HTTP Discovery

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HTTP Discovery Taking Resource URI and finding metadata


  • Should be able to get the metadata without accessing the resource.
    • You don't know what it is yet, so you shouldn't be interact with it yet.
  • The the resource can point at its metadata.
  • Must be accessible to different levels of developers.
    • Can't *just* require headers. Must also support an HTML solution.
  • Must work with web architecture.
  • Must be friendly to little and big players.
    • The same solution for your blog should work for a large company.

Background for the following table is at Eran Hammer-Lahav's blog post.

Resource Declaration Direct Metadata Access Web Compliant Scale Agnostic Extendable
1. HTTP Response Header (Link, X-XRDS-Location) + +
2. HTTP Response Header over HEAD + + +
3. HTTP Header Negotiation + +/-
4. HTML <Link> Element (<Meta>) + + +
5. HTTP Content Negotiation (Accept) +
6. HTTP OPTIONS Method + + +
7. WebDAV PROPFIND Method (MGET, ARK) +/- +/- +/-
8. Custom HTTP Method + +
9. Static Resource Mapping (Prefix, Suffix) + +/- +/-
10.Dynamic Resource Mapping (Templates, /site-meta) +/- + + +/- +/-

A combination of 1, 4 and 10 seem promising.

For dynamic mapping:

a. DNS

b. Known Location (like /robots.txt)

b is the /site-meta proposal.

This session was also written up on Drummond Reed's blog post XRD Begins.