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Re: ACTION-335 logotypes and ISSUE-96 discussion

From: Johnathan Nightingale <johnath@mozilla.com>
Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2007 13:21:12 -0500
Message-Id: <7AC29420-28F0-4F4A-8A71-248347652EC4@mozilla.com>
Cc: W3C WSC Public <public-wsc-wg@w3.org>
To: "Ian Fette" <ifette@google.com>
On 13-Nov-07, at 12:14 PM, Ian Fette wrote:

> As for "testing them in a perfect world" - I have no idea why this  
> is a good experiment to run, because we know that we will never be  
> operating in a perfect world. I'm not saying we should test in a  
> world with zero adoption, but rather I'm saying that we should try  
> to figure out (guess) what reasonable adoption is, and test in that  
> world. We already know that there are some sites that are not  
> adopting EV because of the cost model. I'm sure someone is more  
> knowledgeable about the specifics than I, but my understanding is  
> that, for instance, Google could not buy one EV certificate for  
> google.com and use it across all of our numerous servers, rather we  
> would have to pay some increased (large) fee based on number of  
> servers. (Also, does EV support wildcard certs?). Given that, you  
> can come up with a list of companies for which EV would be very  
> expensive and likely not adopted (eBay?), and test with the  
> assumption that those sites won't adopt. What does that do to the  
> overall model?

FWIW, and I appreciate that it's a tangent, but I don't know of any  
restrictions in the EV guidelines that result in what you're  
describing.  IIRC, EV certs do not allow for wildcards, but neither  
do they constrain themselves to single servers in the way you  
suggest, unless you mean single domain names?  ebay, to use your  
example, already presents an EV cert on their sign-in page ( https:// 
signin.ebay.com/ )

I agree though, that it would be misleading to imagine a world where  
every site had an EV certificate. I think the last adoption numbers I  
saw were ~3000 EV certs visible on the public internet, and while the  
growth rate is something like 15%/month, growing quickly from 0  
doesn't mean much.

> Finally, I'm extremely concerned about the attitude of "Well, it  
> works in lab studies, so let's mandate it, vendors be damned." I  
> understand the desire not to be seen as being beholden to the  
> desires of browser manufacturers, but on the other hand, I have a  
> very real desire not to be seen as floating around in la-la land,  
> disconnected from reality. If something is going to cause people  
> not to adopt a product, a vendor is not going to implement it,  
> regardless of any mandates from W3C. There is a very real risk of  
> steering ourselves towards irrelevancy. Without getting into too  
> many politics, that's why WHATWG was formed, and provides a good  
> bit of background for the current HTML5 realpolitik. I don't want  
> to see us go the way of XForms 2.

I don't want to speak for Serge here, but I suspect the reason Serge  
is talking about testing a "perfect world" scenario is because he  
fully expects to find them ineffective even then, at which point one  
can hardly argue that they would do better under more "adverse"  
circumstances.  So I don't think he's arguing at all for "it works in  
lab studies, so let's mandate it" but rather the reverse: "It doesn't  
even work with the deck stacked, so we had better not recommend it in  
the real world."



> My $0.02 x 3 (== 0.03)
> On Nov 13, 2007 8:51 AM, Dan Schutzer < dan.schutzer@fstc.org> wrote:
> agreed
> -----Original Message-----
> From: public-wsc-wg-request@w3.org [mailto:public-wsc-wg- 
> request@w3.org] On
> Behalf Of Serge Egelman
> Sent: Tuesday, November 13, 2007 11:23 AM
> To: Hallam-Baker, Phillip
> Cc: Ian Fette; W3C WSC Public
> Subject: Re: ACTION-335 logotypes and ISSUE-96 discussion
> This is irrelevant for our purposes.  If we test them and find that  
> in a
> perfect world they don't work, then this is moot.  If we test them and
> find that they're effective, then we make a recommendation, and  
> it's out
> of our hands.  At that point the application vendors aren't in  
> compliance.
> serge
> Hallam-Baker, Phillip wrote:
> > I have never had the slightest difficulty selling the idea of  
> logotypes
> > to customers. The problem is purely on the application side. The  
> logos
> > have no value unless they are displayed.
> >
> > So we risk a chicken and egg situation where the application side  
> people
> > refuse to do anything about implementation until they are assured  
> that
> > there will be 100% adoption by the site owners which is not going to
> > happen until there are applications to present the logos.
> >
> > Someone has to make the first move, we cannot gate the scope of  
> what we
> > will consider by requiring an assurance of total adoption by any  
> market
> > participant.
> >
> >  
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
> --
> > *From:* public-wsc-wg-request@w3.org on behalf of Ian Fette
> > *Sent:* Fri 09/11/2007 4:49 PM
> > *To:* W3C WSC Public
> > *Subject:* ACTION-335 logotypes and ISSUE-96 discussion
> >
> > This action (ACTION-335) was to provide discussion topics for  
> ISSUE-96.
> > I only really have one point, and I will try to state it more  
> clearly
> > than at the meeting.
> >
> > To me, the effectiveness of any of the logotype proposals (or the EV
> > proposals, for that matter) depends greatly upon the adoption of  
> these
> > technologies by sites. We can do really cool flashy things when  
> we get
> > an EV cert, or an EV-cert with a logo, but right now the only two  
> sites
> > I can find using an EV cert are PayPal and VeriSign. Therefore, I  
> wonder
> > how habituated people would become in practice, if they never (or
> > rarely) saw the EV/logotype interface stuff in use.
> >
> > My proposal is that any usability testing of the EV and/or logotype
> > things in the spec not only reflect how users would behave in a land
> > where everyone is using EV-certs and life is happy, but rather  
> also test
> > a more realistic case. That is, look at what the adoption is  
> presently
> > and/or what we can reasonably expect it to be at time of last  
> call, and
> > do usability testing in an environment that reflects that  
> adoption rate
> > - i.e. some percentage of sites using EV certs, some percentage also
> > using logos, and another percentage still using "normal" SSL  
> certs. My
> > worry is that we may be thinking "EV certs will solve X,Y, and  
> Z", but
> > that may only be the case if users are used to seeing them on the
> > majority of sites, and should that not end up being the case, we  
> need to
> > look at the usability and benefit in that scenario as well.
> >
> > I think this is what the ACTION wanted, i.e. for me to state this  
> point
> > more explicitly. I am going to therefore assume that my work on this
> > action is complete, unless I hear otherwise.
> >
> > -Ian
> --
> /*
> PhD Candidate
> Vice President for External Affairs, Graduate Student Assembly
> Carnegie Mellon University
> Legislative Concerns Chair
> National Association of Graduate-Professional Students
> */

Johnathan Nightingale
Human Shield
Received on Tuesday, 13 November 2007 18:21:48 UTC

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