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

Kingsley Idehen kidehen at openlinksw.com
Sun Dec 19 01:19:21 CET 2010


On 12/18/10 6:12 PM, peter williams wrote:
> I don’t mind the notion that: webid shall fit into the common browser so using it feels as natural as all the other UI features we have all used so frequently we no longer even recognize their meaning.
>
> This is a useful test - much like a legal test case that to become a standard has to pass the common law test: whether its distinct result fits with the naturalness embodied by all the previous cases on similar facts, but one particularly characteristic fact.
>
> So, we somehow need to dispose of the notion of the universal browser as the one and only metaphor, without denying the universalizing benefits of the browser that define what the [current] web is (because it is that which is reachable from *that* browser, which then interacts with that 'resource' - SORRY, thing).

Not "Thing" really, we have "Resources" (in a given medium e.g. WWW) 
that bear/carry/contain representations (low or high fidelity 
descriptions) of "Things".

Not using an appropriate moniker to denote and then convey the realm 
specificity of "Things" is the flaw inherent in the overloaded use of 
"Resource" when we speak about Data Networks that model the Real World. 
A Web Resource is a Data Container.

Are you and I Data Containers? Yes, we are, but not of the Web Medium. 
Thus, catapulting Web parlance to the Real World (where Data Containers 
such as You and I are Entities) doesn't work re. helping people 
understand what the Web of Linked Data is about etc.

In your context (as per comments above) "Resource" is fine, neither one 
of us is physically reachable via Web Browser. On the other hand,  
designated agents,  data containers (Web or even Internet Resources) 
bearing our high or low fidelity descriptions are, via TCP/IP.

Yes, a "Resource" is a "Thing", but I am sure you can see the disruption 
it potentially introduces into your last paragraph above, should you 
have opted for "Thing" rather than "Resource" i.e., "a browser 
interacting with Things..." vs. "browser interacting with Resources" 
(basically data containers).

> I find myself challenged tho to be honest; and I don’t have to look very far. I might ask: is the server cert for https URIs a universal (in browsers)?
>
> The answer there is: surely no. IE imposes a trust model on https URLs (and implements a p3p-related integration with said trust model, particularly in the cases of websso cookies of various types) that Mozilla just does not. Similarly for IE, what is "valid" in https server certs when used in a browser is different to what is valid when the very same https URI is used in other windows (but non-IE) contexts (other than those apps containing the IE activeX control).
>
> It's not well known that the IE activeX control (used natively, or in the IE frame folks normally see) has its own cert processing logic, not shared with all other (https) consumers of the common internet/web libraries built into the platform. That is, don't assume that the https URI ref from an RSS [semweb-lite] feed that is followed by outlook is treated the same as the very same https URI used in a (1) browser plugin from third party, or (2) the mythical universal browser.

WebID's core concept goes beyond browsers. But as you know, browsers 
provide a nice launchpad for value proposition demonstration amongst 
other things. Everyone uses browsers, so best to bootstrap innovations 
from densest cluster in the target network :-)

Kingsley
> -----Original Message-----
> From: foaf-protocols-bounces at lists.foaf-project.org [mailto:foaf-protocols-bounces at lists.foaf-project.org] On Behalf Of Kingsley Idehen
> Sent: Saturday, December 18, 2010 2:30 PM
> To: foaf-protocols at lists.foaf-project.org
> Subject: Re: [foaf-protocols] WebID - mandated syntax or market solution? was WebID Incubator Charter draft
>
> On 12/18/10 5:08 PM, Nathan wrote:
>> Hi Peter,
>>
>> WebID is web-oriented (hence the name) however many (all?) of those
>> involved so far have viewed WebID as being pivotal to many different
>> scenarios and software applications, the typical Browser being just
>> one of those applications, for instance Joe has his mercurial repo's
>> WebID enabled, Melvin has exposed several services such as file sharing, and I
>>     give my all my web applications their own WebID for authentication
>> and identification. Tht's just scratching the surface of what's
>> possible with WebID, and the many scenarios people have already listed
>> that they want to apply WebID to.
>>
>> I think what Henry simply meant was, not to constrain WebID to the
>> browsers, but rather that WebID support should be implemented by the
>> browsers, natively, rather than by third party extension or some form
>> of domain specific interface.
> Eventually, we're going to have a NetID (re. Internet of Things), then AgentIDs cos Internet and Web won't matter. But for now, we need to start somewhere.  The ubiquitous WWW ecosystem is a natural starting point. It will expand, naturally to the Human Network at large :-)
>
>
> Kingsley
>> Best,
>>
>> Nathan
>>
>> peter williams wrote:
>>> 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
>>> http://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=29784
>>>
>>>
>>>> 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
>>> http://bblfish.net/
>>>
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-- 

Regards,

Kingsley Idehen	
President&  CEO
OpenLink Software
Web: http://www.openlinksw.com
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