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Re: Unofficial Draft 25 October - comments

From: Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>
Date: Mon, 31 Oct 2011 10:51:01 -0400
Message-ID: <4EAEB5D5.8050906@digitalbazaar.com>
To: public-webpayments@w3.org
On 10/27/2011 01:43 PM, Steven Rowat wrote:
> On 10/24/11 9:43 PM, Manu Sporny wrote:
>> The 4 new use cases that we discussed on the last telecon have been
>> added to the newest date-stamped use cases document:
>> http://payswarm.com/specs/ED/use-cases/2011-10-25/
> Here are some comments on my beginning to read the
> PaySwarm - Use Cases
> Unofficial Draft 25 October

Great, thanks for reviewing the document, Steven! :)

> [Title and Abstract]
> I suffered a confusion, at the start, as to whether this is a commercial
> document (Digital Bazaar) or a W3C document, as indicated in the Abstract.

Hmm... good point. It had been something that we were just publishing as 
a company before, but since there is a CG now, the copyright might need 
to be W3C? Alternatively, we could probably place it under CC-BY-SA (I 
think that would be my preference).

The other thing that needs to be done is a ReSpec template needs to be 
written for Community Groups. Respec is the tool that is used to write 
specs at W3C.

> SUGGESTION: Is it perhaps premature to use the word “PaySwarm” in the
> title? PaySwarm is the name inherited from the creators; but there will
> have to be a consensus decision about the actual name — as well as the
> actual workings of the system. AFAIK that decision has not been taken
> and may not be taken for a long time, dependent on how much
> building/rebuilding is necessary in making the standard. Or at least,
> the provisional nature of the name might be indicated, by calling it
> provisional or by having square brackets around it, or something.

I'd prefer to mark it as a "provisional" name... the problem is that 
I've been going around promoting the spec using the PaySwarm name. It 
was picked by a couple of folks at W3C and us... people seemed to not 
hate it, so we ended up using it. I think it's important to have a name 
that people can remember, the website, the IRC channel, etc. Rebranding 
at this point comes at a cost and I'm not certain it's worth it - unless 
we can pick a name that is much, much better than PaySwarm. Doing that 
at this point in the process, however, might be bike-shedding the 
discussion too early.

> [Table of Contents]
> The list of 16 items looking identical (with the same subsection,
> ‘Requirements’, and similar numbers, all bunched together), may be
> daunting for a new reader to approach (I found it so).
> SUGGESTION: Perhaps group the types of Use Cases into three or four
> bunches, so the mind and eye gets a chance to skim down and get an
> overview, and then choose a type of use cases to read about. It doesn’t
> really matter what the groups are; maybe Single Payments, Distribution,
> Multiple Payments, Meta-Data, and Other Uses (for the real oddballs). Or
> some other grouping.

We could also bunch all of the "Requirements" into a separate section... 
so you just have use cases and then Requirements (where each requirement 
would point back to the use case that created it?). Or, we could start 
out with requirements and then point each requirement to the use case it 
came from?

I'll try to think of categories for each use case, but it's hard to do 
with a good set of use cases because each use case is a different 
operational category in and of itself.

Was the thing that was daunting about the list the repetition of 
"Requirements"? Or was it that there was a big list and you didn't 
really know if there was a higher-level structure to it?

> [1. Introduction]
> I believe an essential overall goal is not specified here. What is there
> now skirts the main reason that I believe there is for creating this
> open standard, but never really says it.
> SUGGESTION: Reduce the existing paragraphs to one, and add something
> like this: The current Internet finance-transfer system is so complex
> and insecure that only large corporations can afford to transfer money;
> individuals must hire corporations to do it for them. Yet there is
> increasing evidence that our society is in danger from
> over-concentration of wealth and power in corporations. This is
> dangerous: in the higher cost of transactions for individuals, in the
> security of private information (since the corporate-held information
> can be accessed by governments, hackers, and other corporations), and in
> the conscious and unconscious censorship that is possible on the content
> provided by the individuals. So, for individuals to be rewarded for
> their work without adding to this danger, the Internet financial system
> must be an open standard available to all individuals at minimal cost
> and with near-perfect security.

That's an good summary of some of the things that we're attempting to 
achieve here, Steven. I'm concerned that it's a bit heavy handed... that 
is - it might scare some people away. Or it might make corporations 
believe that this standard isn't for them. I think it would be a mistake 
to take, what comes across as, an anti-corporation stance in the 

So, I agree with you that the introduction does not capture what we're 
trying to do here and needs to be re-written... I also agree with most 
of what you've written above, but think it needs to be softened a bit. 
I'll try to work a change up and make those changes... thanks again for 
the review!

-- manu

Manu Sporny (skype: msporny, twitter: manusporny)
Founder/CEO - Digital Bazaar, Inc.
blog: Standardizing Payment Links - Why Online Tipping has Failed
Received on Monday, 31 October 2011 14:51:39 UTC

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