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From "Jeff Hinrichs - DM&T" <dunde...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: Proposal for digital signatures of documents
Date Mon, 13 Apr 2009 17:18:15 GMT
On Mon, Apr 13, 2009 at 3:57 AM, Mark Hammond <skippy.hammond@gmail.com> wrote:
> As usual, 2 seconds after I hit 'Send' I think of something else to say...
>
> On 13/04/2009 5:16 PM, Chris Anderson wrote:
>
>> Something like this then? (also a list of signatures, here)
>>
>>      {
>>        "_id" : "89a7stdg235",
>>        "_rev" : "1-26476513",
>>        "message" : "I said this and I meant it.",
>>        "date" : "2009/04/09 15:54:08",
>>        "author" : {
>>          "name" : "J. Chris Anderson",
>>          "url" : "http://jchrisa.net",
>>          "photo" : "http://jchrisa.net/profile.jpg"
>>        }
>>        "foo" : "not signed but still a normal field",
>>        "signatures" : [{
>>          "signed-fields: [ "message", "date", "author"],
>>          etc as described...
>>        }]
>>     }
>
> I've a slight concern about the name 'signatures' here - its not about
> 'signatures' per-se, it's more about the assumptions *any* regular word
> implies about the 'schema' of the database trying to use this facility.
>
> In other words, how can we be sure the field 'signatures' doesn't conflict
> with a field already in the database?
>
> I'm not quite up on the full context of this discussion, but I see 2
> potential solutions:
>
> * Leave it up to the app to dictate the name of the field (ie, 'signatures'
> is just an example in the above, but the literal field name is up to the
> app)
>
> or
>
> * Invent a new naming convention for a category of fields somewhere in
> between 'reserved' (ie, those with a leading '_') and application-specific
> ones.  IOW, assuming the couch impl will not let us use '_signatures', use
> something along the lines of '.signatures' - something couch will not
> reject, but something which apps can easily avoid.  A leading '.' does have
> a certain appeal - its almost a 'hidden' field...
>
> Cheers,
>
> Mark
>

I see it as either a special field or it is not.  If it is supported
by couchdb proper, I suggest that it really should use the underscore
convention '_signatures' just as _rev, _attachments.

I use the field 'signatures' in production databases already to track
hash values for attachments.  I suspect others do too since there are
common examples that use this convention, see
http://books.couchdb.org/relax/application-deployment for one example.
 (I know this is turning into a bikeshed, sorry).

So to recap, either it is a standard couchdb feature, in which case I
am +1 for _signatures -- otherwise it should be up to the application
to set the name +0.

Regards,

Jeff Hinrichs

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