W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-credentials@w3.org > March 2016

Re: Alternative terminology for "consumer"

From: Steven Rowat <steven_rowat@sunshine.net>
Date: Wed, 30 Mar 2016 12:41:33 -0700
To: Credentials CG <public-credentials@w3.org>
Message-ID: <56FC2BED.4060701@sunshine.net>
On 3/30/16 6:09 AM, Kerri Lemoie wrote:
> I agree with Jim. I also think that an actor label helps to make a
> technology relatable and consume (consumer) is an apt enough term that
> if defined & supported well works if it’s described as “uses
> credential” . It implies that the data is being used however the user
> (consumer) intends to use it and does not add any implications on how
> the data should be used.

Perhaps a point where some of us are talking past others in this 
discussion that might clear some things up (at least for me) is:

Will the term 'consumer' be buried in the code, so that only 
developers see it, or will it be offered up front to the average 
'holder' of a credential/claim (who, I re-emphasize, has been trained 
to respond to themselves being 'the consumer' in our society).

If 'consumer' is buried in the code and only seen by developers, I 
agree that it doesn't make much difference.

But, if the 'consumer' of a credential is going to be part of the 
surface-level UI, then I still think almost anything else would be better.

A current example: the first time I read Kerri's statement above, I 
subconsciously misread the phrase "however the user (consumer) intends 
to use it" in exactly this way. I thought It meant the 'holder', not 
the body that is requiring it later. I had to read it again to get the 
entrenched 'consumer' definition out of my mind.

As a developer, who is using the term over and over, I could re-map 
this relatively easily. But with a credential 'holder', who might only 
occasionally -- or only once or twice, even -- encounter this usage, I 
think the confusion would be common.

Steven Rowat

> Kerri
>> On Mar 30, 2016, at 8:36 AM, Jim Goodell <jgoodell2@yahoo.com
>> <mailto:jgoodell2@yahoo.com>> wrote:
>> It is difficult (sometimes impossible) to find a label that works
>> for everyone and every use, in this case for an actor with multiple
>> roles (needs credential, earns credential, receives credential, uses
>> credential for x, y, and z). Better to find a label for the actor
>> that works "well enough" (with no strong objections); then clearly
>> define, in the context of verifiable claims, all that label means
>> about a person's role in the ecosystem. A two or three sentence
>> definition can remove ambiguity of a single word label.
>> -Jim
>> On Wednesday, March 30, 2016, 1:25 AM, Stone, Matt
>> <matt.stone@pearson.com <mailto:matt.stone@pearson.com>> wrote:
>>     Since our fundamental topic is a "verifiable claim", maybe
>>     "verifier" fits.
>>     I'm afraid we're overthinking the nuance and subtext to the
>>     point that no one  will get it when we eventually roll it out.
>>     I respect that language has power but also know than few others
>>     will think as deeply as we do on the topic.  If it's overworked,
>>     we'll spend the next 5yrs saying things like "Think about it
>>     like this..."
>>     -stone
>>     On Tuesday, March 29, 2016, Steven Rowat
>>     <steven_rowat@sunshine.net <javascript:return>> wrote:
>>         On 3/29/16 9:42 PM, Dave Longley wrote:
>>             So, I believe we need a term that indicates that someone
>>             is in need of
>>             something (ie: a credential) in order to proceed with
>>             some action.
>>         demander
>>         requirer
>>         needer
>>         necessitator
>>         requisitioner
>>         caller
>>         S.
>>     --
>>     =====
>>     Matt Stone
>>     501-291-1599 <tel:501-291-1599>
Received on Wednesday, 30 March 2016 19:41:58 UTC

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