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Discussion Group for Metatada Discovery Coordination

Introduction to the Metadata Discovery Coordination Group

Date: 2008-11
By: Eran Hammer-Lahav (Yahoo!)

Discussions about URI metadata discovery have been going on in many places for the past couple of years. This has been reaching its boiling point with the recent discussions between the W3C TAG, XRI TC, W3C POWDER WG, the OpenID / Yadis, OAuth, Portable Contacts, XRDS-Simple, and OpenSocial communities, and various IETF I-Ds published on related topics.

Web Discovery is likely to consist of two parts, the retrieval and format of a metadata document linked to a resource identified by a URI. There are multiple proposals for the metadata document format, with XRDS and POWDER as two notable examples. Discussions regarding metadata format should and will remain where they are currently being held.

However, there is great recognizable value in a single (simple) mechanism for retrieval of metadata for resources identified with a URI. From the most basic use case of identifying which API is supported by a given endpoint, to a more complex trusted identity resolution, the requirements seems to be significantly overlapping.

For many of these communities, time is running out and most are getting ready to put the final touches and ship specifications that already have running code. We have a rare (but narrow) opportunity to quickly go through the current proposals and at least set the tone for current and future discovery solutions.

I am not ignoring the political complications of trying to reach consensus among so many entities and communities but I truly believe from the many hours of conversations I had the past 2 months that we are mostly all on the same page. All I think we now need is a room, and hence this new list:

This is not a working group, nor does this group have any deliverables or will produce specifications. It is designed as a coordination venue for the various efforts going on to discuss their proposals and progress. It is also for soliciting feedback and confirming assumptions about discovery proposals.

Given the complexities behind IPR policies and the significant differences, this list does not have an IPR policy. This means that discussions held here are not covered, and if produce anything other than normative references to existing standards (which is clearly the intention), will need to be resolved if adopted elsewhere.

Web discovery has been my top priority for the past year and I am excited to finally reach the point where a critical mass is formed to finally address it. Please join the discussion at:

EHL [Eran Hammer-Lahav]


Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive.

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