[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 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.


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.


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