Talk:Extensible Resource Identifier

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The first bullet point says "URI- and IRI-compatibility — XRIs can be used wherever URIs or IRIs are called for." but this seems demonstrably incorrect - I tried a bunch of the XRIs included in the article in my browser, and none of them worked. So I'm going to remove it if someone doesn't find a way to reword it that isn't obviously incorrect. —Preceding unsigned comment added by TimBray (talkcontribs) 16:12, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

i know nothing about xris, but i tried to reword it Bayle Shanks (talk) 05:31, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

"in history"[edit]

“URIs … are the most successful identifiers in history.”

The identifiers “Rome” and “Athens,” and the whole “given name + family name” system of (human) identifiers have been pretty successful historically too. Maybe this article should say “URIs … are the most successful identifiers in network computing history” or something like that. Actually I think the statement is pretty dubious — who’s to say that URIs are more successful than the domain name system, or IPv4 addresses? —Fleminra 19:55, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

Unref section[edit]

I added an "Unreferencedsection" template to the intro section, which contains a couple of paragraphs of claims about "it is increasingly important to..." presented as facts, without any supporting references. Tim Bray (talk) 15:54, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

(later:) changed it to the weaker Refsectionimprovement, which is more descriptive.

Suggestion: These claims of the importance of the problems XRI is trying to solve are very broad-brush and sweeping, it's going to be difficult (I suspect) to dig up good reference material. Seems to me that it would be better just to say that "The designers of XRI considered these problems to be increasingly important..." with a reference to one of the XRI problem statements, and proceed from there. Can't see anyone challenging that. Tim Bray (talk) 21:43, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

  • Fixed as proposed Tim Bray (talk) 16:11, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

Watch neutrality[edit]

I didn't see anything too blatant, but the overall tone seems to be more pro-XRI than neutral. Ojcit 00:34, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

I agree completely, how about a counter-point from the W3C's perspective on XRIs?

copied text from OASIS[edit]

The following text appears on the oasis xri website.[1] Is there some public domain disclaimer that I don't know about?

== Why not just use HTTP URLs? ==

This is one of the most frequently asked questions about XRIs (after all, HTTP URLs are the most successful identifiers of all time.)

First, the current working draft of the XRI Resolution specification includes a defined HTTP URL format in which any XRI can be expressed. So in essence, XRIs can be treated entirely as HTTP URIs for the purpose of backwards compatibility with HTTP infrastructure.

From a broader perspective, however, the reason HTTP URI syntax itself was not used is that it does not fulfill several of the most important requirements for abstract, cross-context identifiers. Specifically:

  • HTTP URIs are bound to a specific transport protocol. A fully abstract identifier scheme needs to be independent of any specific transport or access protocol.
  • HTTP URIs do not support sharing structured, “tagged” identifiers across contexts. A fully abstract identifier scheme will enable “identifier markup” just like XML enables data markup.
  • HTTP URIs do not define a clear way to get at metadata (as opposed to data) about a resource. A fully abstract identifier scheme can cleanly distinguish access to resource metadata vs. a resource itself.
  • HTTP URIs offer only a very limited authority delegation model. Abstract identifiers need to be able to express logical authorities and authority delegation relationships.
  • HTTP URIs do not offer a trusted resolution mechanism. A fully abstract identifier scheme can define a trusted resolution protocol independent of DNS.
  • HTTP URIs do not offer a standard syntax for persistence. A fully abstract identifier scheme can clearly distinguish between persistent and reassignable identifiers.


I changed the licensing section as it is pretty misleading. I am an OASIS voting rep, the fact is that XRI is a proprietary technology and the kabuki dance fools nobody. The directors of this organization are not independent and even if they were the licensing terms currently on offer would not meet anyone's definition of an open standard. They do not meet the generally understood requirements for RAND, let alone free! The statement about offering RAND terms before the work is made final is also a red herring since nobody seriously expects the group to ever finish, if they did the OASIS membership would get the opportunity to vote the documents down. -- 17:50, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

Response to Above[edit]

If someone is going to identity themselves as an OASIS voting rep and then make the claims that they do in the statements above without revealing their identity so that the membership of the XRI Technical Committee, the directors of, or OASIS staff may contact them and discuss their issues, I think that speaks to their credibility.

I am the co-chair of the XRI TC along with Gabe Wachob, formerly of Visa International and now with AmSoft Systems. I volunteer as the secretary of The chairman of, Bill Washburn, is also the Executive Director of the OpenID Foundation. I am a named inventor on the patents. Anyone at Wikipedia can contact me via my email address listed on the home page of the XRI TC, or via my public contact page.

The above statements are simply false, as are statements currently in the licensing section of the page we are discussing (I am about to correct them after I finish writing this). has an exclusive license to the underlying patents. contributed this license to OASIS as fully documented on the XRI TC IPR page. The XRI TC, chartered in January 2003, has always from its charter been in royalty-free IPR mode -- even before OASIS had such a mode officially. Once OASIS adopted its current IPR policies, the XRI TC adopted the royalty-free IPR mode (the leaders of the TC actually pushed hard for the royalty-free IPR mode to be even broader and more open-source friendly than it started).

Most concerning are: a) the reference to "the statement about offering RAND terms before the work is made final" (the XRI TC has never, ever operated under anything but royalty-free terms), and b) the reference to "nobody expects the group to ever finish" (the XRI TC has published 5 specifications and has just spent over 18 months on XRI Resolution 2.0, significant portions of which are now used by OpenID 2.0.)

Whenever IPR is involved, it is easy to use scare tactics. What's hard is to take IPR and dedicate it to supporting real open standards and services that use those standards. The directors of and the members of the OASIS XDI TC have been doing that work for over four years now, and we urge any Wikipedia editor to review the facts and contact us if you have any questions whatsoever.

--DrummondReed 18:25, 30 October 2007 (UTC) Drummond Reed's public contact page

You should not be editing a page when you have a fiancial interest in it[edit]

Drummond, before you edit your own page again: it is your personal behavior under discussion here so why do you think that you can make an NPOV edit?

No sorry, your 'IPR grant' does not say what you imply it does. It is a statement that it is your intent to release the IPR. It is not actually a release. And the consistent failure to provide the promised release is the reason my company voted against making XRI an OASIS standard. The current IPR terms allows you and your backers to maintain control of the registry portion of XRI which is where the money is to be made anyway (if there is money to be made at all).

And you edited out the rather pertinent fact that the non-profit gave your company back an exclusive license to the technology. You really should not be touching this. -- (talk) 16:34, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

Response from Drummond Reed, Co-Chair of the XRI Technical Committee at OASIS[edit]

For the second time, the Licensing section of this page has been changed anonymously while making false accusations. For the second time, I am answering it publicly. See my previous entry above for my full contact details.

1) This is not "my" Wikipedia page. This page is about XRI, and is maintained by many people engaged in XRI and XDI technology. As a professional writer -- and one that has very public connections to XRI technology, intellectual property, and businesses -- I strive very hard to make sure any of my own contributions to this page are as neutral and objective as possible.

That does not make you neutral. -- (talk) 23:44, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

2) I have never hidden any aspect of my affiliation with, my co-chairmanship of the XRI Techical Committee at OASIS, or the fact my name is on the patents that were licensed from OneName (now Cordance) to and subsequently contributed to OASIS at the formation of the XRI TC. I have always been public about my contributions to this Wikipedia article. I maintain a public blog, EqualsDrummond, that contains extensive information about my involvement in the i-name/i-number registry business.

So what? still does not make you neutral.

3) Neither I, Cordance, NeuStar, or have never hidden anything about the patent history, licensing, or the Global Registry Services contract that Cordance negotiated with in 2003. To the contrary, all information related to that has always been publicly published at

Irrelevant to point in contention here. The fact is that has the exclusive license. There is NO open license grant or covenant allowing third parties to use the XRI technology in any way they please, only uses that are approved by are permitted. is clearly capable of suppressing any initiative that might compete with the commercial interests of your company. Absent a completely open grant or covenant from the correct description of the technology is 'encumbered', not open. -- (talk) 23:44, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

4) is not and never has been under the control of Cordance, NeuStar, or any other company. You can substantiate that with directly with the members of the board of trustees -- Bill Washburn of OpenID Foundation, Geoffrey Strongin of AMD, Nat Sakimura of NRI, Owen Davis of Identity Commons, and Jaco Aizenman of Costa Rica.

Again, irrelevant. The fact that you have vested control in a non-profit under control of your appointees does not make it an open system. -- (talk) 23:44, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

5) Lastly, directly contrary of the allegation above, the patent license Cordance gave to in 2003 was exclusive to, not to Cordance. Cordance received a non-exclusive "license back" on the same technology, which is standard in these types of licenses in order to make it clear that Cordance, by virtue of making this contribution, does not now have any less rights than anyone else now using the technology, and in fact is subject to exactly the same terms as everyone else. The exact wording is:

Again, an irrelevant argument over a statement that was not in fact made. The issue is that XRI technology is encumbered by patents exclusively held by an organization whose control is to say the least opaque. -- (talk) 23:44, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

XDI.ORG grants to CORDANCE a fully paid-up, royalty-free, worldwide, non-exclusive license to and under the Patent Rights within the Field of Use to make, have made, use, import, sell, offer to sell, and otherwise distribute or dispose of CORDANCE products and services, subject to the same sublicensing terms and conditions set forth for third parties in section 7, below.

For all the above reasons, I am reverting the changes made to the Licensing section of the page, and adding a reference to my own blog which explicitly states my involvement with both the XRI TC and with Cordance and its work in the i-name/i-number registry business.

Also: question to Wikipedia editors -- given that this has happened twice now, can this page require the editor to be registered with Wikipedia?

--DrummondReed (talk) 18:40, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

Nope, thats not the wikipedia way. The wikipedia way is for you to stop editing pages you have a financial interest in. -- (talk) 23:44, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
Minor correction / clarification: it is possible to require editors to be registered (see Wikipedia:Rough_guide_to_semi-protection). However I don't think the page is anywhere near needing that. The anonymous editor appears (prima facie) to have legitimate concerns. shellac (talk) 15:02, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

The point of the NPOV policy is that you are not by any stretch of the imagination a neutral party here. On the contrary you have a very significant financial interest in this issue. You are not able to write an unbiased statement of the licensing conditions and you have consistently misrepresented the objections that have been made to the XRI license.

XRI is by your own admission encumbered by a patent that is exclusively vested in You have not challenged the fact that the license arrangement you have constructed does not allow for open competition in the provision of registry services, those are exclusively reserved to licensees of This is not compatible with open source licensing requirements by any stretch of the imagination, it is a closed system, you have maintained control over the revenue generating portion of the system. Handing it over to a 'non-profit' controlled by your friends does nothing to change this, nor in fact would a genuine hand over of control.

You may consider those conditions fair and reasonable, but they are considerably less open than those that pertain to regular http URLs and this is one of the reasons that some have rejected the XRI technology and will continue to reject it. -- (talk) 23:29, 2 June 2008 (UTC)


This article provides a pretty unbalanced account of XRIs. At some point I'm tempted to add views such as David Orchard's and, and (on the business side) from Dan Brickley. Bit nervous of blog posts, but these aren't unreasonable.

If anyone else wants to do, please do. I'm not a good writer. shellac (talk) 14:50, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

There also needs to be some mention of the W3C TAG recommending against using XRIs, and the aftermath. Hopefully I'll find time to do this. — Hex (❝?!❞) 09:00, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
Huh, you're right. That seems to have been lost when some vandalism was reverted (that section wasn't reinstated ( I'll add it back in. shellac (talk) 16:53, 13 February 2009 (UTC)


Create structured identifiers with self-describing "tags" that can be understood across domains the same way XML documents provide a self-describing, domain-independent data format.

XML is by no means self-describing (this is a common mistake), so I will remove that part of the sentence. Since the self-descriptiveness of XRI tags is compared to that of XML, I suspect that those tags are as well not self-descriptive.

Furthermore, please explain "understood across domains". Adrianwn (talk) 16:49, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

removing POV tag with no active discussion per Template:POV[edit]

I've removed an old neutrality tag from this page that appears to have no active discussion per the instructions at Template:POV:

This template is not meant to be a permanent resident on any article. Remove this template whenever:
  1. There is consensus on the talkpage or the NPOV Noticeboard that the issue has been resolved
  2. It is not clear what the neutrality issue is, and no satisfactory explanation has been given
  3. In the absence of any discussion, or if the discussion has become dormant.

Since there's no evidence of ongoing discussion, I'm removing the tag for now. If discussion is continuing and I've failed to see it, however, please feel free to restore the template and continue to address the issues. Thanks to everybody working on this one! -- Khazar2 (talk) 12:29, 14 June 2013 (UTC)

It rejoiced in two POV tags. I have removed the other one. William Avery (talk) 20:31, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

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