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Re: [apps-discuss] The acct: scheme question

From: Henry Story <henry.story@bblfish.net>
Date: Fri, 25 May 2012 08:59:35 +0200
Cc: Noah Mendelsohn <nrm@arcanedomain.com>, "www-tag@w3.org" <www-tag@w3.org>, paulej@packetizer.com
Message-Id: <3C0742DD-0FB0-4CEB-9C6D-3218D3783C4D@bblfish.net>
To: Graham Klyne <GK@ninebynine.org>

On 24 May 2012, at 20:55, Graham Klyne wrote:

> On 23/05/2012 16:35, Henry Story wrote:
>> On 23 May 2012, at 17:19, Noah Mendelsohn wrote:
>>> Of possible interest to the TAG: this is being discussed on the apps-discuss mailing list, where there is a long thread. Note specifically the discussion of a proposed "acct" URI scheme "to identify individuals".
>> There cannot be only one scheme to identify individuals. You can do it with http, https, ftp, ftps, and many other
>> ways. The folks should stick to stating their claims in general terms: "a URI that identifies an agent of some
>> kind", without tying themselves to one in particular.
> Just to be clear... they are *not* tying themselves to a particular scheme. That's been stated quite emphatically.
> The uncompelling aspect of their proposal, as I see it, is that it's hard to see what distinct purpose is served by the proposed acct: scheme that can't easily be handled by another scheme.  But it seems there are strong "social" pressures (and maybe operational - I can't tell based on my limited knowledge of the context) to have something that is distinct from specific applications/protocols to have a way of finding information accounts without their "own" URI shceme.
> From a pure technical perspective, I think it's fairly clear that another scheme *could* be used, say http:, but I can't quite quite figure why that's considered unacceptable.

Here is my experience with people who get really excited about accnt: schemes:

  1. They tend to come from OpenID, which tried http:// identifiers , which people tended
    to find to difficult to use (and if one remove the need for http://, it became impossible to 
    distinguish http and https

  2. email like identifiers they found - quite reasonably - are easier for people to remember
     because it tends to be name@org

  3. From this they conclude falsely that all identifiers have to be easy to remember

   I say falsely, because as it happens with WebID the user never has to type in a URI in any box at all 
( see my scene cast presentation at the W3C Identity in the Browser workshop last year
   http://bblfish.net/blog/2011/05/25/ ), he just has to click on a certificate selection box.

   The accnt scheme is resolvable because it is tied to the the WebFinger protocol btw, which is used for example
by Google and Diaspora. It is reasonable to allow it, if one can also use https identifiers too. 
The semantics of the field that accepts them ( probably called ID ) will be a bit tricky, because I think accnt URIs
refer to accounts, and not to People. So the Identity field would have to say: a URI referring to something that is
well known to identify an Agent in a well known way. You can't just use the reference relation.


> #g
> --

Social Web Architect
Received on Friday, 25 May 2012 07:00:14 UTC

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