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Re: [foaf-protocols] WebID test suite

From: Henry Story <henry.story@bblfish.net>
Date: Wed, 29 Jun 2011 22:14:48 +0200
Cc: public-xg-webid@w3.org
Message-Id: <7F16658E-561A-47CB-B4EB-548675B4BB78@bblfish.net>
To: Mo McRoberts <mo.mcroberts@bbc.co.uk>

On 29 Jun 2011, at 21:32, Mo McRoberts wrote:

> Hey Henry,
> Just to chip in here:—
>> Here is an ldap entry taken from wikipedia 
>> dn: cn=John Doe,dc=example,dc=com
>> cn: John Doe
>> givenName: John
>> sn: Doe
>> telephoneNumber: +1 888 555 6789
>> telephoneNumber: +1 888 555 1232
>> mail: 
>> john@example.com
>> manager: cn=Barbara Doe,dc=example,dc=com
>> objectClass: inetOrgPerson
>> objectClass: organizationalPerson
>> objectClass: person
>> objectClass: top
>> It is an attribute value pair system, without namespacing, and so is designed for client server interaction, not for linked data interaction. You need to tie those into a global namespacing. Not impossible, but you have a lot of work on your hands to get all the others to 1. understand why it is important (because they are living in closed worlds, and don't see what they are missing) and 2. Get an agreement world wide on how to do this.
> It does have namespacing: what you're seeing above is a textual representation of an entry in LDIF format. The attribute names there are generated based on the schema held in the LDAP server, while the raw data uses OIDs for the classes and attributes instead. A given OID arc is a pretty reasonable parallel to a URI namespace. For example, all of the attributes from Sun's NIS+ LDAP schema live under one particular arc (except for references to other schemata), and so on and so forth.

Are there mechanisms in place that help synchronise the way these OIDs get used? The meaning of words (and so OIDs)  depends according to David Lewis "... on the conventions [the user] is party to. And these conventions are regularities in behaviour, sustained in an interest in co-ordination and an expectation that others will do their part" ( in "Convention: A Philosophical Analysis") Words do not get their meaning unless their is co-ordination. OIDs are words with global meaning, so there needs to be global coordination for them to be able to stabilise on a meaning. For this to work there has to be games that drive this co-ordination towards a stable point. If the main interchange format for the meaning of these words does not publish the OIDS, then how could there be a coordination problem that aligned the meaning of these OIDs with one another? 

> A fun project for somebody one day would be to run a web service on a well-known URI which spat out RDFS/OWL/whatever for the objectClasses and attributes at a particular OID. Would be a nice extension to Harald Alvestrand’s OID browser… [e.g., http://www.alvestrand.no/objectid/2.5.html]

yes, that would be very interesting. Two further studies that would be needed in addition to this are:
- are these OIDs really used the same way, across enterprises? If so, what forced people to using them the same way
- what is the proportion of these OIDs that do have such a widespread meaning?

Thanks for pointing this out,


> M.
> -- 
> 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,
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Social Web Architect
Received on Wednesday, 29 June 2011 20:15:22 UTC

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