One step towards the solution of this problem is to define one and only one common indexing protocol which all directory services can use when passing indexing information. When a user queries one server it should be possible for that user to get a referral to another server and even another service, if the two servers have exchanged index information.
For this to work, one common protocol must be developed. The idea is to expand on the Centroid ideas used by Whois++, to allow it to be used for other services than Whois++. At the very least, a localized service should be able to be polled by an indexing server using the Common Indexing Protocol (CIP). To be specific, three specifications are to be presented:
o An interface spec, where one says how you present a query and what the referrals you get back look like
o A server interface spec, where one says that the CIP will be able to include information presented in this format
o An engine spec, which specifies that this is how one support the functionality using Centroids a la Whois++.
The task for this working group is to create the Common Indexing Protocol so it is (1) usable for other distributed directory services such as X.500, (2) allows the use of non-distributed directory services such as CCSO in the distributed directory service, and (3) addresses needs such as replication to make the protocol itself more stable.
Just because the Common Indexing Protocol is already in use by Whois++, but not published, the first task of this group is to publish version 1 of the Common Indexing Protocol as is. After that, the protocol must be extended according to the specification below. This will result in version 2 of the protocol.
Other topics to be addressed potentially include:
o Incremental updates of indices
o Support for the UTF-FSS encoding of UNICODE
o Guidelines for building an effective mesh of indexing servers
o Administrative protocols and procedures such as server registration
o Security between directory services
The working group will work in very close cooperation with the working groups ASID and IDS in the IETF.
The working group will use the following Internet-Drafts as input:
o Architecture of the Whois++ Index Service, Chris Weider
Goals and Milestones
No Request for Comments