White Pages Meeting Report (RFC1588)
Original Publication Date: 1994-Feb-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2019-Feb-13
Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)
J. Postel: AUTHOR [+1]
This report describes the results of a meeting held at the November IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) in Houston, TX, on November 2, 1993, to discuss the future of and approaches to a white pages directory services for the Internet. This memo provides information for the Internet community. This memo does not specify an Internet standard of any kind.
Network Working Group J. Postel Request for Comments: 1588 C. Anderson Category: Informational ISI February 1994
WHITE PAGES MEETING REPORT
STATUS OF THIS MEMO
This memo provides information for the Internet community. This memo does not specify an Internet standard of any kind. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.
This report describes the results of a meeting held at the November IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) in Houston, TX, on November 2, 1993, to discuss the future of and approaches to a white pages directory services for the Internet.
As proposed to the National Science Foundation (NSF), USC/Information Sciences Institute (ISI) conducted the meeting to discuss the viability of the X.500 directory as a practical approach to providing white pages service for the Internet in the near future and to identify and discuss any alternatives.
An electronic mail mailing list was organized and discussions were held via email for two weeks prior to the meeting.
1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
This report is organized around four questions:
1) What functions should a white pages directory perform?
There are two functions the white pages service must provide: searching and retrieving.
Searching is the ability to find people given some fuzzy information about them. Such as "Find the Postel in southern California". Searches may often return a list of matches.
While the idea of indexing has been around for some time, such as the IN-ADDR tree in the Domain Name System (DNS), a new acknowledgment of its importance has emerged from these
Postel & Anderson [Page 1]
RFC 1588 White Pages Report February 1994
discussions. Users want fast searching across the distributed database on attributes different from the database structure. Pre-computed indices satisfy this desire, though only for specified searches.
Retrieval is obtaining additional information associated with a person, such as an address, telephone number, email mailbox, or security certificate.
Security certificates (a type of information associated with an individual) are essential for the use of end-to-end authentication, integrity, and privacy in Internet applications. The development of secure applications in the Internet is dependent on a directory system for retrieving the security certificate associated with an individual. For example, the privacy enhanced electronic mail (PEM) system has been developed and is ready to go into service, and is now hindered by the lack of an easily used directory of security certificates. An open question is whether or not such a directory needs to be internally secure.
2) What approaches will provide us with a white pages directory?
It is evident that there are and will be several technologies in use. In order to provide a white pages directory service that accommodates multiple technologies, we should promote interoperation and work toward a specification of the simplest common communication form that is powerful enough to provide the necessary fun...