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

From: Melvin Carvalho <melvincarvalho@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 6 Apr 2016 00:42:55 +0200
Message-ID: <CAKaEYh+Fxy5EqF0Ou8k+NMDy4D57R3jQ_AQscFf22xd+wxBpTg@mail.gmail.com>
To: Roger Bass <roger@traxiant.com>
Cc: Anders Rundgren <anders.rundgren.net@gmail.com>, Gregg Kellogg <gregg@greggkellogg.net>, Web Payments CG <public-webpayments@w3.org>
On 6 April 2016 at 00:19, Roger Bass <roger@traxiant.com> wrote:

> Melvin, the sarcasm drips from your reply.

Sorry, it wasnt intended to be sarcastic at all!  :)

> 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.

So all these years I was an advocate of narrow focus.  But it just hasnt
worked for us.  Now after looking back what I think is maybe we need a
holistic approach.  I mean one team doesnt have to build it all, but maybe
we need strategic presences in all the key areas that have been successful
on the web so far.

> 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
> context.
> 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.

So I do like the 'do one thing and do it well' philosophy (popularized by
unix).  But more and more I think we need to put it all together into a
complete user experience.  Why?  Because payment workflows become
transformed with network economics.  In a sense payments can be a glue
between different human activities (goods and services) -- but without a
good range of those goods and services, we are perhaps not bringing digital
economies to their fully potential.

I have no problem at all with good projects with a narrow scope done well.
But I think the competitive advantage might just emerge when we start
thinking bigger and creating a big economic network of apps.  These is the
lines Im hopefully going to try and work towards with a focus on
integration with others doing the same ...

> Roger
> On Tue, Apr 5, 2016 at 2:53 PM, Melvin Carvalho <melvincarvalho@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> 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 22:43:26 UTC

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