W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-credentials@w3.org > March 2017

Re: [TIME CRITICAL] Provide input on Verifiable Claims Charter revision 2

From: Steven Rowat <steven_rowat@sunshine.net>
Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2017 09:56:15 -0700
To: public-credentials@w3.org
Message-ID: <860480a3-3922-9885-1db3-5606a9eefbe7@sunshine.net>
On 2017-03-29 8:01 AM, Manu Sporny wrote:
>  I know a
> non-trivial number of W3C member companies that wish these sorts of
> debates were public. There are big corporations that don't want the
> debates to be public, however.
 > [snip]
> The problem with individual engagement is that it doesn't scale... if we
> get 1,000 formal objections from individuals, and there is a company
> that is capable of deploying the technology to millions, whose opinion
> should be weighed more heavily?

Manu, I thought your post as a whole was well-balanced -- and I know 
you see many different factors at play that I don't -- but still, as a 
non-W3C member, after reading the sections above, these thoughts come 
up in me:

Isn't this a technology that could potentially be deployed to 
billions, not millions? Isn't that really why this work is being done? 
(Entity verification, payment between entities of any size, in any 

But, isn't it also true that those who want to write it for their 
existing customer base of millions might not have the best interests 
at heart for those who wish to write it for the billions; which goal 
might be seen as a competition to their position?

And if it's a process these corporations partially control, and parts 
of it are secret, then we're forced to trust the 'powers that be', 
much like trusting a secret court or government cabinet with secret 

In other words, logically, it might not be developed the same way, 
between those two different goals, as it would have been if everyone 
was engaged; an open debate about all levels of the goals, including 
about who decides them.

Of course, as you've pointed out in the past, time spent on all 
aspects of this will be great, and those with larger pools of money 
(the corporations) will be best placed to pay for that development time.

So it's ironic then that what this group, and the original payments 
group, were attempting to develop was a system where money flows 
differently, between entities of all sizes, in all amounts, for all 
sorts of goals.

And maybe that's not possible until the decision-making flows that way 

In other words, maybe the solution at both levels will be distributed 
ledgers. :-)


and there is good debate happening
> on the W3C member-only mailing list.
> In any case, the situation is far more complicated and nuanced than
> "debate must only be important for members". The bar is quite low for
> public organizations to engage in the debate... yet, many are not doing
> so for a variety of good (and not so good) reasons.
> -- manu
Received on Wednesday, 29 March 2017 16:56:44 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Wednesday, 11 July 2018 21:19:35 UTC