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Subject: RE: [xri] Thoughts on IP addresses for identifier authorities

Gabe, I missed this message when I was gone on vacation this summer but
reread it this weekend and think it is an important point to clarify in
the text of the spec itself.
Here's what I think you are asking: "In the case of the URI authority
section of an XRI being an IP address, and thus their being no inherent
resolution or local access protocol (such as DNS or HTTP) for the
authority, what should the XRI specification say the default resolution
or local access protocol is?"
And what I think you are proposing is, "THTTP, as defined in the XRI
resolution spec."
1) Am I correct?
2) Does this change based on your new simplified resolution protocol?
-----Original Message-----
From: Wachob, Gabe [mailto:gwachob@visa.com]
Sent: Monday, July 21, 2003 4:22 PM
To: 'xri@lists.oasis-open.org'
Subject: [xri] Thoughts on IP addresses for identifier authorities
Hi all (esp. editors)-
    I want to spell out what the meaning of an IP address is in the
context of a authority, because I'm not sure its entirely obvious to
every one. 
    I assume that the IP address specifies a local access endpoint. An
IP address will always constitute the entire authority identifier (ie
you aren't going to add more parts of the authority identifier after the
IP address -- this would be confusing and breaks the BNF). Thus, there's
no reason not to interpret the IP address as the endpoint for local
    OK, so the question becomes then what sort of protocol to use with
this endpoint. Normally, one of the byproducts of resolution (even with
DNS-specified authorities) is not only the IP address (or URI) of a
local access service, but the protocol performed at that local access
endpoint. With IP addresses (which I see, frankly, as a degenerate case,
btw), we don't have that extra info.
    My proposal is to simply say that if you use an IP address for an
authority (which means you are really not using any authority at all),
you basically require the user to do local access with the "default"
local access protocol. I suggest that default protocol be "thttp" (as
defined in the spec), but I'm open to other ideas. Even just saying
"must use xri's thttp" isn't quite enough - there's more to narrow down
the absolute "default" local access protocol, but thats not a major
    Input welcome. I'd even consider a negotiation protocol. That is, a
resolver, given only an IP address, would negotiate with that IP address
somehow to discover whats available at that endpoint. Thats against the
grain of resolution which provides the type of protocol as part of
resolution... The model I've taken is that negotiation is relatively
inefficient and we don't want to assume that overhead all the time (and
it could be a little complicated to specify). 

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