W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-credentials@w3.org > July 2021

Re: VC-HTTP-API - A follow up on the RAR presentation

From: Dave Longley <dlongley@digitalbazaar.com>
Date: Thu, 8 Jul 2021 13:39:52 -0400
To: daniel.hardman@gmail.com, Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>
Cc: "public-credentials (public-credentials@w3.org)" <public-credentials@w3.org>
Message-ID: <9408c4e9-15b3-a885-cf09-3244f2608a65@digitalbazaar.com>

On 7/8/21 6:55 AM, Daniel Hardman wrote:
> Indeed, the way I received Dave Longley's response to my concern was
> essentially, "I don't care about those problems because they're not use
> cases of my customers. If somebody besides online institutions wants a
> standard for credential exchange, let them find their own money and
> write their own standard." (Note my careful language "the way I
> received" -- I may have received it wrong. I'm not claiming my
> perception is objective reality--only that I received it that way.)

You did receive it wrong and I'm sorry for miscommunicating my point.
Unfortunately, it was at the end of the call so there was no time for
clarification. We all want a more equitable future. I do ask for more
assumption of good intentions on the behalf of others here. This future
is important to all of us -- despite your comment that made it seem like
I did not care. I just think my approach is more likely to see success
than how I perceive what you presented as an alternative.

My point was:

1. Funding sources for new technology will go elsewhere if you put too
much of a burden in front of them. Then no progress toward our common
goals will be made.

2. I believe we are more likely to see success when we work to evolve
existing ecosystems rather than try to invent separate ones that must
be adopted wholesale ("build it and they will come"). We must make the
on-ramp slope flat enough to ensure newer, more equitable technologies
are adopted by existing companies and users.

3. People are asking others to do free work and/or take on very high
risk for them -- and they seem to be unaware of it ("*you* build it and
they will come"). Telling those people that they *only* care about money
and/or "institutional customer" use cases comes across to me as cheap
virtue signalling and, I'm sure to others, as offensive.

Every little piece of SSI technology that is adopted by existing
companies helps change the culture to support more SSI technology. To
me, that means we need to have an architecture that allows that sort of

If "SSI technology" is just a giant stack that you have to embrace all
at once -- I think we will fail. I *do* say to people who rigidly
believe that's the only way forward -- to find their own funding and
create their own standard. That part of what I said you may have
received correctly, but the above context wasn't fully there. Hopefully
it is clearer now. I, for one, will not work on an approach that I think
ultimately harms our shared cause. That does not mean that I question
the motives of those taking that approach.

Slow progress is not failure. In fact, it is often the only alternative
to no progress at all. I believe that it's easy to create barriers
in software design that are high enough to cause entire projects to
collapse on their own weight, resulting in no progress. It is especially
easy to do this when there is insufficient focus on creating near term
value. This is how I view some of the technological offerings I've seen
in this space.

It isn't that I think their end goal isn't laudable -- it's that I think
those approaches are more likely to be *barriers* to achieving those
goals rather than catalysts.

In short, the way you received my comment was the opposite from how I
intended it -- and for my poor choice of words, I apologize.

Dave Longley
Digital Bazaar, Inc.
Received on Thursday, 8 July 2021 17:41:34 UTC

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