W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-xg-webid@w3.org > April 2011

RE: self-signed

From: Mo McRoberts <Mo.McRoberts@bbc.co.uk>
Date: Tue, 19 Apr 2011 22:01:53 +0100
Message-ID: <4EA804DC019F8849B3304E28D3AA20FE015CE439@bbcxues15.national.core.bbc.co.uk>
To: "Kingsley Idehen" <kidehen@openlinksw.com>, <public-xg-webid@w3.org>

On 19 Apr 2011, at 21:49, Kingsley Idehen wrote:

> On 4/19/11 4:14 PM, Mo McRoberts wrote:
>> You yourself gave a key example of this right at the beginning of the thread: you had certificates
>> with unsupported schemes, and they didn't work. You were confused as a result, and thought there
>>  was a bug. You're a smart, experienced, technically-savvy user — how's my grandmother going
>>  to cope with that situation?

> Which is why implementers should deliver clear messages when they hit faults related to a URI that
> serve as WebID in a Cert.. That's basically the essence of the matter. This issue is a few steps away
> from grandma as she shouldn't really care about such details.  Not caring doesn't mean HTTP scheme
> specificity couldn't adversely affect her ability to control her own vulnerability (privacy) in cyberspace, 
> at the very least. 

Okay then — excuse my ignorance — please outline to me, how _exactly_ it will work when:

a) Grandma has a "WebID" certificate containing only a SAN with a mailto: URI


b) the server (with a "Log in with your WebID!” button) only supports http: and https: URIs

What *exactly* do you think should happen in this instance?

>From my personal perspective, from my understanding of WebID (and from the point of view of the project I work on and whether WebID can be a part of it), this situation simply shouldn't be something which arises outside of experimental environments.

> It isn't so simple when the protocols in use are ambiguous about their essence. To me, URI agnosticism
> is crucial re. WebID viability. Any task that negates this is broken. Again, that doesn't mean every
> implementation has to support multiple schemes, it simply means that on implementation should
> make a scheme specific fatal fault assertion about a Cert. based on the scheme of the WebID that 
> it bears. Indicating an inability to understand the scheme of the WebID is much better than inferring
>  that the WebID is invalid.

A failure's a failure from an end-user's perspective. The “why” is only important if you understand enough to diagnose. Indicating an inability to understand the scheme of the WebID is _only_ better than inferring that the WebID is invalid if you're a developer, for the most part. In either case, the damned thing doesn't work, the tech's rendered worthless.


Mo McRoberts - Data Analyst - Digital Public Space,
Zone 1.08, BBC Scotland, 40 Pacific Quay, Glasgow G51 1DA,
Room 7066, BBC Television Centre, London W12 7RJ,
0141 422 6036 (Internal: 01-26036) - PGP key 0x663E2B4A

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Received on Tuesday, 19 April 2011 21:04:22 UTC

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