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Subject: RE: [emergency-rim] Questions & Observations #1: Don's IF SC UseCases

Agree with your in-band / out-of-band assessment; however I think we are getting to bogged down in some implementation details...

1. Proponents of the URN feel that it is required to adequately extract authority context from its structure to do secure routing.
2. Proponents of the URI feel that:
	a. URIs/URNs/URLs are just structured strings.  Although URNs imply a unique name; newer principles of REST state that URLs (or more generally URIs) also can act unique names for resources - including a name of a list
	b. Although URNs can be registered at an authoritative source (IANA or your own infrastructure), at some point someone needs to go and verify that unique 	name from the authoritative source.  This can be done in-band, out-of-band, or periodically; but it still has to be done and has a host of security issues, not completely dis-similar from verifying a certificate chain in a registered uri/url
	c. If you want to add a dynamic component to your lists; URNs require that you have a custom URN resolution software to resolve the URN to a location to pull the list from; If you do an out of band push, you still need to resolve /authorize the entity pushing the update.  Again, not completely dis-similar from pulling list data from a url location and authenticating the server through CAS
3. The valuelist concept is about flexibility.  Everytime we want to allow implementers to use their own terminology we plug this thing in.  That's to provide flexibility.
4. The DE is about distributing data.
5. Since the purpose of the URN/URI is to identify the referenced list and the authority context associated with it in a "secure" system, if you only want to work with URN's drop the message when you the first characters != 'urn'...You need to parse the string anyway...if there are no 'urn' identified list in the DE...then your system shouldn't be getting it anyway...

I think pushing this back to the subcommittee is a bad idea.  To date, we've been discussing this over and over, yet there exists no architecture diagram coupled with a use case to refute this point.  If this was so important in the DE 1.0, why was it typed as <string>?  I don't think we should have to hold back the DE 2.0 to further "discuss" this.  Given the perceived "importance" of this structure I would think that there could be a clear use case and architecture to support the claims of the URN camp available now.  I think that we are continuing down the path we have already been down and that we'll end up in the same spot that we are at right now next quarter if we don't change our approach to this.

Office: 315-838-2669
Cell: 315-383-1197

-----Original Message-----
From: Rex Brooks [mailto:rexb@starbourne.com] 
Sent: Wednesday, March 31, 2010 10:32 AM
To: emergency-if@lists.oasis-open.org; emergency-rim@lists.oasis-open.org
Subject: [emergency-rim] Questions & Observations #1: Don's IF SC Use Cases

Hi Everyone,

Don McGarry produced a pdf of a set of Visio files as Use Cases and uploaded them 2 March 2010.


I happened to be out of pocket at the NCOIC March Plenary at the time and didn't notice this until it was pointed out to me yesterday in a call with Dave Ellis. If I had been here I would certainly have asked a number of questions and made a few observations about these diagrammatic illustrations. However, I found myself at a loss when asked how I could support something I had never seen, to which I said I couldn't and it was at this point that Dave pointed me to this file.

So this sets up an interesting set of disconnects for me wrt how I want to respond to this as it relates to the ValueListURx discussions in both the Infrastructure Framework and the Reference Information Model SCs. I assume we all know what ASSUME stands for? All puns intended.

Now, it looks to me like we have had dueling assumptions, and both sets of assumptions appear to have been asserted and defended without giving the opposing set of assumptions the benefit of the doubt, and both have been argued out of context, in my opinion.

For now, in this particular message, I'm going to stick with just asking my questions about this set of Use Cases. I will be composing and sending out a couple or a few more messages where I hope to focus on different specific aspects of this discussion.

I will give them separate Subject Lines so, hopefully, we can harvest any further discussions more easily. I've tried this before and it usually breaks down because people ignore Subject Lines which would otherwise serve to collect related discussions in an easily referenced way and react only to specific comments within a message. I don't expect this to be any different, but I keep trying in the hope that one fine day, it will "take."

Question #1: What list is it that the user wants to update?

This makes an incredible difference since, (in my opinion) IF it relates to the user's social structure; e.g. a change in the permissions
(policy) assigned to a given role (job description and title) for a position in Mitre or OASIS or Foo or Bar or The Dept of Redundancy Dept; THEN (In my opinion and in any repeatable Service Oriented pattern I work on) it definitely should not be submitted to the List Server or the Https Server or the Router through any external network In-Band.

My opinion (with the understanding that this Infrastructure is only now beginning to be implemented):

It should be submitted through the social structure's duly authorized method to a Third Party Registry (possibly a public-private shared
resource) or Broker Service where it can be separately validated, authorized and authenticated before being propagated to the network routers where it would be updated system-wide just like DNS. I could argue that no significant change should be submitted In-Band, but I think that for the next few years we can probably allow simple changes in the kind of ValueLists which are aimed solely to document a given jurisdiction's facilities, terminologies and equipment names to simply be published separately and shared among the partners with whom the jurisdiction has mutual aid or other service level agreements. I would envision those lists being shared by municipalities and counties in shared DBs once we educate them to the value of such datasharing.

I recognize that this seems like a more heavyweight process than may seem needed, but I think that there is more than sufficient need for verifiable security, financial liability assurance, audit trails and confidence, as well as scalability. Once it is done a few times, we can learn how to streamline the process, and once in place, maintenance should be much easier than most people think. However, it does require practice and making that maintenance a regular SOP. We need to set up
24/7 365 testbeds anyway, so this should help take the sting out of the learning curve, especially if we can use students to do the initial documentation.


Rex Brooks
President, CEO
Starbourne Communications Design
GeoAddress: 1361-A Addison
Berkeley, CA 94702
Tel: 510-898-0670

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