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Subject: Minutes: XDI TC Telecon Friday 2012-09-28

Following are the minutes of the unofficial telecon of the XDI TC at:

Date:  Friday, 28 September 2012 USA
Time:  9:00AM - 10:30AM Pacific Time (16:00-17:30 UTC)


Les Chasen
Markus Sabadello
Drummond Reed
Cameron Hunt 


Michael Andronov




We had a guest presentation by Michael Andronov about the "data-centric application platform" Affinity and potential synergy with XRI/XDI. Thanks to Markus for the introduction.

Michael is a Canadian originally from the Soviet Union. The project started in 2004 with a goal of building a database to store personal information that is currently stored in many different places (laptop, phone, websites, etc.)

This requires a way to deal with many forms of heterogeneous data. They started to build a database engine, and 8 years later it has grown to much more than a database.

The core construct is called a PIN. It has both an internal ID and external ID. The basic form is essentially like an RDF triple. These PIN objects include a reference to the property and a reference to a key. These objects form a graph.

The project has also written a SQL-like query language. They intentionally kept it very similar to SQL so that it would be as intuitive as possible for developers. Each query can be associated with an action. An action is similar to a database trigger, but these are not actually triggers, rather scripts written in the same language as the SQL queries.

In this way the project has produced both a database and a graph language. Every instance of the database is a segment of the graph. Queries can be run across multiple stores based on expressions in the declarative SQL language. The platform also offers the ability to handle dynamic indicies of all the information and traverse those in the same way as the data. Entire applications can be developed in this language - Michael calls them "data-centric applications". These applications can run across the entire platform, so the database can truly be distributed.

The code base for the project is relatively compact -- around 1MB. It can easily run on smartphones and laptops, and also light enough to run on small servers like the Freedom Box.

Michael said that the project is open source -- VMWare has been supporting it. Now the project is looking at how it can begin to communicate via a standard. This is the basis of their interest in XDI.

More information is available at Afffinitydb.org.

Michael answered several questions and agreed to give another more in-depth presentation with visuals on a subsequent call (hopefully in about two weeks).


This week's decision queue is the following set of proposals:



Drummond made sure that everyone had reviewed the final change posted to the Discussion page and the mailing list. This will now be moved to Last Call.



This is the formal proposal for the structure of XDI messages that we have long been using this wiki page to document.

Markus took us through the new structure and sections that he added to the page.

Bill said he'd like to see more JSON examples because that is our definitive format. Markus agreed that we need more examples, particularly of different message options.

Bill would also like to see a query capability. He suggests two variants: a simple Xpath-like language, and then a full graph query language. He plans to develop these into formal proposals.


The decision queue stack is now shown on the following three auto-generated Category pages:


Bill and Markus also added a number of proposals-to-do on:


We agreed that the goal for October is to finish developing and approving the set of proposals governing XDI messaging.

***** MISC *****

--- Bill suggested that we consider doing a set of talks/podcasts about different XDI topics so we can explain aspects of it, such as multiplicity syntax.

***** NEXT CALL *****

The next call is next week at the regular time.

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