W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-webpayments@w3.org > May 2012

Re: making the webcredits.org spec more strict about 'source' and 'destination' fields.

From: Melvin Carvalho <melvincarvalho@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 7 May 2012 15:08:40 +0200
Message-ID: <CAKaEYhLZaz6=c0UOkKkOf+2ofA1pPrPRoRX+COZCQpCG2xgq0Q@mail.gmail.com>
To: Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>
Cc: public-webpayments@w3.org
On 2 May 2012 16:32, Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com> wrote:

> On 05/02/2012 02:56 AM, Michiel de Jong wrote:
>> oops! there we go already... i just looked up
>> http://purl.org/commerce#**Transfer <http://purl.org/commerce#Transfer>and it's actually the other way
>> around. The statement represents a transfer, so presumably Melvin
>> gave Nathan money, and it's now actually Nathan who owes Melvin
>> money.
> We could add a vocabulary term for IOU or Credit or Debit to the
> PaySwarm vocabulary if that would help matters - Melvin, thoughts?
>  or maybe it's unspecified who owes who the 5 euros? maybe we need to
>> leave it open. ;)
> No, a Transfer in PaySwarm is directional - source -> destination.
>  i'm also a bit confused btw by the relationship between the
>> 'webpayments' community group and the 'webcredits' spec
> The Web Payments Community Group is a loosely knit group that is
> actively working on standards related to payments and finance on the
> Web. PaySwarm is one of those specs. So is WebCredits, so is
> OpenTransact (although, there is another mailing list for the
> nitty-gritty on that). I'd like to think that this group is welcoming of
> all open financial standards that would like a clear pathway to
> standardization at W3C.
> That said, we should list the work that this group is interested in and
> actively developing.
>  and the fact that the type of a webcredit can apparently be
>> 'transfer' (which to me means more transaction or payment than
>> credit), doesn't help with that.
> This may be a bug in the WebCredits spec - Melvin?

Sorry I didnt reply to this sooner, been occupied slightly on the IETF
discussions, but I have been talking daily to Michiel on IRC :)

Let me give you a background of the thought process behind this.

I came up with the web credits fields after many years contemplating how to
model payments, and in the last few years, believing the IOU was a
significant part of a potential money system on the net.

The fields are pretty much based on a simple bare minimum that could
actually work and be useful in a specific context (in particular opentabs,
the project suggested by michiel).

I spoke to quite a few people about this, as to what to name the fields.
In the finance world they use the term "counterparty" quite a lot, but I
thought this could lead to confusion.

Speaking to the LETS people, in particular Matt Slater I was happy to find
that their drupal table was almost identical to webcredits using the terms


Having spoken to Michiel we thought a bit about the terms




I kind of was caught between worlds because naming is important, but was
unsure what terms would be most intuitive.  IOUs, money, debt and credit
are topics that are contusing because we use them every day without always
drilling down into the details.  I confess that I still find parts

I was very happy to find when cross referencing the web commerce vocab that
webcredits could be pretty much encapsulated in Transfer object.

Due to the excellent documentation, and ongoing work, I thought it would
make total sense to align webcredits with the efforts of payswarm, as an
introduction to web payments.  ie dip your toe in with web credits, and
then find you have an upgrade path to
A) payswarm
B) opentabs
C) hopefully bridges to opentransact, ripple etc.
D) roll out your own

So in essence the webcredit wants to model an IOU between 2 people

      "source": "http://melvincarvalho.com/#me",
      "destination": "http://webr3.org/nathan#me",
      "amount": "5.00",
      "currency": "EUR",

I should add to the spec a sentence saying what this means.

"This data item indicates that that the source (Melvin) owes 5 EUR to the
destination (Nathan)."

At least I think that's the intention.  Manu, Michiel would you think that
sentence explains the structure correctly?

Now the question is, should we reuse the Transfer class (seems like a good
idea to reuse if it's possible) or does it make more logical sense to have
a separate IOU class?

>  maybe the webpayments CG wiki should list the specs that are relevant
>> for it, so webcredits and payswarm iiuc, and maybe also mention
>> opentransact and ripple as related work?
> http://www.w3.org/community/**webpayments/wiki/Main_Page#**Projects<http://www.w3.org/community/webpayments/wiki/Main_Page#Projects>
> -- manu
> --
> Manu Sporny (skype: msporny, twitter: manusporny)
> President/CEO - Digital Bazaar, Inc.
> blog: PaySwarm Website for Developers Launched
> http://digitalbazaar.com/2012/**02/22/new-payswarm-alpha/<http://digitalbazaar.com/2012/02/22/new-payswarm-alpha/>
Received on Monday, 7 May 2012 13:09:11 UTC

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