Re: A Quick Note on WebID history

no sparql?

On Sat, 14 Aug 2021 at 00:12, Kingsley Idehen <>

> On 8/13/21 1:24 AM, Henry Story wrote:
> On 13. Aug 2021, at 01:02, bergi <> <> wrote:
> Am 10.08.21 um 22:40 schrieb Henry Story:
> There was a vote on Hash URLs and 303 and I supported keeping things
> simple and efficient with hash urls, as Tim Berners-Lee would have
> preferred, and I lost, so we allowed both.
> I remember that call very well. There was a majority, and there was your
> position. You claimed that you, as a chair, can make the decision. A
> discussion with you was impossible. The rest of the call was about you
> acting like a dictator, how we can remove you as a chair or if we should
> close the group. Maybe I'm a little bit picky, but that's not the way I
> want to work in a CG.
> The issue had been voted at TPAC with Tim Berners-Lee present, and on
> his suggestion, by a large majority. We also voted on removing
> the abstraction from URIs down to URLs, which I had allowed
> to enter the discussion after being pressured by some folks on it,
> and which end up using up a lot of our time.
> I imagine someone will say: but look that is what DIDs ended up doing:
> they generaliseto DID URIs instead of URLs! Yes, and
> 1. that took another 10 years nearly to get done, and
> 2. was a massive effort.
> 3. it shows that us not doing it did not stop anyone else from doing it:
>    DIDs and WebIDs can work very well together.
> Our aim was to be able to start building decentralised social networks
> as soon as possible.
> For hash URLs I tried to stick with Tim Berners-Lee’s vote which
> I think is the right efficient way to do things. But we
> went to a second formal vote on that and I and Tim lost the vote.
> So the issue was one of one vote versus another vote, and trying to
> keep the group on track to get this finished. Democracy is just not a
> simple process. Furthermore this is an engineering project, which
> is evaluated not by the people in the room voting for it, but by
> the number of users.
> There were then very many other reasons for why it was nearly impossible
> to get the project to a final standard. You can ask Manu Sporny about
> just how much trouble he had with some very vocal people (who you can
> be sure where always shooting out loud about democracy, revolution, will
> of the people etc…) who were trying to undermine his project at every step
> of the way.
> My thought was simple: let us build implementations, and we will prove
> the value of what we have done with deployments. Because in the end
> it is not who is in a mailing list that counts: it is how many millions
> of people are using a system, because they like the deployments they are
> using. And that is not at all an easy thing to do, as I think you can imagine.
> Finally, we ended up having the problem of keygen being removed from
> Chrome, which made things very complicated. I spent a few weeks
> trying to argue with the Chrome developers not to remove that,
> and had the support from many others. But there was no argument that
> was going to work there. They even refused to discuss it with
> Tim Berners-Lee. That is the power reality on the ground. There is what
> a Google team says and does, and that is pretty much the end of
> the matter.
> Anyway, WebID-TLS as a result is not going to work long term. I was
> hoping there could be improvements made to TLS that would overcome our
> problems, but they were not made, even though they were attempted
> (But of course not in this forum).
> The other WebID spec is just a definition that is used by Solid to allow
> hyper-apps to work, and to which we can attach other methods of
> identification. So the Solid projects is really the one using WebIDs
> on a daily basis now.
> Henry Story
> WhatsApp, Signal, Tel: +33 6 38 32 69 84‬
> Twitter: @bblfish
> Hi Henry,
> *Retrospective*
>    - WebID shouldn't have been inextricably bound to RDF-Turtle, it
>    should have fully embraced the abstract nature of RDF leaving identifier
>    and content-type preferences to implementors. Basically, the specs could
>    have applied SHOULD to both JSON-LD and RDF-Turtle to avert issues that
>    eventually stalled the entire effort.
>    - Keygen was a broken from the onset. That's why delegation should
>    have been the focal point. The so-called UI/UX issues associated with TLS
>    Client Certificate Authentication (CCA) has a lot to do with fluid
>    understanding and interpretation re the nature of TLS-sessions, the role of
>    User Agents, and the manner in which both items blend with identity,
>    authentication, and access controls.
> I've repeated the following mantra many a time, "..these items MUST be
> loosely-coupled" for any kind of decentralized system to work:
> 1. Identity -- mapping of Identifiers to Referents to establish and
> Identity Principal
> 2. Identification -- Identity Principal Credentials
> 3. Authentication -- Credentials Verification
> 4. Authorization -- Resource Access & Control
> 5. Storage -- using a variety of protocols for content serialization and
> persistence
> *History Update*
> OpenLink has been using WebIDs since forever, and we continue to do so.
> We actually have large customers that have been using WebID for years to
> solve fundamental challenges associated with:
> 1. Verifiable Identity
> 2. Single-Sign On (SSO)
> 3. Leveraging Logic for Identity Resolution & Reconciliation
> 4. Attribute-based Access Controls
> WebID-TLS (with or without delegation) has been part of Virtuoso's
> Multi-Protocol Authentication Layer for years, and isn't going to change
> anytime soon.
> We've also taken the same concepts that underlie WebID to other levels of
> abstraction by being looser about the notion of a resolvable identifier
> i.e., beyond HTTP by supporting other schemes e.g., ldap: etc.  Ditto
> Credentials Document Content-Types. Basically, we always practice what we
> preach.
> We simply refer to this superset as NetID.
> NetIDs can be used to extend TLS-handshakes by way of triangulation that
> starts from the Subject Alternative Name slot in an X.509 Cert -- just like
> WebID i.e., function as an Authentication Protocol that leverages the
> combined ubiquity of X.509 and TLS re PKIX.
> Naturally, NetID also handles delegation.
> *OpenLink Products Snapshot*
>    - *YouID* -- used for generating X.509 Certificates laced with WebIDs
>    or NetIDs that resolve to profile documents comprising Entity Relationship
>    Graphs where no content-type is mandated, while leveraging the ubiquity of
>    HTML and the emergence of i.e., we can just use terms from that
>    vocabulary to triangulate credentials reconciliations leveraging public
>    keys or other attributes e.g., fingerprints; It all "just works" and built
>    into many of our product offerings used by our customers
>    - *OpenLink Structured Data Sniffer* -- this includes a "Save As"
>    feature that persist data to an Data Space that supports basic HTTP,
>    HTTP+WebDAV, HTTP+LDP, HTTP+SPARQL, SPARQL Graph Protocol etc.. ; thus, it
>    works with Solid Pods and all of the modules (Briefcase, ODS-Calendar, and
>    ODS-{whatever-else} )that comprise our OpenLink Data Spaces Platform
>    - *OpenLink Data Spaces* -- collaboration platform built atop Virtuoso
>    - *Virtuoso* -- combined Data Access, Integration, and Management
>    platform that with integral support for WebID and NetID (and related
>    concepts) that provides the loosely-coupled foundation for our higher-level
>    products
> *Related*
>    - Virtuoso Authentication Layer (VAL) screencast
>    <>
>    - OpenLink Structured Data Sniffer "Save As" demo re Solid Pods
>    <>
>    - NetID and NetID-TLS Presentation
>    <>
>    (circa 2014)
>    - NetID Wiki Entry <>
>    - Tweets about NetID
>    <>
>    -- for some historical perspective
> --
> Regards,
> Kingsley Idehen 
> Founder & CEO
> OpenLink Software
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Received on Friday, 13 August 2021 14:20:03 UTC