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Subject: Minutes: XDI TC Telecon Friday 2013-11-22

XDI TC Minutes

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

Date:  Friday, 22 November 2013 USA
Time:  09:00AM - 10:30AM Pacific Time (16:00-17:30 UTC)


Animesh Chowdhury
Dan Blum
Markus Sabadello
Joseph Boyle


Drummond Reed (travel)
Les Chasen (travel)


None scheduled.


XDI Symbol Table

Dan Blum has shared a table of XDI symbols with the TC.

We reviewed the table and filled in additional XDI symbols, as well as their semantic meanings. We also created several examples.

While going over the meanings of the = and @ symbols, we discussed the term “authority”.

Dan thinks of an “authority” as a naming context. Animesh explained that it is possible to have one or more identifiers for an “authority”, that any given identifier can only be associated with a single  authority”, and that the “authority” can control its identifiers. Markus added that an “authority” can also have an XDI graph which it controls.

The question came up whether the = symbol can be used to identify dogs or phones. Markus explained that the = symbol is strictly for natural persons. To identify the concept of a dog, +dog would be used. To assign an identifier to a specific dog, a * identifier would be used. Markus added that a registrar for XDI identifiers will typically have legal requirements to allow registration of = and @ identifiers only for purposes consistent with their semantic meanings. Animesh speculated whether it would make sense to also have a registry for * identifiers.

# MARKUS to send the filled in table back to Dan, who will then review it. When it is complete, we can upload it to the XDI TC’s document repository.

While we filled out the table, we used the following resources.

ABNF Updates

We did not have time to further discuss this topic.

Root-relative vs. authority-relative statements, and merging graphs

A discussion has begun about whether certain statements in an XDI graph should be “root-relative”, e.g.:


or “authority-relative”, e.g.:


This may have an impact on the mathematical correctness of the XDI graph model, on link contract functionality, on practical graph merging scenarios, and on uses cases where the authority of one graph makes statements about another authority (e.g. =markus making statements about =drummond).

We had not planned to discuss this in Drummond’s absence, but did end up going over one of the examples: Drummond says he is not a smoker, but Markus says Drummond is a smoker. In this example, Drummond’s graph would contain this:


Then the question is what Markus’ graph would contain:

Option 1: =drummond<+smoker>&/&/true

Option 2: =markus=drummond<+smoker>&/&/true

Markus believes Option 1 is correct.

In the recent e-mail threads Drummond explained that Option 2 is correct.

Animesh felt that Option 2 is right, because otherwise the statement does not fully describe the context in which it is made.

Dan also liked Option 2, because it is Markus making an assertion about Drummond.

Since this is just one example of a much deeper topic, we decided not to explore it further and instead continue the discussion next week with Drummond.

Animesh also brought up the analogy of having two bank accounts. Each bank account would be represented as an XDI graph with his cloud number. What would happen when the bank accounts get merged?

More About the Link Contract Pattern Revision

We did not have time to further discuss this topic.

The “Unauthorized $ref Problem” and “Unbounded $set Problem”

We did not have time to further discuss this topic.


Outer Root Syntax Revision

We did not have time to further discuss this topic.

Attribute Specialization Rule

We did not have time to further discuss this topic.


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




See also this list of proposals that need to be developed:



The next call is next week at the regular time.

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