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Re: Applying W3C AC feedback to Verifiable Claims (Re: Voluntary (and non-) Standards)

From: Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>
Date: Sun, 11 Dec 2016 16:25:15 -0500
To: Tantek Çelik <tantek@cs.stanford.edu>
Cc: w3c-ac-forum <w3c-ac-forum@w3.org>, Chris Wilson <cwilso@google.com>, "Michael Champion (MS OPEN TECH)" <Michael.Champion@microsoft.com>, Mark Nottingham <mnot@mnot.net>, Jeff Hodges <Jeff.Hodges@paypal.com>
Message-ID: <584DC43B.5000000@digitalbazaar.com>
On 12/10/2016 04:39 PM, Tantek Çelik wrote:
> To be clear, none of this should be read as "don't do a verifiable 
> claims WG"

Thanks Tantek, I was under the impression that you were suggesting that
we not go forward with a Verifiable Claims WG. I'm glad to see that is
not the case. I'll respond to your specific comments in another thread.

The primary concern right now is that there seems to be push-back on the
creation of the Verifiable Claims WG based on a shifting definition of
"Anticipatory/Aspirational Standard" that is not included in the W3C
Recommendation Track Readiness Criteria[1]. It seems that those that
continue to not be convinced, and are their organizations AC
Representatives, may vote to reject the Charter. If this happens, it
will be for reasons outside of the Rec Track Readiness Criteria which
will be imposing a set of new criteria on the Verifiable Claims work.

In the last email[2], it was demonstrated that the Verifiable Claims
work does meet the current Rec Track Readiness Criteria[1]. Some would
argue that it exceeds the criteria in a variety of ways.

Arguments from Mike, Chris, and Mark seem to indicate that it has not
met the criteria in some way and the common thread seems to be that it
is aspirational in nature even though there is evidence to the contrary:

* Active community development for 4+ years[3][4]
* Community of 92+ participants with an average weekly telecon
  participation from 15-25 participants[5]
* Data demonstrating Charter support from 48+ organizations[6]
* A consensus-based set of use cases[7]
* A consensus-based specification with community buy-in[8]
* Multiple implementations of specification with
  active deployments[9][10][11][12][13][14]
* Expert interviews with concerned/critical experts[15]
* Data documenting commitments from key ecosystem implementers[16]

It is also clear from the responses that those pushing back on the
creation of a Verifiable Claims WG don't share a common definition of
"Anticipatory/Aspirational Standard" but are still using that as a
reason to argue against placing the work on the Rec Track.

I'm personally very much in favor of each of you working together with
the W3C Advisory Board to do the following:

1. Research and document past W3C successes and failures.
2. Derive additional W3C Rec Track Readiness Criteria from that
   research and include it in the current document[1].
3. Seek consensus among the W3C Membership for the new readiness
   criteria.

Until this is done, your colleagues, even though we agree with some of
what each of you are saying to some degree, will find it difficult to
clearly understand the criteria each of you have in your head. We will
continue to find it frustrating when you assert that Verifiable Claims
has not met a particular bar you feel should be met but is not
documented (or supported via research). If the items above exist, please
link to them.

This is the reason why the Verifiable Claims communities have worked
very hard to address all of the concrete feedback that the group has
received over the last 4+ years but have not been able to surmount this
latest "Anticipatory/Aspirational Standard" hurdle to the satisfaction
of those that have invoked its name. It is unresearched, undocumented,
anecdotal at times, and thus vague and not actionable.

My hope is that those that were pushing back were not aware of the
extensive work (part of which is linked to above) that has been done on
Verifiable Claims to ensure that it meets W3C Rec Track Readiness
Criteria. So, let's see if that was the issue.

Chris, Mike, Mark, Jeff, did you find the evidence above compelling
enough to remove your personal objection to the Verifiable Claims WG
charter?

-- manu

[1]https://www.w3.org/Guide/standards-track/
[2]https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Member/w3c-ac-forum/2016OctDec/0139.html
[3]https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-credentials/
[4]https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-webpayments/2013Sep/
[5]http://w3c.github.io/vctf/meetings/
[6]http://w3c.github.io/webpayments-ig/VCTF/support/
[7]https://opencreds.github.io/vc-use-cases/
[8]https://opencreds.github.io/vc-data-model/
[9]https://openbadgespec.org/
[10]https://github.com/digitalbazaar/bedrock-issuer
[11]https://demo.checkpoint.veres.io/
[12]https://github.com/WebOfTrustInfo/rebooting-the-web-of-trust-fall2016/blob/master/draft-documents/DIDSpecificationWorkingDraft04.pdf
[13]https://github.com/WebOfTrustInfo/portable-reputation-toolkit
[14]http://www.credreg.net/
[15]http://w3c.github.io/webpayments-ig/VCTF/charter/VCTF-final-report.html#kix.hb21ok384y8r
[16]http://w3c.github.io/webpayments-ig/VCTF/implementers/

-- 
Manu Sporny (skype: msporny, twitter: manusporny, G+: +Manu Sporny)
Founder/CEO - Digital Bazaar, Inc.
blog: Rebalancing How the Web is Built
http://manu.sporny.org/2016/rebalancing/
Received on Sunday, 11 December 2016 21:25:49 UTC

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