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Re: Basic Offer->Purchase->Receipt diagram

From: Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>
Date: Thu, 18 Sep 2014 21:40:23 -0400
Message-ID: <541B8987.3090401@digitalbazaar.com>
To: Steven Rowat <steven_rowat@sunshine.net>, Web Payments CG <public-webpayments@w3.org>
On 09/11/2014 11:17 PM, Steven Rowat wrote:
> On 9/11/14 5:56 PM, Manu Sporny wrote:
>> The following diagram has been added to the Web Commerce API spec
>> and provides an overview of the creation of an offer for sale, the
>> execution of a purchase, and the transmission back of a digital
>> receipt (proof-of-purchase):
>> 
>> https://web-payments.org/specs/source/web-commerce-api/#payment-flow-overview
>> 
> Good to have, but two problems I had following it:
> 
> 1. Payment flow overview Text don't correspond with Payment flow
> Diagram
> 
> I expected the numbering from the diagram to correspond to the
> numbering in the list of steps above it, so was initially fouled up
> attempting to follow the progress, because they aren't the same; they
> overlap, and start at a different point in the process, and have
> extra steps in one or the other (I think).
> 
> This expectation might be because of my patent work, years back --
> there was a hard rule that any number on a diagram MUST have a
> corresponding explanation for that number in the text -- so I was
> assuming it was there.

Yeah, sorry, I didn't have the time to update the text and will do so
later. There is a problem here in that there are two ways to do the
flow. One of them is privacy-protecting, the other one isn't. The
problem w/ the privacy protecting flow is that we don't have consensus
on using that particular technology to make it work (Telehash). It's not
even clear if Telehash is capable of scaling to where we need it to scale.

In any case, the problem isn't you, it's the text. We need to commit to
something and then rewrite the text. I have a feeling that we should
commit to the privacy-aware mechanism and then hope that we figure out
the technology by the time we need to take the specification onto the
REC track at W3C.

> And perhaps they don't need to be in sync, but still I suggest that
> it will be easier to follow (especially for those of us whose
> technical understanding of the process is sketchy, and are attempting
> to use the diagram to help with that understanding) if either: a) The
> series of steps in the list above is rewritten into 8 steps to 
> correspond exactly with the 8 steps in the diagram; or,

Yes, we should do this. I'll take another shot at it once my time is
freed up a bit. Anyone else in this community should take a shot at it
if they want to as well - the source is all on github, anyone can edit
it and perform a pull request (or just write something in an email and
send it to the mailing list).

> 2. AFAI can determine, there are three terms meaning the same thing: 
> Payment Provider Payment Processor (payment service) The one in the
> text list is Payment Provider, and it does not appear in the diagram,
> which IMO is needlessly a strain on the limited grey matter of the
> reader.  :-)

Agreed, I'll fix that in the next revision. I wanted to get the diagrams
out there so that people could understand the flow, but unfortunately
they were probably released a bit too early and are causing a bit of
confusion.

-- manu

-- 
Manu Sporny (skype: msporny, twitter: manusporny, G+: +Manu Sporny)
Founder/CEO - Digital Bazaar, Inc.
blog: The Marathonic Dawn of Web Payments
http://manu.sporny.org/2014/dawn-of-web-payments/
Received on Friday, 19 September 2014 01:40:57 UTC

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