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Re: [hybi] [Uri-review] ws: and wss: schemes

From: <noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com>
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 2009 09:47:46 -0400
To: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Cc: "Daniel R. Tobias" <dan@tobias.name>, David Booth <david@dbooth.org>, hybi@ietf.org, uri@w3.org, "David Orchard" <orchard@pacificspirit.com>
Message-ID: <OF22CD1320.96C55266-ON85257610.004AB599-85257610.004BC9CA@lotus.com>
Maciej Stachowiak writes:

> I also do not believe it is an advantage for legacy clients to 
> dereference wss: hosts via http; it hypothetically sounds neat but I 
> cannot think of a use case where it would actually be beneficial. This 
> is not necessarily a disadvantage, but it doesn't seem like much of an 
> advantage either.

So, here's an example.  First, let's make the assumption that there is an 
HTTP server at port 80  at "http://wss.example/", presumably run by an 
organization that supports the use of wss.   Assuming that the normal path 
through the Web sockets client apis does not access this, the HTTP server 
will be used only by legacy clients.

Where's the value?  Let's assume that a link to a WS resource winds up in 
a page somewhere for some reason.  It could be a bug report, whatever. Now 
a search engine crawler stumbles on the bug report page.  If we use the 
wss: scheme, then either the crawler has special knowledge of WS, or 
nothing much useful happens.  If we use "http://wss.example/..... then the 
crawler sends a GET to that.  Choose your favorite metadata access 
mechanism (perhaps [1], maybe RDFa, whatever), and the crawler has the 
opportunity to discover "ah, this is a WS resource", or at least to learn 
some things about it.  To some extent that's true with either approach 
(the crawler at least knows it's got a link in a scheme that's not 
understood with wss:), but the opportunities for incremental discovery 
seem to be significantly greater with HTTP.

As Dave Orchard points out, these issues were debated in great detail with 
XRI came up for consideration at Oasis, and I think it's fair to say that 
the starting position of those proposing xri was initially at least as 
firm as that of advocates of wss.  I think Dave is right that at least 
many of those same people came to believe that an http-based approach was 
in fact either better, or at least a reasonable compromise.  You might 
want to check with them.


[1] http://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-hammer-discovery-02
[2] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/uri/2009Aug/0027.html

Noah Mendelsohn 
IBM Corporation
One Rogers Street
Cambridge, MA 02142
Received on Wednesday, 12 August 2009 13:48:30 UTC

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