[OpenID] human-memorable namespaces (was RE: Identityconceptsexplained by cartoon ducks)

Drummond Reed drummond.reed at cordance.net
Sat Jan 6 22:01:53 UTC 2007


>> >On 6-Jan-07, at 12:16 AM, Drummond Reed wrote:
>> >
>> > Jens,
>> >
>> > I had a good talk with Eve Maler from Sun about this the
>> > other day about your point about human-memorable namespaces.
>> > Part of the reason that AOL users are stuck with names like
>> > "fredsmith226" is how constrained DNS syntax is.
>>
>> Dick Hardt wrote:
>>
>> URLs can provide essentially the same thing can they not?
>
>Dave Kearns wrote:
>
>The AOL problem has nothing to do with DNS syntax, but with the reserved
>characters within the AOL namespace. And, as Dick noted, for human
>readability "john.alford.smith.domain.tld" is no different from
>"xri.org/=john.alford.smith" is it? Or domain.tld/john.alford.smith or
>domain.tld/john/alford/smith or even john.alford.smith at domain.tld. ...

The principle is the same -- you've reduced it to a set of semantic units.
But with DNS or URI syntax, look at the number of semantic units you have
and the number of ways to put them together:

	john.alford.smith.domain.tld
	domain.tld/john/alford/smith
	domain.tld/john.alford.smith
	john.alford.smith at domain.tld

Each of these involves five semantic units, two of which (domain and tld)
don't have anything directly to do with the subject.

By contrast a global personal i-name with equal expressive power has just
three semantic units, all of which are directly associated with the subject.

	=john.alford.smith

That said, all of the above work as OpenID identifiers, which is why OpenID
is such a powerful framework. I don't mean to pick on URLs -- after all,
they are the most successful identifier in history. I was just trying to
address the original point that global namespaces are not large enough to
provide semantically meaningful identifiers. I believe DNS, URI, and XRI all
disprove that notion, with increasing levels of expressive power.

=Drummond 




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