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Re: Comments on VCTF Report

From: Nick Shearer <nshearer@apple.com>
Date: Fri, 19 Feb 2016 20:35:50 -0800
Cc: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>, Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>, Web Payments IG <public-webpayments-ig@w3.org>, Credentials Community Group <public-credentials@w3.org>
Message-id: <BF241CF6-9D48-4888-B327-1BFED4BACEC2@apple.com>
To: Dave Longley <dlongley@digitalbazaar.com>

> On Feb 18, 2016, at 8:03 AM, Dave Longley <dlongley@digitalbazaar.com> wrote:
> On 02/17/2016 08:56 PM, Ian Jacobs wrote:
>> [snip]
>> My sense from reading the materials and your response, is that there
>> was not consensus from the interviewees on where to start work. You
>> wrote "No one said don't proceed with work in this area.” and "No one
>> said data model and syntax shouldn’t be worked on.” I would hope for
>> support for a particular direction from the interviewees, not just
>> lack of opposition.
> There was broad consensus with the problem statement and that we should
> work on something at W3C.

I am not sure I would draw that inference. I looked at the five references the report puts forward to support that position (section 6.3) and I think they’re too weak to say there’s broad consensus that “we should work on something at W3C”. In many cases, the interviewer asked questions in the form of “do you think the W3C could do the work”, which is a very different question to “do you think the W3C should do the work”.

What I’m really trying to suggest is the VCTF has formed one interpretation of its data, but I don’t think the data is strong enough to suggest that interpretation is the only one that could be reached.

> The something we discussed with interviewees
> was data model+syntax for verifiable claims and a protocol for issuing
> and sharing them. There was disagreement on the protocol idea with two
> different camps: one expressing that existing technologies could be
> reused and another expressing that existing technologies are definitely
> insufficient to solve the problem.
> With regard to the data model+syntax, there were explicit statements of
> support and only one interviewee, Dick Hardt, mentioned that coming up
> with another way to express a claim isn't necessary -- therefore putting
> an emphasis on working on a protocol (or "privacy-protecting
> architecture"). Dick Hardt felt very strongly that existing technologies
> did not solve that problem:
> ```
> Manu Sporny: When we didn't have user centric there -- a lot of
> assertions were made that the tech is already there, like OpenID
> Connect, SAML, etc. and those techs exist and can express, present,
> receive verifiable claims.
> Dick Hardt: I don't think so.
> Dick Hardt: Having worked on a number of those technologies I don't
> think they do it at all. They do it for like one or two claims right?
> But it's not a broad thing where I can go to any random site and share a
> wide variety claims with them... I can go to a site and prove I have a
> google or facebook account, but none of the interesting things I just
> talked about.
> ```
> So his position was that we should work on a protocol/architecture and
> not a syntax, but that position didn't square with other feedback.
> So given these findings:
> There is consensus that work should be done at W3C to address the
> problem statement, where potential work items are data model+syntax and
> protocol.
> For data model+syntax, there were statements of support coupled with
> minimal push back.
> For protocol, while most interviewees supported working on a protocol,
> several others pushed back.
> It follows that:
> Of the potential work items, there is consensus to work on a data
> model+syntax, but not on a protocol.
> Our plan moving forward, therefore, was to recommend working on a
> charter that started small with work items that included a data
> model+syntax and to research and document whether or not existing
> technologies could work for protocol/architecture or if they needed to
> be augmented with new ones.
> We would then share this draft charter with the interviewees to collect
> their thoughts again. I liked your suggestion in a later mail
> recommending that we also share CG use cases that we felt were within
> the bounds of consensus and get their feedback on them. I agree we
> should do that and can do so when we present the draft charter to them.
> -- 
> Dave Longley
> Digital Bazaar, Inc.
> http://digitalbazaar.com

Received on Saturday, 20 February 2016 04:36:44 UTC

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