W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-identity@w3.org > October 2011

Re: future of Identity on the Web

From: Melvin Carvalho <melvincarvalho@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 26 Oct 2011 22:19:00 +0200
Message-ID: <CAKaEYhKAc3eiEezk0E-5P+tv7OQt9jvrs_idc+b+=dKyZph+FQ@mail.gmail.com>
To: Harry Halpin <hhalpin@w3.org>
Cc: Hannes Tschofenig <hannes.tschofenig@gmx.net>, Ben Adida <ben@adida.net>, Henry Story <henry.story@bblfish.net>, Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>, public-identity@w3.org, Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>
On 26 October 2011 21:42, Harry Halpin <hhalpin@w3.org> wrote:
>> Hi Ben,
>> I hope you see that at least the title of the group is completely
>> confusing for most people.
> Could you suggest alternative titles?
> "Web Identity" was the name suggested internally by the W3C.

Given that "ID" is the normal short form for "Identifier"

Having both Web "ID" and Web "Identifier", groups active at the same
time may be confusing.

I think part of the confusion arises in part that "WebID" isnt clearly
defined in the spec.

To my mind the term WebID (perhaps aka Web Identifier) is simply
representing identity in terms of a URI.

I can this of 3 ways immediately:

1. http://  (e.g FOAF)
2. mailto: (e.g. Email)
3. acct: (e.g. Webfinger)

In future there may be many more concepts, including the special case
of anonymous browsing.

"The WebID Protocol" is a neat system that ties (1) to an X.509 cert.
It's a working example of authentication with a URI and using PKI.
Perhaps this is something that can be made clearer in the WebID spec.

Agree 100% that the efforts are complimentary.

Since the proposed WG is chartered until 2013, let's make sure that
everyone is given an opportunity to clarify potential
misunderstandings and to talk to other! :)

>> With regards to the scope of the group: I believe the different work items
>> proposed in the charter text have a different level of maturity. Given my
>> lack of understanding what some of the stuff is actually supposed to
>> deliver it is hard to say how closely related these things are.
> This is definitely true, and it seems the Crypto APIs are the most mature
> although they will require substantial review. That is why the schedule
> has the Crypto API moving first (allowing more time for review), and then
> the Identity API and Sync work afterwards.
> To be brief, the Identity API is simply supposed to allow developers to
> access session-state (logged in, logged out, etc.) information and the
> Sync is to allow these session-tokens and other credentials to be
> transferred across devices. These were both heavily discussed at the
> workshop and got second most votes after Crypto work.
>> However, with your argument of time commitment one could as well suggest
>> to merge half of the W3C groups since they somehow relate to each other.
> I think the main argument for keeping them together would be that
> I apologize if that is not clear in the charter text, I will try to
> manufacture some wording to respond to your earlier email. As other people
> who were at the workshop might remember the discussion, please send sample
> text to the list as well.
>   cheers,
>      harry
>> Ciao
>> Hannes
>> On Oct 26, 2011, at 4:56 AM, Ben Adida wrote:
>>>>> I think we should coordinate now as these evolve. This is a
>>>>> consequence of
>>>>> your calling the other group the Web Identity group.
>>>> I'm open to changing the name of the Working Group and splitting the
>>>> group
>>>> into two or more working groups.
>>> I would rather not see a split from the charter you've already defined
>>> and started vetting. It's a big time commitment to participate in one
>>> WG, let alone multiple.
>>> -Ben
Received on Wednesday, 26 October 2011 20:19:27 UTC

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