[foaf-protocols] The case for massive simplification and foaf:key

Kingsley Idehen kidehen at openlinksw.com
Tue Sep 21 16:50:26 CEST 2010

  On 9/21/10 10:28 AM, Henry Story wrote:
> On 21 Sep 2010, at 03:15, Kingsley Idehen wrote:
>>   On 9/20/10 7:24 PM, Nathan wrote:
>>> Hi All,
>>> I've been discussing off-list with Melvin and various others over the
>>> past few months about many future uses of webid, public keys and various
>>> implications of the way we are currently doing things.
>>> To start, here's the proposal:
>>>    :me foaf:key "DER-formatted-public-key"^^xsd:base64Binary .
>> :me foaf:publicKey "DER-formatted-public-key"^^xsd:base64Binary .
>> Otherwise we just continue to overload "key" and perpetuate confusion
>> re. public and private keys re. PKI.
> I think there are many good reasons to have a foaf:publicKey relation
> from an Agent to a public key.
>   - it allows query engines who index only the subject to get from
>     something they know, the WebID to the key very easily.
>   - it makes for a cleaner foaf file (no need for rev relations)
>   - it is more intuitive than cert:identity
> Leaving aside the issue of the DER formatted public key for the moment,
> as that still needs to be worked out in detail, I am in favour of
> adding that to the cert ontology
> cert:publicKey a rdf:Property;
>      rdfs:comment """
>         a relation from an agent to a public key for which he alone has
>         the private key. This public key identifies that agent, allows him
>         to decrypt messages sent to him with that key, and is able to sign
>         messages with it too.
>      """;
>      rdfs:domain foaf:Agent;
>      rdfs:range cert:PublicKey .
> ( though I think the name can still be debated).
> I am also in favour of deprecating cert:identity, which to tell the truth
> I never that much liked.
> Essentially that is just the inverse of cert:identity, so I could even
> add
> cert:publicKey owl:inverseOf cert:identity .
> The wot:identity relations was needed I think more because the idea was to publish.
> I think I can also just delete the current
> :public_key a rdf:Property;
>      vs:term_status "unstable";
>      rdfs:comment """
>      relates the private key to the public key component, in a public/private
>      key pair.    """;
>      rdfs:domain :PrivateKey;
>      rdfs:range :PublicKey .
> Which I don't think is used at all, and which I just put there initially as
> I was trying to understand the working of the ontology.
> Perhaps someone has a better name for a way of relating a public key to its private key?
> I could imagine that to be useful for RDF key stores.
> Henry


I like it!



Kingsley Idehen	
President&  CEO
OpenLink Software
Web: http://www.openlinksw.com
Weblog: http://www.openlinksw.com/blog/~kidehen
Twitter/Identi.ca: kidehen

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