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Re: First Draft of Payment Links spec published

From: Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>
Date: Wed, 12 Oct 2011 11:19:17 -0400
Message-ID: <4E95AFF5.6070200@digitalbazaar.com>
To: Web Payments <public-webpayments@w3.org>
On 10/11/2011 12:25 PM, Pelle Braendgaard wrote:
> Great work Manu thanks for taking the initiative here.


> The monetary medium of exchange associated with the amount
> <http://payswarm.com/specs/ED/payment-links/2011-10-08/#dfn-amount>.
> This value /should/ be either an ISO 4217 3 letter currency code, such
> as |USD|, or an IRI pointing to a human and machine-readable description
> of the currency, such as |http://purl.org/currencies/bitcoin|. If the
> currency is left out it is assumed that the the base URI of the payment
> link itself indicates the currency.

Hmmm... It seems strange to assume anything about the IRI. Taking a page 
out of the Microformats Process, I would expect that if we looked at 
most payment links in use today, the currency is not part of the base IRI.

I'd like to understand your reasoning a bit more on this before changing 
that bit in the spec. Why should we assume anything about the base IRI? 
If we make this part of the spec, why is making the base IRI contain the 
currency a good thing? What use cases does it enable? To put it another 
way, why not assume the target account is the last part of the base IRI?

> The reason for this being is that the URI is that I would like to
> encourage the use of the payment url itself as being the currency
> descriptor.

Why is this a benefit?

> The other area is the term "asset". It is a term that means a lot in the
> world of banking, accounting etc. A currency itself is an asset. So I
> think it would cause confusion to use this term.

We've been having this discussion over the last several years as well. 
We've cycled through Item, Sellable, Creative Work, Work, (many other 
terms) and finally settled on Asset. The dictionary definition for it 
expresses what we mean by it:

noun /ˈaset/ 
assets, plural

A useful or valuable thing, person, or quality
- quick reflexes were his chief asset
- the school is an asset to the community

Property owned by a person or company, regarded as having value and 
available to meet debts, commitments, or legacies
- growth in net assets
- debiting the asset account

I think that in order for the specs to be meaningful to implementers 
(who probably won't have a banking/finance background), we need to stick 
with common dictionary definitions.

> It would be great to reuse this terminology all the way up through the
> payment stack, which is why I think its important to get right.

I agree.

-- manu

Manu Sporny (skype: msporny, twitter: manusporny)
Founder/CEO - Digital Bazaar, Inc.
blog: Standardizing Payment Links - Why Online Tipping has Failed
Received on Wednesday, 12 October 2011 15:19:51 UTC

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