a start Open ID Connect Discovery which I know many don't like but I
certainly wouldn't call it dead on arrival.


>
>
>>
>> There has been a proposal to use JSON-LD however it is unclear at this
>> stage how this would be done as JSON-LD is not a protocol, it is a data
>> format for linked data.
>>
>
> Im not sure what's unclear here.  It doesnt have to be json based, it
> could be any type of linked data.  In fact, Im moving more to turtle
> personally, at this point.
>

JSON-LD is a data format. I think to propose JSON-LD as the mechanism for
doing discovery you'd need to explain a little better how this would work
or put an implementation online for the group to see.

i.e. I have identifier me@myledger, what is the process to resolve a ledger
URL from that?

I appreciate that the serialization format used in WebFinger has been "dead
on arrival" but that's the format used in the spec. Perhaps a WebFinger 2.0
spec is the right way to go that uses JSON-LD instead?


>
>
>>
>> There have also been suggestions to explore other existing lower level
>> discovery protocols such as DDDS based on DNS.
>>
>
> I think reinventing DNS should be out of scope.
>

Yes, at the application layer. For the lower layer protocols of ILP it
would be great to have no dependency on DNS at all (or at least no strong
binding to individual hosts/domains) and since we are developing this from
the ground up this may be possible.


>
>
>>
>> I've been having this debate for about 10 years in various groups related
>> to payments, identity and other more obscure use cases. The reality is that
>> there is no one discovery protocol appropriate for all use cases.
>>
>
> Why not?  Id strongly disagree here, linked data is the discovery
> mechanism of the web.  Not seeing the issue, I suppose, other than NIH.
>

Again, this is a mechanism not a well documented protocol for this use
case. Is there well documented protocol using linked data that explains how
to resolve a URL for a specific type of resource from an identifier?

You may be able to make the case that linked-data can be used for all use
cases but what's missing is the use cases specific protocol that an
implementer can write code against.


>
>
>>
>> In an ideal world there would be an entirely decentralised registry
>> (noting that DNS is not) that could be used as the primary source of truth
>> for resolving a human readable identifier into something that can be used
>> by a machine to accomplish some specific goal.
>>
>> I don't believe it's the goal of this group to solve this problem but if
>> we feel the current proposal of Webfinger is inappropriate for resolving an
>> account@ledger identifer into a ledger address then let's find a a
>> better alternative.
>>
>
> Webfinger doesnt resolve the account@ledger identifer.  So, now Im
> wondering what problem you are trying to solve.
>

Yes it does. It uses acct: URIs but it's pretty trivial to say "if the
identifier is in the form account@ledger then assume it's an acct: URI"
then follow the rest of the spec to the letter.


>
>
>>
>> But, before we get into a religious debate about the choice of technology
>> I'd suggest we agree on what the requirements and design goals are for this
>> discovery protocol.
>>
>> This discovery protocol is intended to be simple and form part of a basic
>> application layer payments protocol we're developing called OWPS which also
>> has a stated design goal of being simple and addressing only a select set
>> of use cases.
>>
>> As I have stated in a separate thread, nothing prevents us from taking
>> the plunge and trying to develop a far richer application layer protocol
>> that incorporates more complex systems of discovery.
>>
>> Finally, if there are alternative proposals to WebFinger please let's see
>> them in action. All of the Interledger code is being developed in the open
>> so it should be possible to fork the project you're interested in and
>> implementing an alternative proposal for everyone to review.
>>
>>
> I have already created an implementation and demoed it in another working
> group.  My aim is to do the same with payments / inter ledger, as I
> integrate it with Solid.  I'll post a demo when it's ready.
>

Great!
Received on Tuesday, 29 March 2016 10:13:51 UTC

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