Whois++ and X.500

D.W.Chadwick@iti.salford.ac.uk Wed, 27 September 1995 16:16 UTC

Received: from ietf.nri.reston.va.us by IETF.CNRI.Reston.VA.US id aa12104; 27 Sep 95 12:16 EDT
Received: from CNRI.Reston.VA.US by IETF.CNRI.Reston.VA.US id aa12100; 27 Sep 95 12:16 EDT
Received: from haig.cs.ucl.ac.uk by CNRI.Reston.VA.US id aa14267; 27 Sep 95 12:16 EDT
Received: from bells.cs.ucl.ac.uk by haig.cs.ucl.ac.uk with local SMTP id <g.05018-0@haig.cs.ucl.ac.uk>; Wed, 27 Sep 1995 14:02:57 +0100
Via: uk.ac.salford.europa; Wed, 27 Sep 1995 14:02:37 +0100
Received: from mailgate-0.salford.ac.uk by europa.salford.ac.uk with SMTP (PP); Wed, 27 Sep 1995 14:05:09 +0100
Sender: ietf-archive-request@IETF.CNRI.Reston.VA.US
From: D.W.Chadwick@iti.salford.ac.uk
Date: 26 Sep 95 10:27
To: osi-ds@cs.ucl.ac.uk
Subject: Whois++ and X.500
X-Mailer: University of Salford cc:Mail/SMTP gateway 1.75
Encoding: 29 TEXT
Message-ID: <9509271216.aa14267@CNRI.Reston.VA.US>

Having just returned from a very interesting presentation about Whois++ at the
recent Nameflow-Paradise meeting, it seems that the designers have one very
good feature for searching for information, that X.500 does not have, and that
is the ability to index on any attribute value or type, rather than simply
on the distinguished RDN value, and to pass these indices up to the centroids
(this was mentioned by Chris in his last message)

What has not been mentioned are the problems with Whois++ such as: the lack of
security features, the lack of registration for attribute types (e.g. name in
English, nom in French and nam in Swedish all represent the same attribute
type) - there are probably many more that I am not aware of yet because of my
lack of in depth knowledge of the topic.

So, how about turning the problem on its head. Instead of writing off X.500
because of its limitations, and looking to Whois++ as the panacea (which
incidentally has taken a lot of ideas from X.500 in its design, these
similarities with X.500 became very clear at the presentation), we take the
good ideas from Whois++ and build them into X.500.

Paul Barker started the ball rolling by suggesting Index DSAs, and Roland
Hedberg is wanting to use Centoids to index into X.500 (am I correct Roland),
then I think that this should perhaps lead to the best of both worlds - Whois++
type of indexing into an X.500 database of entries. This is the where my
thoughts are leading to at the moment, so if anyone else already has done some
work in this area, I would be pleased to know about it.


p.s. PAP, we were told that SOLO is nearly dead now, is this the case?