Introducing WebFinger

WebFinger is an updated take on the Name/Finger protocol using HTTP, XRD, and host-meta (instead of a direct TCP connection on port 79) to obtain information about user accounts. It works by defining a new account URI scheme and a protocol for resolving it into an extensible descriptor of the account and its owner. [Continue Reading]

Making the Case for a New ‘acct’ URI Scheme

The proposed ‘acct’ URI scheme is designed to identify an account. ‘Account’ is a pretty straight-forward concept. It is some sort of identifier – a string – that is specific to an authority – usually a server or domain. For most people, their account is also their email address, and in recent years, the emphasis on email has surpassed the concept of an account. When I started using the web 20 years ago, I had an account on a server. It just happened that this account has a mailbox associated with it. [Continue Reading]

Implementing WebFinger

Providers looking to support the WebFinger protocol need to create two resources, a host-meta file for the domain they wish to enable WebFinger on, and an endpoint (or endpoints) for the XRD documents describing their accounts. A third (and optional for providers) part of the protocol is going to provide DNS support for obtaining host-meta, which right now is proposed as an SRV record, but since it is still not fully baked will be skipped for now. [Continue Reading]

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