W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-tag@w3.org > June 2012

Re: Registration of acct: as a URI scheme has been requested

From: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>
Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2012 17:51:03 -0400
Message-ID: <4FE245C7.6030909@openlinksw.com>
To: www-tag@w3.org
On 6/20/12 3:04 PM, Henry S. Thompson wrote:
> Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com> writes:
>> If the architecture of the world wide web can't accommodate new URI
>> schemes then its broken. The great news is that it isn't broken.
> The Web can indeed accommodate new URI schemes.  As I read it, this
> isn't a proposal for a new URI scheme.  It's a proposal to add a
> string of letters to a quasi-email-address so that the result _looks_
> like a URI.  But as far as I can tell although it _looks_ like a URI,
> it doesn't _walk_ like one (If I include it in my HTML nothing will
> happen when a user clicks on it) or even _quack_ like one (No
> general-purpose semantics is provided for it in the RFC draft that I
> can see), so I'm inclined to conclude that it's _not_ a duckXXXXURI.

Well, I use it as part of WebID since Webfinger makes this type of URI 
de-referencable. I use acct: URIs in owl:sameAs relationships as part of 
sophisticated ACLs rule. Most of all, I use acct: and mailto: URIs to 
negate the counter intuitiveness of powerful http: scheme URIs when 
explaining the virtues of Web-scale Linked Data as exemplified by WebID.

In short, its how I skirt around HttpRange-14 distractions when trying 
to establish how real-world entity denotation and web resource 
identification can works wonders via HTTP protocol driven indirection.

> Seriously, my point is that not every identifier that's used in a
> protocol that is used on the Web has to be a URI.

But you have to look at the problem space. Webfinger is all about 
intuitive names without losing the power of HTTP based data access. At 
first blush, a majority of Web users and developers simply don't grok 
the notion of URI duality and indirection as it manifests in the Linked 
Data meme espoused by TimBL.

WebID is a powerful application of said Linked Data meme. That said, 
getting folks to grok entity names that are implicitly bound to 
description bearing web resources isn't so easy if the starting point is 
http: scheme URI based names.

>   The ones that are
> expected to be generic, to have a meaning and utility _outside_ the
> protocol, sure.  But in that case I expect to see a
> protocol-independent use for them spelled out.

WebID is an example. Must I have an http: scheme URI in the SAN slot of 
my X.509 certificate? Of course not. Its certainly a cost-effective 
option, but not the sole option. This is where Webfinger comes into play.

> On the other hand non-extensible enumerated types with
> protocol-internal semantics are probably not anybody's idea of a good
> basis for defining a new URI scheme.
> Where does acct: fall on the implied continuum?  How generic/useful
> does an identifier scheme have to be before it deserves a URI scheme?
> Reasonable people may differ.  But, to quote RFC4395,
>    "The use and deployment of new URI schemes in the Internet
>     infrastructure is costly . . . For these reasons, the unbounded
>     registration of new schemes is harmful.  New URI schemes SHOULD
>     have clear utility to the broad Internet community." [1]

Its an option. There's not more costly than "zero adoption" of a great 

> So I'm asking for some evidence of clear utility, beyond protocol
> convenience, for going the URI scheme route.

Evidence lies in the fact that we've used acct: and mailto: scheme URIs 
to make WebID palatable to a very broad audience. Its been working for a 
long time :-)

The goal here is/was negating the intuition challenges associated with 
using http: scheme URIs as name (denotation) mechanism for entities (web 
and/or real-world) .

> ht
> [1] http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc4395#section-2.1


1. http://id.myopenlink.net/certgen -- you can get yourself a WebID 
using this tool
2. http://my-profile.eu -- ditto
3. http://bit.ly/NNOkNB -- example of what can be achieved re. WebID 
based ACLs (note: I can extend my trust chain via owl:sameAs relations 
with acct: or mailto: URI objects in my controlled resources) .



Kingsley Idehen	
Founder & CEO
OpenLink Software
Company Web: http://www.openlinksw.com
Personal Weblog: http://www.openlinksw.com/blog/~kidehen
Twitter/Identi.ca handle: @kidehen
Google+ Profile: https://plus.google.com/112399767740508618350/about
LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/kidehen

Received on Wednesday, 20 June 2012 21:51:28 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.4.0 : Friday, 17 January 2020 22:56:45 UTC