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Re: Worldview conflicts on the purpose of DID documents

From: Melvin Carvalho <melvincarvalho@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2017 21:23:26 +0100
Message-ID: <CAKaEYhJRO-MwE8yOUHmq-ZVGfrHCMFi4V=euudL4Ao_ta-TxaA@mail.gmail.com>
To: "=Drummond Reed" <drummond.reed@evernym.com>
Cc: Credentials Community Group <public-credentials@w3.org>
On 13 December 2017 at 19:38, =Drummond Reed <drummond.reed@evernym.com>
wrote:

> The Credentials Community Group has been holding a special set of calls to
> drive towards closure of a next "Implementer’s Draft" of the DID spec
> <https://w3c-ccg.github.io/did-spec/>. Three calls have been held so far,
> and two more are currently planned (this Thursday and next Thursday at
> 10AM Pacific Time—see a separate message sent to the list for details of
> each call).
>
> After the last call, I started to see that some of the major sticking
> points are due to what I call "worldview conflicts". These are
> disagreements that usually surface as differences about details of a spec,
> but where the real causes are rooted in different worldviews about
> technology—different "big pictures" that different spec contributors are
> working from/towards.
>
> When this is the case, arguments that can go on for days/weeks/months
> about the details can often be solved much faster by identifying and
> dealing with the differences in the underlying worldviews.
>
> So I wanted to start a thread just for discussion of these worldview
> conflicts. I'll start by taking a stab at articulating the worldviews as
> I understand them:
>
> *THE RDF/JSON-LD WORLDVIEW*
>
> In this worldview, DID documents are a standard way to describe a
> well-known subgraph of a potentially very large RDF graph of data about a
> subject. To quote this message from Dave Longley on a github DID issues
> thread
> <https://github.com/w3c-ccg/did-spec/pull/36#issuecomment-351128922>:
> "a DID document, is about establishing an independent entity and being able
> to authenticate that certain activities/actions were performed by that
> entity -- and to interact with that entity via services. This necessarily
> includes specifying how that DID document can be changed." Linked Data
> Signatures are also important in this worldview since it is the standard
> way to sign JSON-LD documents.
>
> *THE AGENT WORLDVIEW*
>
> In this worldview, DID documents are about having an open, interoperable
> way to discover and manage the cryptographic keys and service endpoints
> necessary to bootstrap secure, verifiable connections, claims, and
> interactions between agents acting on behalf of DID subjects.
>
> *OBSERVATIONS*
>
> First, obviously neither worldview is "wrong". They are just different
> perspectives about the primary purpose of DID documents and the universes
> into which they fit.
>
> Second, in the RDF/JSON-LD worldview it is important to describe the data
> using an RDF graph model using an ontology that can live alongside other
> ontologies. In the agent worldview the primary importance is on
> interoperability; it is not "anti-RDF", but it wants to avoid a dependence
> on RDF in order to make it easy to consume/transform the metadata carried
> by DID documents into other graph models and formats.
>
> Thirdly, the two have different views of key management. In the
> RDF/JSON-LD worldview the importance is on being able to authenticate an
> interaction with the DID subject. In the agent worldview, a DID document is
> the "public-face" (or "non-private-face") of all types of key management,
> i.e., it is how a DID subject shares any type of key that needs to be
> shared with another party to verify interactions, decrypt communications,
> or do additional key negotiation.
>

The agent world view was quite a long sentence.  Could it be perhaps
rephrased or broken into more than one sentence.


>
> *QUESTIONS*
>
> First, it would be good to get feedback on these worldview descriptions
> and observations from those who hold them. In other words, are the
> descriptions accurate? Do the observations about them follow? Are there
> other important points that are missing?
>
> Secondly, once we have a picture of the differences in the worldviews,
> what solutions to DID issues can we come up with that help reconcile these
> differences and ideally work for both worldviews?
>
Received on Wednesday, 13 December 2017 20:23:49 UTC

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