Discovery

Specifications

  • Web linking – links with typed relations
  • /.well-known/ – a standard prefix and registry for well-known location documents.
  • host-meta – a method for associating descriptors with resources using links.
  • XRD – an extensible XML format for describing resources.

Guides

DiscoveryPart I – Magic

Discovery, simply put, is the process in which machines learn about how to interact with other machines. When discussing discovery, most people immediately think of a world in which servers find new unknown services and they all just connect and work – like magic. This might be where we are trying to go but it is not what the discussion around discovery is about. Discovery does not answer the request ‘teach me how to talk to you’ but instead ‘which of the languages I know do you understand?’.

Part II – People vs. Machines

Deciding which tools to use for answering the questions listed in the introduction to this guide should be made based on who is asking them, not what is the easiest way to deliver the answer. Since discovery isn’t applicable when the questions are asked by people alone (it is a machine process after all), we are left with two possibilities: machines-only or people-and-machines. It is easy to identify when the questions are asked by machines-only, but much more difficult when the questions are asked by people and machines alike.

Part III – Addressable Identity

For most people the idea of a URI identifier sounds confusing but if you think about your favorite web provider (usually one of the big players: Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, and Google) where you get email, use an instant messenger, share photos, and participate in other activities, they all offer you some form of a profile page. That page already has some useful information about you and can be enhanced to become your online business card for both people and services.