Increasingly, there is a demand for distributed directory services that enable the identification of any type of resource, both those directly on the network and those abstract from it, and the sharing of data across domains, enterprises, and applications.
Meeting this need requires an extensible, location-, application-, and transport-independent identification scheme that provides addressability not just of resources, but also of their attributes and versions. The scheme should support both persistent and reassignable identifiers that can be optimized for either human usage or machine efficiency. It should ideally impose no limits on the underlying directory, data, or delegation models and thus be interoperable across the greatest possible number of systems and domains.
The purpose of this committee is to define a URI-compatible identifier scheme and resolution protocol that meets these requirements. The XRI scheme will be a superset of the URI scheme defined by RFC 2396 and RFC 2396bis. For resources that need to be persistently identified and linked, the XRI scheme will also incorporate syntax meeting the functional requirements for URNs (Uniform Resource Names) as described in RFC 1737. Lastly, the XRI scheme will be fully internationalized following the recommendations of the W3C work on IRIs (Internationalized Resource Identifiers).
This TC's work may be influenced by the general architecture described in XNS and specifically by the XNS Addressing Specification. The XNS specifications published by the XNS Public Trust Organization (XNSORG) have been contributed to the TC for consideration in the committee's work. XNS is licensed under royalty-free (RF) terms as described in http://www.xns.org/pages/XNS_License.pdf.
In no event shall this Technical Committee finalize or approve any technical specification if it believes that the use, distribution, or implementation of such specification would necessarily require the unauthorized infringement of any third party rights known to the Technical Committee, and such third party has not agreed to provide necessary license rights on perpetual, royalty-free, non-discriminatory terms.
The scope of the XRI TC is limited to the definition of the XRI identifier scheme, one or more resolution protocols (in particular, a generic resolution protocol with secure resolution extensions), XRI metadata (special XRI identifiers used for describing other XRI identifiers), and documents supporting implementation and interoperability of XRIs.
A separate OASIS TC (XRI Data Interchange - XDI) is expected to define an XML schema and an associated Web service for exchanging data and metadata identified by XRIs.
List of Deliverables
The XRI TC published the XRI Requirements and Glossary v1.0 in June 2003 and the XRI Syntax and Resolution Specification v1.0 in December 2003. To complete the XRI specifications for submission as an OASIS standard, the additional deliverables from the TC include:
XRI Primer v1.0 - a non-normative introduction to XRIs and their uses - January 2004.
XRI Metadata Specification v1.0 - a registry of special XRI identifiers used to describe other XRI identifiers - February 2004.
XRI Secure Resolution Specification v1.0 - extensions to the base XRI resolution protocol for digitally verifying resolution results - March 2004.
XRI Syntax and Resolution Specification v1.1 - a revision incorporating implementation experience and feedback - June 2004.
Since the work of this TC is at the level of Web identifiers and resolution protocols, the audience is very broad. XRIs and XRI resolution is intended to used by developers and implementers of Web, Web Services, and Semantic Web technologies both within and across enterprise boundaries. It is particularly relevant to architects of trusted computing, XML namespaces, ontology designers, and other elements of Web services infrastructure.
The language in which the TC will conduct business is English.