[standards-jig] JEP-0060 PubSub: 5.1.1 Create new node

Bob Wyman bob at wyman.us
Fri Feb 14 20:37:51 UTC 2003

Peter Millard wrote:
> Description is pretty obvious, but what are 
> "PICS rating" and "P3P Information" used for???

PICS = "Platform for Internet Content Selection
"The PICS specification enables labels (metadata) to be associated with
Internet content. It was originally designed to help parents and
teachers control what children access on the Internet, but it also
facilitates other uses for labels, including code signing and privacy."
	In the realm of PubSub, PICS, or something like it, would allow
one to flag a particular node as one which either did or did not serve
as a conduit for publications that might be considered offensive to
some. (i.e. pictures of naked folk...)

P3P - "Platform for Privacy Preferences" (http://www.w3c.org/P3P/)
"At its most basic level, P3P is a standardized set of multiple-choice
questions, covering all the major aspects of a Web site's privacy
policies. Taken together, they present a clear snapshot of how a site
handles personal information about its users. P3P-enabled Web sites make
this information available in a standard, machine-readable format."
	i.e. P3P would make statements about how the owners of the nodes
will or will not protect the privacy of those who subscribe to or
publish to the node. For instance, if I have a node that publishes info
concerning hip-hop music, I might sell a list of my subscribers to
hip-hop music companies so that they could spam those users with instant
messages, mails, etc. P3P, or something like it, would allow me -- as a
node owner, to make statements to potential subscribers about whether or
not I will sell to others the information that they are subscribed to my

	But, PICS, P3P, and a description are only a few examples of a
potentially large number of bits of "metadata" concerning the node that
I might want to publish. For more information on the kinds of things
that I might want to provide as user-readable metadata, you might want
to consider looking at the ICE (Information and Content Exchange)
Protocol which is used for content syndication in XML. See:
	An example of an ICE thing that might fit well with PubSub:
	In ICE, "A delivery-rule defines a window of time during which
deliveries can be performed." In JEP-0060 parlance, this would be like
the owner of the node specifying particular time periods during which
"publishing" was permitted or desired. You might say: "I only want
people to publish between 6am and 9am on Mondays and Thursdays..." Users
might rely on these statements to know that they should have their user
agents turned on and receiving data during the periods when folk will be
	I think the key here is to ensure that JEP-0060 provides a
mechanism to associate metadata with nodes. Rather than trying to define
up front what all the different bits of metadata might be, it would
probably make sense to simply provide for the passing of arbitrary bits
of metadata (perhaps in RDF format?) when defining a node. In most
cases, the PubSub server itself would be able to simply ignore this
metadata, it simply needs to be able to present it to users, publishers,
etc. on demand.

		bob wyman

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