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

"Martin J. Dürst" <> Mon, 02 July 2012 11:07 UTC

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Date: Mon, 02 Jul 2012 20:07:08 +0900
From: "\"Martin J. Dürst\"" <>
Organization: Aoyama Gakuin University
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To: Stephen Farrell <>
Subject: Re: Last Call: <draft-farrell-decade-ni-07.txt> (Naming Things with Hashes) to Proposed Standard
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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.

> (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 :-(.

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'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), 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).

Regards,   Martin.