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

Re: Matter of DN and what's possible

From: Mo McRoberts <mo.mcroberts@bbc.co.uk>
Date: Mon, 9 Jan 2012 22:43:55 +0000
Cc: public-xg-webid@w3.org
Message-Id: <1ECA0889-E9A8-4415-9C98-7E5ECC1A165C@bbc.co.uk>
To: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>

On 9 Jan 2012, at 22:28, Kingsley Idehen wrote:

> On 1/9/12 5:22 PM, Mo McRoberts wrote:
>> On 9 Jan 2012, at 22:15, Kingsley Idehen wrote:
>>> On 1/9/12 4:58 PM, Henry Story wrote:
>>>> On 9 Jan 2012, at 22:49, Kingsley Idehen wrote:
>>>>> On 1/9/12 4:44 PM, Henry Story wrote:
>>>>>> yes I see. So, you are saying you are a document. Why do you want to do that?
>>>>> He is saying, a document at an address holds my description!
>>>> Ah and what if that document contains the description of 10 people?
>>> But why would it? How does that question not apply to a # style of HTTP URI?
>> Because the behaviour is extremely well-defined with a #-style URI? That's (partly) why they existÖ
> You are wrong!

I beg your pardon?

To spell it out:ó

If I have a URI of http://example.com/foo#f

A request goes to example.com:80 for /foo, it returns a document containing descriptions of:


The consumer picks out #f. Straightforward. So how, exactly, am I wrong, given the question that you asked?

>>> A # URI carries implicit de-reference and Name/Address disambiguation. Most miss it completely. WebID cannot be about a style of URI. It should just be about URIs.
>> WebID itself doesn't care.

> If it didn't care why do you make the statement about # URIs. Talk about URIs, even HTTP URIs, but not a style of HTTP URI. That's totally broken beyond repair.

Which statement, exactly?

>> A verifier looks for the subject in the resource it gets back by dereferencing that URI. It matters _not one bit_ to the relying party whether itís a #-URI or not.
> Please make up your mind. You just stated that: ".. Because the behaviour is extremely well-defined with a #-style URI? That's (partly) why they existÖ" .

Good lord. Iím almost completely certain that you know how this stuff works, why are you asking these basic questions?

I stated that picking out a single subject from a resource containing descriptions of many resources was well-defined with #-style URIs. WebID, on the other hand, only cares if that actually needs to happen.

You can make YOUR WebID http://example.org/cgi-bin/webidapp.pl?userid=328145 if you like, provided that <http://example.org/cgi-bin/webidapp.pl?userid=328145> is described as a subject with a key matching that in your certificate. Will it cause problems with other applications beyond the verifier itself? Quite possibly. Will the WebID verifier itself need to care? No.

> So how do we handle other de-referencable URIs that are not so well-defined, to use your characterization?

If you'd actually read what I was replying to, Iím not sure you'd be asking that question.

>> The fact is, however, that the vast majority of people donít NEED to care if they're following recipes and patterns (and it's been emphasised at length that people will beÖ)

Both Peter and you have both talked about ďcopy & pasteĒ users, no? They donít need to understand the finer points of HTTP in order to copy and paste a snippet ó just to be able to follow a clearly laid-out pattern.


Mo McRoberts - Technical Lead - The Space,
0141 422 6036 (Internal: 01-26036) - PGP key CEBCF03E,
Project Office: Room 7083, BBC Television Centre, London W12 7RJ
Received on Monday, 9 January 2012 22:44:20 UTC

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