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Re: Update on Web Payments Working Group [The Web Browser API Incubation Anti-Pattern]

From: Roger Bass <roger@traxiant.com>
Date: Tue, 5 Apr 2016 15:19:52 -0700
Message-ID: <CA+nC-XvAjtPj_2LpDFUM=XHe5uV6jQWdZ==eUAz6Xa-=GXMj+w@mail.gmail.com>
To: Melvin Carvalho <melvincarvalho@gmail.com>
Cc: Anders Rundgren <anders.rundgren.net@gmail.com>, Gregg Kellogg <gregg@greggkellogg.net>, Web Payments CG <public-webpayments@w3.org>
Melvin, the sarcasm drips from your reply.

We certainly agree that an extremely narrow focus is necessary to get any
new network effect kick started. In my last email, I perhaps described this
in overly broad terms. But there actually is a much narrower segment of
this very large payments market where I believe the use cases are clearer,
the problems are more tractable, and business interests aligned to make
something happen. In driving forward pilots of tactical solutions in those
areas, however, it becomes important to be able to describe how such
narrow, tactical solutions can become steps towards a larger,
standards-based industry (and indeed Web) platform.

ISO 20022 is the standards effort that has most traction at the data /
message content layer - and the effort I'm working on potentially feeds in
to that. There are use cases that relate to legacy payment methods and
networks - but potentially also a use case that applies in the Interledger

In bootstrapping a connection between systems, however, starting from an
email regarding payment, say, describing service endpoints is an issue that
arises. Very pragmatic, tactical approaches would likely make sense early
on. I am, however, pointing out that there's potentially a path there to
generalizing the formal language for describing those endpoints, and
configuring a channel. The OASIS work I referred to is much more closely
focused on this type of problem. At this point, it certainly does seem as
if the gap is not small between those standards, and theoretically related
W3C ones (Linked Data, Semantic Web). I'm just pointing out that
conceptually at least, that gap could be closed. And if efforts focused on
some such narrow use cases were happening in a W3C CG context, it might
even make sense to leverage those Web Standards to do that.


On Tue, Apr 5, 2016 at 2:53 PM, Melvin Carvalho <melvincarvalho@gmail.com>

> On 5 April 2016 at 23:25, Roger Bass <roger@traxiant.com> wrote:
>> On 2016-04-05 21:52, Gregg Kellogg wrote:
>> "In particular, if the linked data stack is involved, it's clearly a web
>> standard, but of course, that is not yet clear."
>> Any payments scenario focused on interoperability of existing systems
>> needs to take one of two approaches, it seems to me. Either scope is
>> limited to a (very narrow) intersection of those systems' capabilities. Or
>> alternatively, scope could include a fuller, formal description of those
>> capabilities and service endpoints, along with some ability to negotiate a
>> "handshake" between them (i.e. finding the relative intersection on a
>> pairwise basis). Given the vast scope and variability inherent in $700
>> trillion a year of business payments, the latter approach seems more
>> extensible and scalable.
> Yes I've come to the conclusion you need something really massive in scale
> to get a bone fide web economy kick started.  Something like a complete
> replacement of the whole of web 2.0 (from social, to multi media, to
> search, to comms, to browsing, to commerce) with linked data plus crypto
> currencies, and integrated payment workflows.  Instead of thinking small
> why not try and capture a chunk of a multi trillion dollar system and then
> allow an economic paradigm shift from bricks and mortar to digital.  Much
> like how in 2000 they talked about 'old economy' vs 'new economy' -- well
> that didnt happen, but with the tools we have today, particularly web
> standards, I think the web can become really exciting again.
>> Linked Data and Semantic Web standards seem like a potential fit for this
>> type of requirement. That said, there is also work going on from a more
>> nuts-and-bolts, B2B implementation perspective in OASIS (building on the
>> ebXML history - the CPPA work in particular, in case anyone is interested).
>> I wonder (and in fact, have been asking the authors of those specs) if any
>> thought has been given on that side to converging with this W3C standards
>> stack. If anyone here has comments or perspectives, I'd love to hear them.
>> If I hear back any interesting answers to that question, I'll pass them
>> on here.
>> Roger
>> On Tue, Apr 5, 2016 at 1:37 PM, Anders Rundgren <
>> anders.rundgren.net@gmail.com> wrote:
>>> On 2016-04-05 21:52, Gregg Kellogg wrote:
>>>> On Tuesday, April 5, 2016, Anders Rundgren <
>>>> anders.rundgren.net@gmail.com <mailto:anders.rundgren.net@gmail.com>>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>     On 2016-04-05 19:33, Roger Bass wrote:
>>>>         This seems to be a time for big picture reflections.
>>>>     Indeed.  IMO we need to start with questions rather than with
>>>> answers.
>>>>     The IMO #1 question is: Should the imagined effort depend on new
>>>> technology in browsers or not?
>>>>     Why is that important?  Because if the answer is "Yes" it
>>>> effectively means that the task is (more or less) owned by the browser
>>>> vendors [1].
>>>>     If OTOH the answer is "No", I don't see that the effort has a clear
>>>> binding to W3C except for marketing reasons.
>>>> This would seem to indicate that the W3C is only bound to efforts that
>>>> end up
>>> > being implemented within browsers, which IMHO is a rather narrow
>>> reading of W3C's charter.
>>> That's correct.  I don't see that W3C is "authoritative" outside of core
>>> Web technology
>>> including browsers and a limited set of data formats (XML, JSON_LD).
>>> To me, the question is more about if the work builds on and extends web
>>> standards,
>>> which aren't limited to browser implementations. In particular, if the
>>> linked data
>>> stack is involved, it's clearly a web standard, but of course, that is
>>> not yet clear.
>>> Since anybody can develop web standards that aren't tied to browsers, it
>>> means
>>> that the main purpose for using W3C in this case is for marketing.
>>> There's nothing
>>> wrong with marketing but the W3C membership fees and process
>>> requirements certainly
>>> exclude a lot of people who may be needed to succeed.
>>> BTW, standardizing "Applications" (which include Web Payments) have
>>> proved to be way
>>> more difficult than standardizing lower layers (core technology).  If
>>> you then add
>>> "Security" to the puzzle you quickly reach dead-lock which is why
>>> community-driven
>>> projects like the Linux kernel never succeeded creating a unified
>>> cryptographic
>>> architecture like featured in Windows and OS/X.
>>> Anders
>>>> Gregg
>>>>     Cheers,
>>>>     Anders
>>>>     1] Experienced standards editor Ian Hickson explains it pretty well:
>>>> http://manu.sporny.org/2016/browser-api-incubation-antipattern/#comment-29249
>>>>     "Fundamentally, the people who write the code have all the power.
>>>> That’s always been the case"
Received on Tuesday, 5 April 2016 22:21:00 UTC

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