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Bikeshed: Renaming the VC HTTP API

From: Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>
Date: Sat, 17 Jul 2021 11:45:40 -0400
To: W3C Credentials CG <public-credentials@w3.org>
Message-ID: <05e8e029-0309-a707-0763-8fe6e239499c@digitalbazaar.com>
Hi all,

Not many are enthused by the name "VC HTTP API"; it doesn't exactly roll off
of the tongue. The catch-all term is also confusing debates (again, see the
most recent perma-thread about the VC HTTP API).

Some have suggested just calling it the Issuer API, Verifier API, and Holder
API -- but then the counter-arguments against those are that you need the
letters "HTTP" in there to not trigger folks that are working on non-HTTP
APIs, which puts us back at Issuer HTTP API, Verifier HTTP API, and Holder
HTTP API... and the fundamental issue is that stringing a bunch of consonants
together ("HTTP") rarely leads to something easy to say in conversation.

"Holder" is misleading in the same sort of way that "Issuer" and "Verifier" is
misleading... those are roles, and are not what we're defining. We're defining
the things that those roles USE. A Holder might use a Credential Repository
API (CRAPI! <-- please no) or an Encrypted Data Vault API (EDV API) to store
things. Those seem like more reasonable names... but aren't the names for the
Issuer/Verifier/Holder/Presentation APIs we're talking about.

We've been trying to solve the naming issue with the VC HTTP API for as long
as it's been a thing. This email is just pinging the community to see if they
have any bright ideas.

My attempts below:

VCP - Verifiable Credential Protocols
      "HTTP protocols for the management of VCs"
      Use this to define the class of protocols?

VCIP - Verifiable Credential Issuance Protocol
       "An HTTP protocol for VC issuance"

VCVP - Verifiable Credential Verification Protocol
       "An HTTP protocol for VC verification"

VCPP - Verifiable Credential Presentation Protocol
       "An HTTP protocol for VC presentation"

VCRP - Verifiable Credential Repository Protocol
       "An HTTP protocol for VC repository management"

The proposals above start with "Verifiable Credential" and end with "Protocol"
to "namespace" the sorts of protocols we're talking about; these are
"Verifiable Credential" protocols.

We focus on the Issuer/Verifier/Holder role *ACTIONS* rather than the roles

We can shortcut the longer name in conversation by just referring to it as the
"Issuance Protocol" or "Verification Protocol".

We also include "HTTP" in the byline so that there is no confusion as to what
type of protocols they are.

What alternatives do folks in the community prefer to VC HTTP API? What's your
reasoning for liking your term more than VC HTTP API (or those suggested above)?

-- manu

Manu Sporny - https://www.linkedin.com/in/manusporny/
Founder/CEO - Digital Bazaar, Inc.
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Received on Saturday, 17 July 2021 15:45:57 UTC

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