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Showing posts from November, 2008

One site-meta to rule them all

Eran & Mark's site-meta proposal is... interesting. I have a gut feel that it's a bit like democracy: The worst method for whole-site discovery, except for all the others. The killer app for this, IMHO, is the ability to solve things like "lookup metadata for user x on domain y" in a general way. An immediate practical application is translating things like email addresses and Jabber IDs, all of the form (user@domain), to something you can perform discovery on.

Other than the embarrassment of hacking another hard-coded magic name alongside favicon.ico and robots.txt, I really only have one issue with the proposal: It requires a directory lookup via an XML document. I have nothing against XML, but it seems like overkill for this purpose.

An alternative would be to use a very, very simple text-based format that is NOT very extensible. Fortunately, there's already a proposal for this type of format from Mark, for a Link header:

Link: http://example.org/ch rel…

Discovery Metadata is Just Data

Another comment on Eran's discovery mechanisms list (which is itself great). I'm gradually reaching the conclusion that he's right that content negotiation isn't the best idea, but for the wrong reasons. The question is, are the alternatives any better?

Quoth Eran:
HTTP Content Negotiation - using the 'Accept' request header, the consumer informs the server it is interested in the metadata and not the resource itself, to which the server responds with the metadata document or its location. In XRDS, the consumer sends an HTTP GET (or HEAD) request to the resource URL with an 'Accept' header and content-type 'application/xrds+xml'. This informs the server of the consumer's discovery interest, which in turn may reply with the discovery document itself, redirect to it, or return its location via the 'X-XRDS-Location' (or 'Link') response header.[-] Resource Declaration - does not address as it focuses on the consumer declaring it…

Discovery Mechanisms and Scale

After Eran's sessions at IIW today on discovery, I have some random thoughts which I figure might as well be captured (inflicted?) as blog posts. One comment I have is that "Scale Agnostic" is a little misleading in his matrix:



None of these solutions, by itself, spans the scale from a hosted site owner with Dreamweaver up to yahoo.com, so this column should really be all red. That's okay, because everyone agrees that at least a couple of solutions are needed to span both ends of this scale -- so the overall solution needs at least one solution at each end of the scale. Proposed: Replace "Scale Agnostic" with two columns, "Long Tail Scale" and "BigCo Scale", and make sure that the overall solution includes green in both columns.

It's Internet Identity Workshop time again!

I'll be at IIW2008b, albeit intermittently, Mon-Wed next week. I think this is a make-or-break time for some of the identity technologies like OpenID and OAuth that have gotten early adoption -- can they leap the chasm to mass adoption? At least that's the theme I'm seeing so far.

Thank you, America

As I held my infant son this morning and watching the sunrise together, I realized how proud I am of my country. We're capable of change. We can rise above intolerance, racism, class divisions, propaganda, and fear. I had faith in America, and it was justified last night. Thank you.

Also: The highest turnout since 1908? 136 million voters. 64% of eligible voters. And a majority, not just a plurality, voted for our next President. That's change.

In Which Larry Lessig Scares the Pants off Me

Don't pay attention to polls or pundits; just vote. And get everyone you know to vote. If you're one of the vast majority of citizens (i.e., don't live in a swing state) then either run up the score or register a protest vote. Or call someone you know in a swing state and get them to vote if they haven't already, or follow Lessig's advice.

Also, watch FiveThirtyEight.