[foaf-protocols] WebID - mandated syntax or market solution? was WebID Incubator Charter draft

peter williams home_pw at msn.com
Sat Dec 18 15:50:02 CET 2010

I think the browser-centric "world view" is what is at issue here.

At least 50% of my web usage is RSS, using outlook as the RSS reader. The UI metaphors of the mosaic-era browser are just not part of my world view... My world view tends to be cert oriented (wot a surprise); needing certs on email, certs in HTML emails, certs on code downloaded from HTML emails, and certs in semweb-light RSS meandering to all have a consistent projection - so I can maintain control over my belief models. Remember, 50% of what you read on the web is just crap; much of it deliberate crap. But, that’s the world we live in, where everyone and his dog has an opinion on everything.

Webids have to be bigger than the browser; and not just in some backroom server-server protocol flow. Mainstream non-mosaic browser uses of webids have to be a first-class citizens here, are NOT operating under some historical All-American regime where you are human (but not emancipated), then emancipated (but not a citizen), then  a citizen (but you have to bow your head), ...

I recognize that this is web-blasphemy, to even challenge the mosaic legacy. OpenID is leading this challenge (as is cardspace), as its discarding the browser metaphor. It’s the mosaic-era browser model that made OpenID fail.

-----Original Message-----
From: foaf-protocols-bounces at lists.foaf-project.org [mailto:foaf-protocols-bounces at lists.foaf-project.org] On Behalf Of Henry Story
Sent: Saturday, December 18, 2010 1:11 AM
To: Jiří Procházka
Cc: foaf-protocols at lists.foaf-project.org
Subject: Re: [foaf-protocols] WebID - mandated syntax or market solution? was WebID Incubator Charter draft

On 18 Dec 2010, at 00:53, Jiří Procházka wrote:

> Do you agree the "WebID" name could be used, besides as the protocol 
> name, for something like a certificate (think
> http://validator.w3.org/docs/help.html#icon) which guarantees to an 
> end user the software/service is usable in some way? (when it is not 
> offline of course)

It won't happen quite like that. It will probably be integrated into the browsers themselves. See some of the issues here

> Do you agree there are higher demands on reliability of protocols then 
> anything else?

In some ways it is not sure that this is a protocol either, btw. 
I don't exactly know what WebID is. The protocol is already defined, as TLS.  HTTP is a protcol and is already defined.
Perhaps what we are defining is a proof procedure, in which case it is not surprising that we are at the level of logic.
This is something the XG should investigate.

> Do you think if for example with DNS protocol while answering your 
> query each participating nameserver could return "syntax not 
> understood" error returning it to you as final answer would be good?

Putting a public key in the DNS is a very different issue. DNS does not have content negotiation.

> Please name some protocols which do this (syntax conneg - they are 
> just defined as logic - the model, like you wish).

It's not because something is new that it cannot be done.

But anyway, there is one: the web. The Web allows you to return different representations for the same resource. The same resource can return jpeg, gif,... It was designed like that for precisely the reason of allowing flexibility and growth.

In any case all this is moot. We interoperable implementations in every programming language that work with at least 2 mime types. RDF/XML and RDFa, and some even with turtle. 

Social Web Architect

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