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Re: Publication of VC API as VCWG Draft Note

From: Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>
Date: Sun, 27 Nov 2022 18:15:06 -0500
Message-ID: <CAMBN2CTSJr-Bh+VHPdOohszZ_3XsOxbz=AmiWU_Z0ZcoSYuu8g@mail.gmail.com>
To: W3C Credentials CG <public-credentials@w3.org>
On Sun, Nov 20, 2022 at 1:36 PM Torsten Lodderstedt wrote:
> if there is so much support for VC API, it should be easy to get it adopted as a formal work item in the VC working group or to spin up a new working group at W3C to work on it.

Unfortunately, W3C Process doesn't necessarily make that easy,
especially since we just got a new re-charter less than 6 months ago.
Keep in mind that the new VCWG charter was "in process" for over 18
months because of the DID formal objections. So, we're working w/ a
charter that was already 18 months out of date when the work kicked
off. We're starting to feel a bit of those repercussions now.

Any extension to a Charter can take months (typical) to years (which
both the VCWG and DIDWG have directly experienced due to formal
objections). When the current VCWG Charter was being put together, we
had considered putting APIs firmly in scope, but that was met with at
least one company threatening formally objecting to the charter over
work on APIs. So, a compromise position was: "Ok, we'll publish it as
a note so that the next WG recharter has something to point to on work
performed by the WG towards the VC API -- and any other API work that
folks might undertake." This is why there is a direct link to the CCG
VC API specification in the charter. As you can also see, not everyone
has the same read on what that means, though I'm sure we all felt
clarity when that charter text was written long, long ago.

> Why do you insist on publishing it as a note? As far as I understand W3C processes this would be a non-normative document. A normative document would be much better suited for an API specification and would have much more weight since it needs to go through to a full review and voting process.

I agree, see the process concerns above. To be clear, I'm not the one
insisting... that's what's in the Charter and what was (debatably)
agreed to. Trying to take it further than a non-normative
specification would probably result in formal objections (and we don't
have flexibility to do anything related to normative APIs (that is,
anything that would go beyond a Note or an Editor's Draft).

> I guess VC API has reached that point.

Yes, I agree, and given that we have multiple implementations of some
variation of it, and given that these APIs are escaping into the real
world, we might just want to bite the bullet and start re-chartering
to include that work in parallel. We'd just add a line that says "VC
API is in scope now" and put it down as a normative deliverable.

In any case, we'll see what the W3C process team has to say and go from there.

-- manu

Manu Sporny - https://www.linkedin.com/in/manusporny/
Founder/CEO - Digital Bazaar, Inc.
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Received on Sunday, 27 November 2022 23:15:56 UTC

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