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Subject: XDI TC Notes Unofficial Telecon Monday 2016-07-18

XDI TC Notes

Following are the notes of the unofficial telecon of the XDI TC held on:

Date: Monday, 18 July 2016 USA
Time: 10:00AM - 11:30AM Pacific Time (17:00-18:30 UTC)

The TC operates under a standing rule approved 17 July 2008 under which the TC does not hold regular official meetings and conducts all business by electronic ballot only. Unofficial weekly meetings are held to enable discussion among members but no business is conducted nor actions taken.


Drummond Reed
Les Chasen
Joseph Boyle
Markus Sabadello


Android XDI Agent Demo

Markus demo’d the latest version of his “XDI Ninja!” Android app that shows decentralized data sharing and chat based on XDI messages and link contracts. The app also illustrates the use of the XDI WebSocket binding as well as cryptographic XDI identifiers for app instances.

The demo involves two physical Android devices representing the two individuals =alice and =bob. The following functionality is available:

Drummond asked about the spec differences between the two physical devices. Markus replied that they are different brands, different screen sizes, and that they run different versions of Android, but that he encountered no differences as far as running the app was concerned (minus a few small UI bugs).

Drummond asked about the binding that was used for cloud-to-cloud communication. Markus said this was HTTP POST, but could also be WebSocket.

Markus said that in building the demo app, he was able to re-use much prior work that had been done on the XDI TC, including connection requests, invitations, bindings, etc. There is also overlap with previous XDI product ideas such as a Connect button for webpages.

The demo is heavily based on these walkthroughs:



The two devices side by side, as seen on Markus’ screen during the demo:

Following are some screenshots of the demo that show 1. A list of link contracts in =alice’s personal cloud, 2. =alice requesting a connection with =bob, 3. =alice editing her own profile, 4. =alice viewing =bob’s profile and receiving a real-time update, 5. real-time chat between =alice and =bob, 6. real-time notifications of data updates and chat messages.

DIDs (Decentralized Identifiers), DID Objects, and Their Relevance to XDI

As part of a Small Business Innovation Research grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on blockchain identity, TC members Drummond Reed and Les Chasen are doing R&D on DIDs—decentralized identifiers.

The core concept is to standardize a new type of “root identifier record” that can be stored, accessed, and cryptographically verified using blockchain technology.

Since these types of root identifier records can be very useful in XDI infrastructure, Drummond and Les would like to review the key design and architecture ideas behind DIDs and DID objects with the TC.

Drummond shared the following high-level requirements:

1.1. Goals:

  1. DID: Define the structure of an identifier that can serve as a universally unique system-independent discoverable key for a value

  2. DID object: Define the structure of a value for a DID that can meet four requirements:

    1. Provide cryptographic proof of:

      1. Ownership of the DID

      2. Permission to update the DID object

    2. Provide pointers to:

      1. Other sources of claims

      2. Other peer DIDs

The combination of a DID and its associated DID object is called a DID record. From the standpoint of claims-based identity, a DID record is “the genesis claim” for an identity.


Markus asked if the draft spec will be specific to any particular blockchain. Drummond clarified that it is intended to be generic, and thus implementable on any suitable blockchain technology. The question of the best blockchain architecture for implementing DID records—and how they can work across multiple blockchains—is being addressed in a second document that Respect Network is preparing for DHS.

Drummond observed that, while DID records are not formally XDI data structures, they should be able to be used to identify and discover XDI identities, XDI root nodes, and XDI endpoint addresses. In particular, the XDI TC has an interest in making sure that a DID record can include a pointer to an XDI endpoint, so that a client can discover from a DID record how to interact with an entity via its XDI endpoint.

Drummond explained that he and Les are in the process of drafting the draft spec, and that they would like TC member’s feedback as the draft is ready for input.

Markus asked if the initial spec draft would support HFI (human-friendly identifiers). Drummond said that was still be determined, and that it would be a good topic to discuss on a subsequent TC call.


The next call will be the following week at the usual time (Monday 10AM PT). The link to where agenda items can be posted for the next meeting is: https://docs.google.com/document/d/19oDl0lbb56Grehx2a5flZnhrgnua5l8cVvC_dJ8fTXk/edit?usp=sharing

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