ISSUE-6: using ASN.1 formats for WebID description

bblfish

using ASN.1 formats for WebID description

State:
POSTPONED
Product:
WebID-conceptual-spec
Raised by:
Henry Story
Opened on:
2011-01-28
Description:
There may be some reason to allow ASN.1 based representation
at the WebID Profile Document, in addition to the RDFa, RDF/XML, and other
representations in section 2.3 of the current spec

http://www.w3.org/2005/Incubator/webid/ED-spec-20110121/

Some things that would be required:

1. To have a format that allows multiple keys in the file
(so a user can have multiple certs, one for each browser)
2. A format that is widely used by many tools. PEM is.
3. A way to add metadata from that file to richer versions of
the file. A seeAlso to other documents such as the RDFa
(that's html marked up with RDF) representation of the profile document
[ ie: a <link rel="alternate" in Atom lingo ] or another access controlled file
where more information is available [ a seeAlso link of some type]
This could be put in the document or in the header of the returned document
though putting it in the header would be a lot better given that one would
want things to be as transparent as possible. (setting headers can be difficult)
4. the semantics of such a file format. There is no GRDDL for
ASN.1 yet, and so this would require some work

So instead of an RDFa Profile Page an HTTP GET on the WebID could return
something like the following file, which contains two certificates in PEM format
with the same WebID:

[ for info on PEM see
http://serverfault.com/questions/9708/what-is-a-pem-file-and-how-does-it-differ-from-other-openssl-generated-key-file-f
http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc1421 ]


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-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----
MIIDkjCCAvugAwIBAgIQTNDvJII8IoLQAqZOZUIrOTANBgkqhkiG9w0BAQUFADBj
MREwDwYDVQQKDAhGT0FGK1NTTDEmMCQGA1UECwwdVGhlIENvbW11bml0eSBvZiBT
ZWxmIFNpZ25lcnMxJjAkBgNVBAMMHU5vdCBhIENlcnRpZmljYXRpb24gQXV0aG9y
aXR5MB4XDTExMDEyMzE3MzU0NFoXDTEyMDEyMzE5MzU0NFowgZYxETAPBgNVBAoM
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czE7MDkGCgmSJomT8ixkAQEMK2h0dHA6Ly9sb2NhbGhvc3Q6ODA4MC91c2VyL2Fk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I21lMA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBBQUAA4GBAKjbuZdkFChvIXTBuUWcKoGa7FZlv9Ki6QVj
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nwaVUKPIWjlviP+D+K0/e7ubLh5mQwLtmn6L+h/dMYPDL25RFx0tOmvhe7Lgfvr9
myw6bTre
-----END CERTIFICATE-----
-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----
MIIDjjCCAvegAwIBAgIQcHZnHdBU1rYrA2KUrJHnATANBgkqhkiG9w0BAQUFADBj
MREwDwYDVQQKDAhGT0FGK1NTTDEmMCQGA1UECwwdVGhlIENvbW11bml0eSBvZiBT
ZWxmIFNpZ25lcnMxJjAkBgNVBAMMHU5vdCBhIENlcnRpZmljYXRpb24gQXV0aG9y
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bWluL3Byb2ZpbGUjbWUxGDAWBgNVBAMMD0FkbWluIEBjbGVyZXp6YTCCASIwDQYJ
KoZIhvcNAQEBBQADggEPADCCAQoCggEBAL9Co45yE8pfs1jA4S7k+2vo33VEb02F
fqC0WCZEp+tRNQpF8jep3pT3hTqiN9nnJTDVrV9TYJifhLuVy9oj8YyZK7s3al07
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oHN7JAd3Pe0N+engqO6KaRry2DcfUObPmGZ2GOCmnlkbFwH2Wm7aT+sCAwEAAaOB
jjCBizAMBgNVHRMBAf8EAjAAMA4GA1UdDwEB/wQEAwIC7DARBglghkgBhvhCAQEE
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DQYJKoZIhvcNAQEFBQADgYEALp0V2VDiK6375s9xv11oSIvfLzk4x+ajYv9ElIFi
KAzWaEEjMnW0B8FdfpjRtqcV7NT8/5I6nGkJxGDxsHFcqG1xWtsK1uQRmImnIUZv
gpYBqUmc2FMpqXzPbHXrK8XuL71DBXmfmxGciVfWvOvui4QrthYp4GY9JmdNMUIo
hzg=
-----END CERTIFICATE-----
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This could perhaps help developers, especially those with a lot of experience
with security standards, tools like openssl, and others get to be familiar
with the basic principle of WebID, without them needing to learn any
semantic web tools. The people who understand these formats may
be very influential in getting things started, since it is to them that most
business people will go when they need answer to a security question.

Mom and pops users would of course never go close such files, and no
company with a support department would ever want them to. Users
want their WebID to land them on a page with pictures and human
readable text, with forms they can edit. They want to be able to
change their picture with a point and click form.

But that is not a problem. A security expert, call him Peter, can go
and start by placing a PEM file at the WebID. If he is careful with
making WebIDs that can work with future content management
then any client that requests the WebID with

Accept: application/x-pem-file

will receive the PEM file, even if later Peter decides he can have
more fun with HTML5 marked up with RDFa. He need not
even abandon his PEM files when he makes the switch.
Clients that would rather have HTML will send out GET requests
with something like the following header

Accept: text/html;q=0.8, application/x-pem-file;q=0.3

and if Peter's server has only pem the pem will be returned, but if it
has html the html will be returned. (This is known as content negotiation)

There are many reasons to have more flexible formats that ASN.1 formats:
- they are human readable
- keys can be compared much more easily
- new relations can be added easily (ASN.1 requires one to ask for new OIDs
at some central committee, somewhere)
- formats like html suppor FORMS

The flexibility of RDF or XML based formats can be very useful. They could allow
browsers to fetch the graph from the WebID found in any of the X.509 certs that
were created by the user, in order to improve the cert selector by filling it up with
information from the graph: say the picture or logo of the user, his name, sex, ...
I can also imagine the browser showing the user which cert he is using on each
site and giving him a link to his PersonalProfile (WebID). Clicking this
he could edit all his information.

This is quite feasible in the current protocol. It's just a question if people want
to work on the language of the text, implement it, test it, and support it.


Henry
Related Actions Items:
No related actions
Related emails:
  1. Re: Formal WebID Teleconf Friday February 22 2013 15:00UTC (from henry.story@bblfish.net on 2013-02-26)
  2. Re: Formal WebID Teleconf Friday February 22 2013 15:00UTC (from henry.story@bblfish.net on 2013-02-22)
  3. Re: Formal WebID Teleconf Friday February 18 2013 15:00UTC (from andrei.sambra@gmail.com on 2013-02-18)
  4. Formal WebID Teleconf Friday February 22 2013 15:00UTC (from henry.story@bblfish.net on 2013-02-18)
  5. Re: Formal WebID Teleconf Friday February 18 2013 15:00UTC (from sergio.fernandez@salzburgresearch.at on 2013-02-18)
  6. Re: Formal WebID Teleconf Friday February 18 2013 15:00UTC (from henry.story@bblfish.net on 2013-02-18)
  7. Re: Formal WebID Teleconf Friday February 18 2013 15:00UTC (from andrei.sambra@gmail.com on 2013-02-18)
  8. Formal WebID Teleconf Friday February 18 2013 15:00UTC (from henry.story@bblfish.net on 2013-02-18)
  9. Re: comments to references (from henry.story@bblfish.net on 2011-10-28)
  10. Re: slow down and organize (from henry.story@bblfish.net on 2011-02-26)
  11. RE: slow down and organize (from home_pw@msn.com on 2011-02-26)
  12. RE: slow down and organize (from home_pw@msn.com on 2011-02-26)
  13. Re: slow down and organize (from cosimo@opera.com on 2011-02-26)
  14. Re: slow down and organize (from henry.story@bblfish.net on 2011-02-26)
  15. Re: slow down and organize (from henry.story@bblfish.net on 2011-02-26)
  16. RE: slow down and organize (from home_pw@msn.com on 2011-02-24)
  17. Re: slow down and organize (from henry.story@bblfish.net on 2011-02-24)
  18. Re: WebID-ISSUE-39: Simplify how public keys are expressed (from henry.story@bblfish.net on 2011-02-17)
  19. Re: WebID-ISSUE-39: Simplify how public keys are expressed (from home_pw@msn.com on 2011-02-16)
  20. Re: WebID-ISSUE-39: Simplify how public keys are expressed (from henry.story@bblfish.net on 2011-02-16)
  21. Re: WebID-ISSUE-20: Portable and Hosted Certificates [WebID Spec] (from henry.story@bblfish.net on 2011-02-01)
  22. Re: WebID-ISSUE-20: Portable and Hosted Certificates [WebID Spec] (from nathan@webr3.org on 2011-02-01)
  23. Re: Documenting implicit assumptions? (from scorlosquet@gmail.com on 2011-01-31)
  24. Documenting implicit assumptions? (from benjamin.heitmann@deri.org on 2011-01-31)
  25. Re: Using ASN.1 formats at Personal Profile Doc -- was: virtual hosting in modern browsers (from home_pw@msn.com on 2011-01-28)
  26. RE: WebID-ISSUE-6 (bblfish): using ASN.1 formats for WebID description [WebID Spec] (from home_pw@msn.com on 2011-01-28)
  27. Using ASN.1 formats at Personal Profile Doc -- was: virtual hosting in modern browsers (from henry.story@bblfish.net on 2011-01-28)
  28. WebID-ISSUE-6 (bblfish): using ASN.1 formats for WebID description [WebID Spec] (from sysbot+tracker@w3.org on 2011-01-28)

Related notes:

bblfish, w/ issue-6, what if the FOAF was in RDFa in their homepage?
danbri
logger, pointer?
logger
See http://chatlogs.planetrdf.com/swig/2011-01-28#T15-45-40

Dan Brickley, 28 Jan 2011, 15:48:21

See Also: ISSUE-20 which details "Client Certificate URLs" in TLS

Nathan Rixham, 1 Feb 2011, 11:30:56

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Henry Story <Henry.Story@bblfish.net>, Chair, Dominique Hazaël-Massieux <dom@w3.org>, Staff Contact
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