W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-webid@w3.org > November 2012

Re: Identity interoperability

From: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>
Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2012 12:34:04 -0500
Message-ID: <50A3D60C.4050406@openlinksw.com>
To: Henry Story <henry.story@bblfish.net>
CC: public-webid <public-webid@w3.org>, "public-rww@w3.org" <public-rww@w3.org>
On 11/13/12 11:06 AM, Henry Story wrote:
> On 13 Nov 2012, at 16:41, Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com 
> <mailto:kidehen@openlinksw.com>> wrote:
>> So you have principals for WebID, OpenID, and others? Why not an 
>> identity that's verifiable using a variety of authentication 
>> protocols? The IFP semantics pretty much infers that.
> yes, because different Principals refer to different things. So the 
> type of the principal tells me which slot I need to
> place it in in an RDF graph such as the one I wrote up here:
> http://www.w3.org/2005/Incubator/webid/wiki/Identity_Interoperability
> @prefix foaf: <http://xmlns.com/foaf/0.1/> .
> @prefix cert: <http://www.w3.org/ns/auth/cert#> .
> <http://logic.edu/webids/jz#i> a foaf:Agent;
>      foaf:mbox <mailto:jz@logic.edu>;
>      foaf:openid <http://logic.edu/webids/jz>;
>      cert:key [ a cert:RSAPublicKey;
>               cert:modulus "cb24ed85d64d794b69c701c186acc059501e856...."^^xsd:hexBinary;
>               cert:exponent 65537 ] .
> a mailto principal gives me one way to identify 
> <http://logic.edu/webids/jz#i>
> via the foaf:openid relation. But I should not confuse the WebID referent
> <http://logic.edu/webids/jz#i>
> which directly identifies the agent, and the mailbox referent
>   <mailto:jz@logic.edu>
> or the home page referent
> <http://logic.edu/webids/jz>
> These URIs all refer to different things. I can use all of these to 
> identify the same subject, but not using the same procedures, and not 
> in the same way.
> Hence to make things really clear we have to functions for every type 
> of Principal. For an email
> principal:
> 1. a function from the string ( e.g. "jz@logic.edu 
> <mailto:jz@logic.edu>" ) to a mailbox <mailto:jz@logic.edu>
>     ( that is useful for example when taking a Principal out of a 
> BrowserID certificate)
>    call this funtion Ref.   so Ref("jz@logic.edu 
> <mailto:z@logic.edu>") = <mailto:jz@logic.edu>
> 2. a function from the mailbox to the subject ( the owner of the 
> mailbox ) which in the very
> vague language of WebDAV auth is termed the thing the principal 
> represents. Call this function
> Subj. So Subj(Ref("jz@logic.edu <mailto:z@logic.edu>") ) is the agent 
> that is authenticating.
> You can see that without  semantics those distinctions look like they 
> are splitting hair in 4. But
> when you write it out in foaf it is clear why this is useful. It 
> allows you to distinguish mailboxes and
> people.
> @prefix foaf: <http://xmlns.com/foaf/0.1/> .
> @prefix cert: <http://www.w3.org/ns/auth/cert#> .
> <http://logic.edu/webids/jz#i> a foaf:Agent;
>      foaf:mbox <mailto:jz@logic.edu>.
>>> I think that works neatly, is compatible with the above WebDAV 
>>> definition, but alows us to be precise by distinguishing names, 
>>> their referents, and the relation that referent is to the subject.
>> My problem is that I see:
>> 1. Entity -- a thing
>> 2. URI denoting an Entity
>> 3. Document that describes an Entity via its URI in an Entity 
>> Relationship Graph
>> 4. Use of indirection (explicit or implicit) to associate a URI 
>> denoting an Entity with a Document bearing the graph based content 
>> that describes said entity.
>> #4 is the essence of Linked Data. Ultimately why URIs (Names as 
>> Names) work better than URLs (Addresses as Names).
> What is your problem as it relates to this thread?  I don't think that 
> any of these definitions goes against Web Architecture of
> 0. an identifier ( some string ) following the URI syntax (Uniform 
> Resource Identifier)
> 1. That identfier refering to resource ( some thing ), the Ref(uri) = 
> thing
> 2. that thing being in a number of relations to other things ( say a 
> person owning a mailbox ), each relation can be
>    named by a different URI, eg http://xmlns.com/foaf/0.1/mbox
> 3. the sense of the URI being findable automatically either by 
> removing the #tag part of the URI, or via 303 redirection
>   such that the owner of the URI namespace defines the initial/seed 
> meaning of the term.

We are not going to resolve this today, but we will some day. Resources 
are realm specific. A Web resource != a real world thing (entity). The 
broken over stretched triangulation that a real world thing is a 
resource is the eternal problem, when discussing URIs. We might all be 
resources, but the scope is partitioned by realm. The Web realm != Real 

A Web Resource can be used to describe a real world entity (thing).

Anyway, at this point we don't have the context for a debate others 
might find useful. Thus, let's continue since your Wiki document is a 
very good starting point re. the power of logic that manifests via 
Linked Data, RDF, WebIDs, and authentication protocols :-)


1. http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-tag/2009Aug/0000.html -- 
history of "R" in URI (a clever hack by way of stretching the meaning of 
Resource across realms).
>>> I think we can get some very neat logic out of this, in a way 
>>> that is much clearer than what the ( very interesting ) WebDAV Auth 
>>> RFC is trying to do. ( thanks for those
>>> pointers )
>> Okay, we'll get there for sure :-)
> Social Web Architect
> http://bblfish.net/



Kingsley Idehen	
Founder & CEO
OpenLink Software
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Received on Wednesday, 14 November 2012 17:34:30 UTC

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