Re: Last Call: <draft-farrell-decade-ni-07.txt> (Naming Things with Hashes) to Proposed Standard

Stephen Farrell <> Mon, 02 July 2012 11:26 UTC

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Date: Mon, 02 Jul 2012 12:26:42 +0100
From: Stephen Farrell <>
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To: "\"Martin J. Dürst\"" <>
Subject: Re: Last Call: <draft-farrell-decade-ni-07.txt> (Naming Things with Hashes) to Proposed Standard
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Hi Martin,

On 07/02/2012 12:07 PM, "Martin J. Dürst" wrote:
> Hello Stephen,
> On 2012/06/26 20:26, Stephen Farrell wrote:
>> Hi again Martin,
>> On 06/26/2012 12:11 PM, "Martin J. Dürst" wrote:
>>> So the question is really, what's the use case, and what's just a
>>> consequence of that use case. If confirmation of already available
>>> resources (e.g. like a fingerprint) is the (main?) use case, and the
>>> greater weight on "speakability" just a design consequence, then it
>>> makes sense to have two separate things.
>> Yes, confirmation is the main current use-case for nih as I understand
>> it and have said previously.
> I sincerely wish you had said this so clearly much, much earlier, or
> even better that it had been in the draft in cristal clear language. We
> could have avoided a lot of useless discussion.

I agree this has been harder than it ought have been for some
reason. I guess that just happens sometimes.

>> (Of course the resource might not yet
>> be present, so "already available" isn't quite right, but that's a
>> nit.)
>> Have we beaten this to death sufficiently now? I hope so;-)
>> If you want to suggest a sentence that says that, feel free.
> I really don't think it should be my job to explain this. There are
> enough coauthors on the draft who should be in a much better position
> than myself to write such text :-(.

Well, you seemed motivated:-)

> Anyway, here is a try:
> - In the abstract, replace "and binary and human "speakable" formats for
> these names" by ", a binary form, and a form for confirming the presence
> (or absence) of resources".
> - In the introduction, replace "and a
>    human-speakable text form that could be used, e.g. for reading out
>    (parts of) the name over a voice connection." with
>    "and a form optimized for confirming the presence (or absence) of
>    resources by humans.".
> - Change the title of Section 7 from "Human-speakable Format" to "Format
> for Resource Confirmation"
> - Replace the first sentence at the start of Section 7 to say:
> There is often a need for humans to confirm that a particular resource,
> e.g. a public key, is already present, or to discover its absence.
> - Change "("speaking" the value of an ni URI)" to "confirm the presence
> or absence of a resource")
> - Nuke the second paragraph of section 7 (the one that starts with "The
> justification for using a URI"). The stuff it says about IDNs, for
> example, isn't really appropriate for IETF standardization.
> - In the example section, change "Human-speakable form of a name" to
> "Form for resource confirmation" (three occurrences).

I could live with more-or-less all of that. Will check if coauthors
can similarly. I think "human-speakable" still needs to be mentioned
though, since that's why its designed as it is, but I like those
changes generally.

> I'd also change the "nih:" scheme to something like "fingerprint:", and
> allow the insertion of delimiter characters (allowing e.g.
> nih:3;5326-9057-e12f-e2b7-4ba0-7c89-2560a2;f instead of
> nih:3;53269057e12fe2b74ba07c892560a2;f because the former should be much
> easier to manipulate by humans), 

Would rather not change the uri scheme name at this point, unless
a load of people prefer it, but the idea of optional "-" delimiters
seems useful all right.

> but I guess I'd again be shot down for
> "proposing something like this at such a late date" (I note we are still
> in IETF Last Call).

Just:-) But improvements don't stop at the end of IETF LC and your
suggestions above are, I think, improvements.

Any other opinions before I go make changes along these lines?


> Regards,   Martin.