Re:[XRI] URI schemes - is widget: OK, but xri: not?

Hi Ray,

My reply is inline.

On 7-Aug-08, at 3:29 PM, Ray Denenberg, Library of Congress wrote:

> This has been an "unusual" process to say the least.  Registration  
> of XRI as
> a URI scheme has never been proposed!  Not formally. That's IETF  
> turf and it
> usually does not get debated  in a W3C forum (certainly not this
> exhaustively).

> Leaving aside all of the technical issues, why not just submit the
> registration  request (see and  
> let the
> debate over "XRI as a URI scheme" play out  where it is supposed to.
The XRI-TC received formal feedback on a number of the 25 no ballots.

This feedback included comments like:

"Although we support XRI's objectives, we urge the XRI TC to consider  
W3C's comments seriously and add an non-normative clause explaining  
key differences between XRIs and URIs, and detail how the former  
address specific deficiencies of the latter."

"Although the XRI TC and W3C TAG have exchanged some e-mail regarding  
the XRI spec, it appears the engagement has been mostly superficial.  
Consequently, we recommend these two groups engage in detailed  
technical discussions (including use cases and deployment scenarios)  
before OASIS formally adopt this spec."

"We urge OASIS to:

1. Consider W3C's comments seriously, explain differences between XRIs  
and URIs and how XRIs address deficiencies of URIs, and respond with  
substantive explanations (rather than existing promotional text) to  
W3Cs concerns.

2 .Prepare a paper (or non-normative clause), perhaps 5-10 pages, that  
includes the above, as well as a comprehensive description of XRI,  
including use cases, deployment scenarios, and real-life examples. "

> The recent OASIS vote on XRI failed probably because some people  
> thought
> (perhaps through faulty reasoning) that implicit in a "yes" vote was  
> a vote
> for an XRI URI scheme (and by "some people" I don't necessarily mean  
> those
> voting, but rather, those influencing those voting).  Perhaps if the  
> scheme issue were to be solved in advance, and XRI reballoted, it  
> would
> almost certainly be approved.
> --Ray

Having lost the vote by one no vote, according to the OASIS process we  
must restart the process with what will become the XRI 2.1 spec and  
take that through the various stages of voting and feedback.  There is  
no option of adding non-normative text and voting on the original spec  

There is no doubt that members of OASIS were personally lobbied by  
members of the TAG.  I give those TAG members full credit,  they did a  
better job at getting votes than we did.  No hard feelings.

I think everyone agrees that if possible the TAG and the XRI-TC should  
sort out our differences before the revised XRI specs are presented to  
OASIS members for there consideration.

I have talked to TAG members about the process of registering URI  

It may well be that at the time the XRI-TC had advice about the  
process that is inaccurate according to the conventions followed by  
the W3C.   Given that the W3C have registered more schemes than the  
XRI-TC there is probably some wisdom to the process they follow.

If we had followed there process we would have applied for a  
provisional URI scheme at the Committee draft stage of the XRI spec.    
The reason the W3C does this is that if IANA doesn't approve the  
provisional scheme or wants changes to the ABNF the spec authors have  
the opportunity to modify the spec.

the process is probably better,  but to be realistic the TAG has been  
clear that they would have opposed that registration.  The XRI-TC  
would have been fighting at ICAN against the TAG with a draft spec.

The situation would have been different though perhaps not better.

Certainly the XRI-TC can apply to IANA for a provisional URI scheme at  
any time.

Why not now?

The TAG has expressed a deeply held view that new schemes cause a  
fragmentation of the information space and are a detriment to Web  

While this may not be the opinion of everyone,  we have been requested  
by OASIS members like you to try and understand each others positions  
and work towards an understanding.

If we were to apply to IANA before we have exhausted our dialog with  
the TAG, I believe they would see it  as an act of bad faith.

Can we seriously discuss ways to accommodate XRI as a http: sub-scheme  
while applying for a scheme?

I think the process of defining how alternate types of directory  
services can be accommodated inside http: scheme is valuable to XRI  
and perhaps others with similar issues.

By alternate I mean something that resolves to something other than an  
IP address.  We know that you can use NIS or something else to resolve  
a IP address for the host part of a http URI.

Typically this has been done by specifying a new URI scheme.  That is  
where we were going.

I think the XRI-TC and the TAG are currently largely in agreement that  
the HXRI proxy form of a XRI meets there desire to not fragment the  
information space.   There are others that oppose any sort of new  
registry service or protocol.   They will be a harder sell.

The question that needs to be resolved is can a http: sub-scheme be  
developed so that there is no need for a XRI URI scheme.

Questions like, what do I put in a X.509 cert if I want to express an  
XRI as a subjectAltName need to be explored.

It is going to take work and dialog from both sides to find  a  
solution where XRI can satisfactorily fit entirely inside the http:  

At this point I don't want to prejudice that work by making a IANA  
application.  Though I grant you it is probably the appropriate  
technical thing to do.

There is a call planed between the two organizations later this month  
to try and organize how we can move forward.

Thanks for the question.
I hope my answer sheds some light on this process.

John Bradley

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Schleiff, Marty" <>
> To: <>
> Sent: Thursday, August 07, 2008 6:08 PM
> Subject: URI schemes - is widget: OK, but xri: not?
> Hi All,
> I haven't seen any messages complaining about a URI scheme for  
> widget:. I've
> seen plenty of messages complaining about a URI scheme for xri:.
> Does the TAG consider a new scheme for widget: to be justified?
> If so, then could someone please explain why a widget: scheme is
> justifiable, but an xri: scheme is not?
> Thanks,
> Associate Technical Fellow - Cyber Identity Specialist
> Information Security - Technical Controls
> (206) 679-5933

Received on Saturday, 9 August 2008 17:13:46 UTC