Category Archives: Internet Technology Archive

Applications Architecture: it’s not just a spaghetti diagram of protocols

Those of you who track the announcements of IETF Internet-Draft publications may have noticed a “draft-daigle-” document pop out in the flurry last-minute pre-IETF92 documents.  (ICYMI, the document is:  draft-daigle-AppIdArch-00.txt).

Related to the work I’ve been doing in bolstering the content of “The Attic” of applications identifier technology history, I started to think about a general framework to describe applications identifiers.  So many times we’ve been through the same design discussions — it would be nice to capture the state of the art in tradeoffs and design considerations and simply move forward.

Future versions of this or other documents are intended to delve more deeply into questions of design choices, as well as the broader question of applications architectures (which are uniquely tied to identifiers, content, and resolution).

That’s the theory behind the draft.  It is an “-00” version, with all the draftiness that implies.  My hope is that it will stimulate some discussion and feedback.  I’d love to hear your thoughts — comment here, send me an e-mail, or catch me in Dallas at IETF92.

Toys in “The Attic”: C15N

Time to introduce a new feature on the ThinkingCat site:  The Attic.

It is with chagrin that I acknowledge that I am an old enough <fill in appropriate but not-too-abusive-please ephithet> that many hot new technology standards discussions are ringing in resonance with the long, hard exercises I recall from years past.   In particular, many of the discussions around “information centric networking”, “named data networking”, and new ways to handle intellectual property rights intended for digital media are working through similar problem spaces.  When is a resource “the same” enough to be the same?  Et cetera.

From my perspective, there was a vibrant community discussion of those issues in the heyday of standardization of Uniform Resource Identifiers at the IETF in the 1990’s and early 2000’s.   There was a small core of that community that really wanted to push URIs to be more than just “web addresses”, and saw an application infrastructure standards roadmap.  That roadmap never got implemented — at some point we acknowledged that the implementing community was not as keen, and there’s no fun in defining standards that never get used.

I would like to believe that the ICN and other groups have the implementors with them, and enough interest in the outcome to solve some of these issues that are being revisited.  It would also be useful if we could somehow short-circuit the learning curve, and not tread through all the same sequences.

Perhaps that is a vain hope, but it is the spirit with which I offer “The Attic” — a place where I intend to post up various remnants of those discussions, as culled from my spotty archives (driven by my even spottier recollection).

Today’s  inaugural contribution is on “Contextualized (URI) Resolution — C15N” (C15N because there are 15 letters between “c” and “n” in “contextualization”… get it?  Hey, I didn’t say the humour aged well).  That work never got beyond the BoF stage at the IETF, but the same questions arise when we look at any kind of advanced information resolution.

This is an experiment.  If nothing else, I’ll have a somewhat organized version of my own archive when I’m done 😉    But, if you find this useful, let me know — I’ll be more motivated to add to it.  If you have suggestions — of content or format, I’d also be happy to know.  Feel free to leave a comment here, or email me (I’m “ldaigle” at this site’s domain name).

P.S.:  Apologies to Twitter followers for the double-tweet of the last posting.   I had set up an app to auto-tweet my blog posts here, because automation is So!Cool! and then decided I’d really rather handcraft my tweets — authenticity is important to me.  Apparently, I failed to stomp adequately on the auto-tweeter app.  More stomping has been applied — let’s see if this works better.   My Twitter account is, after all, my1regret …