[Standards-JIG] JEP 154: Suggestions for additional fields and LDAP mappings

Pete Birkinshaw pete at binary-ape.org
Mon Aug 1 21:36:30 UTC 2005

Peter Saint-Andre wrote:

> The examples I've seen of LDAP "nickname" are things like "Babs" for
>  "Barbara" or "Chuck" for "Charles", rather than the even more 
> informal nicknames we use in IM (e.g., "stpeter"). To me, the LDAP 
> "nickname" is more like a familiar name than what we understand as a 
> nickname, so I'd rather add a "familiar_name" field to JEP-0154 to 
> cover that.

That seems reasonable.

>> photo_data     --> jpegPhoto ?
> Perhaps. It's odd that they limit the format to JPEG.

I'm surprised that the format's as modern as JPEG, as the 'audio'
attribute uses an old 8bit Sun audio format. JPEG isn't the best choice
for the small portraits likely to be stored using LDAP.

>> JEP154's address fields are rather atomic, and creating a postal 
>> address from them could be difficult (or at least inefficient). 
>> There might be advantages to also having a text-multi 
>> 'postal_address' field too.
> Equivalent to the LDAP postAddress attribute, I take it.


>> The Internet 2 organisation is encouraging use of a new LDAP schema
>>  called eduPerson.
> Is this defined in a specification?

Yes, details here:


There's a simpler list of various LDAP attributes (including eduPerson)


and a detailed, browsable list of common attributes here:


> The fields defined in the spec so far were simply the ones I thought 
> of, so further suggestions are helpful. Presumably folks working on 
> dating applications could think of many more. ;-)

I'd rather leave it to them :-)

>> alias (nickname used on Internet)
> Isn't that what we're calling nickname?

I was thinking more like "stpeter", "binaryape", "cowboyneal",
"chunkylover53" etc. 'Nicks' rather than nicknames, the sort of thing
people use in MUC rooms.

Speaking of which, how about a 'fav_muc' field for listing favourite
Jabber Multi User Chat rooms?

>> ldap_dn (dn of personal LDAP record)
> Can this be constructed from other fields?
Not always. Each part of a DN is made up of the unique, significant
attribute of the objects at each part of the tree leading to the record.
A DN is more like a filesystem path or a URL. Someone could belong to
one "ou" but have their record under a completely different "ou".

>> peer    (team-mate)
> I don't see an LDAP definition for this. That doesn't mean we can't 
> add it, just checking. Would it perhaps be more useful to list the 
> teams of which a person is a member, rather than the team members? (I
>  might be on multiple teams, task forces, etc.)

I've used the LDAP attribute "seeAlso" to represent people who can be
contacted if the person is unavailable. Alternative contacts, I suppose.
"Team-mate" wasn't a good way to explain it, as I didn't intend for it
to be used to list all immediate colleages, just a few specific ones.

You're right though, a team (org unit?) field would provide a more
concise way to do this.

>> expertise (subject in which the person is an (local) authority) 
>> responsibility (procedure or system the person is responsible for)
> For now I've added expertise but not responsibility.

Now I think about it, I suspect people aren't going to ethusiasticly
list responsibilities if they edit their profile. It would be like
adding a 'give_me_more_to_do' field.

>> fav_brews (tea or coffee preferences)
> Gosh, there really exist organizations in which someone cares what my
>  favorite tea or coffee is? :-)

Probably not. But in the UK people in offices often make tea/coffee in
rounds - people will take it in turns to make tea for a group. And then
start noticing that some people make a round of tea less often than they
could... I was once asked to write a Jabber bot that would choose who
was due to make the next round, not that I got around to it of course.
I've *never* made a round of tea at work either.

Anyway, it looks like there is actually an official LDAP attribute for
this, called 'drink' and 'favouriteDrink', in RFC1274 :-)

>> pc_name (name of personal computer)
> Added as "workstation_address". Is this equivalent to LDAP "device"?

That's a better name. I think 'device' is an objectclass used for
network host information, but not something that is included in a
person's record as an attribute.



Pete Birkinshaw       |
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