Re: Request for well-known URI: contribute.json

"Roy T. Fielding" <fielding@gbiv.com> Mon, 10 October 2016 17:42 UTC

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Subject: Re: Request for well-known URI: contribute.json
From: "Roy T. Fielding" <fielding@gbiv.com>
In-Reply-To: <CACTwJeOeTWdE-LQPax+SfDJ-Uo0gXEhqZ22SD6o=K=R92R7eLQ@mail.gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 10 Oct 2016 10:42:32 -0700
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To: Paul McLanahan <pmac@mozilla.com>
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On Oct 6, 2016, at 8:01 PM, Paul McLanahan <pmac@mozilla.com> wrote:
> 
> Hello all,
> 
> Some colleagues and I at Mozilla have developed a JSON schema for indicating that an open-source website or project welcomes contribution in some way. We have been using it for a while now but would like to formally register a .well-known URI for it. Currently the documentation recommends a URI of "/contribute.json", but we'd obviously like to move that to "/.well-known/contribute.json" and support both.
> 
> Thank you for your consideration.
> 
> --
> URI suffix: contribute.json
> 
> Change controller:
>         Mozilla
>         https://www.contributejson.org/
>         https://github.com/mozilla/contribute.json/
> 
> Specification document(s):
>         https://www.contributejson.org/schema
> --
> 
> Paul McLanahan
> Sr. Web Developer
> Mozilla


FWIW, reserving a universal location for this purpose doesn't make any sense.
It is common for a single hostname to provide many different open source projects.
Even an Apache project will often have multiple product-specific pointers to
contributions within the same project-specific hostname.

The well-known URIs are intended for protocols that do not want to access part
of a site's normal resources.  In particular, when the only thing a client knows about
a site is a URI that it does not want to access before knowing something more about
the site or its communication options.

In this case, the client already knows the home page of an open source project.
There is no reason for that client not to GET the homepage. The data in this resource
is commonly found in (or near) the homepage. So, the only thing you are providing
is a structured record in a common format.  You can do that within the homepage
using a standard JSON object, a standard profile of HTML elements, or even an
embedded link with a standard relationship.

When that data is in the homepage, there is no need for a separate request, and
the data itself is less likely to become stale over time.  It also allows a
single host to have more than one distinct open source project.


Cheers,

Roy T. Fielding                     <http://roy.gbiv.com/>