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

Re: Updated data model specification document

From: Steven Rowat <steven_rowat@sunshine.net>
Date: Thu, 26 May 2016 12:04:37 -0700
To: public-credentials@w3.org
Message-ID: <ca500b45-180b-0095-26c3-91400d6e195c@sunshine.net>
On 5/26/16 7:52 AM, Daniel Burnett wrote:
>
>
> On Wed, May 25, 2016 at 12:41 AM, Steven Rowat
> <steven_rowat@sunshine.net <mailto:steven_rowat@sunshine.net>> wrote:
...>     In section 3.1, I became hopelessly confused.
>
>     At first I was just confused, but I came back and tried that
>     section again a few hours later, and now it's hopeless.  ;-) .
>
>
> I'm sorry to hear that.  Feel free to ask questions or make suggestions :)

Right. I thought of that. :-)
But didn't know how to ask about that paragraph, which is:

"Both identities and claims, including verifiable claims, consist of a 
collection of name-value pairs which will be referred to as <b> 
properties </b> in this document. The following subsections describe 
the required and optional properties for both. The link between the 
two is in the id property. An Identity data set defines the identifier 
given in the id property, while a Claim data set, referred to as a TBD 
Credential, uses the id property to refer to the Identity data set 
that defines the given id value."

The final sentence in particular stumped me both times.

I think my problems might be at different meta-levels; I'll call them 
A and B.

A. I think this entire document is probably intended for specialists 
in the languages the data will be expressed in, and as such I'm not an 
appropriate reader. I was fooled, perhaps, by the plain language of 
the Abstract, which I think could be appreciated by almost anyone.

B. However, I think it's also possible that my confusion is 
contributed-to by these things:

  i. "TBD Credentials", which is perhaps unavoidable but makes a 
peculiar stumble in my mind each time I hit it.

  ii. The use of "properties" confused me. I think I'm unable to model 
in my head where this fits. This sentence in section 3.2 about 
properties didn't help:

"Unlike with claims, the properties in an Identity are merely 
properties that, together with an identifier id, constitute an 
identity. The properties are not claims and are not intended to be 
verifiable."

Is properties an official term, in the sense that it's the child or 
parent of some other term? It only appears in descriptions, not in the 
lists of terms. Yet it's bolded at the first insertion, like the other 
defined terms that are listed (id, type, signature, etc.). Is 
"properties" the parent of those other terms?

  iii. That final sentence I referred to above: "An Identity data set 
defines the identifier given in the id property, while a Claim data 
set, referred to as a TBD Credential, uses the id property to refer to 
the Identity data set that defines the given id value."

My problems with this were/are something along the lines of...
   What is an 'Identity data set"? Is that the same thing as "a 
collection of name-value pairs which will be referred to as properties 
in this document", which you said in the previous sentence? If so, I 
think you need to make this explicit, not assumed. Especially since in 
the final sentence you've got 'id', 'Identifier' and 'Identity' all 
used. Keeping those straight in my mind...didn't happen, and probably 
won't unless I get a clear and simple definition for each term before 
they're all used together.  :-)

Steven
Received on Thursday, 26 May 2016 19:05:01 UTC

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