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RE: Position Paper for W3C Workshop on Identity

From: peter williams <home_pw@msn.com>
Date: Wed, 20 Apr 2011 08:33:36 -0700
Message-ID: <SNT143-ds149C23BD9D93105A5AAD2592930@phx.gbl>
CC: <public-xg-webid@w3.org>

Remember, any decent product manager who has competed in the https space
(now 15 year old) already knows 80% of the current paper. Honest. Reduce 80%
of the current material to 1 page, distinguishing in 1 more page the
remaining 20% "as a twist on existing techniques for validating cert
messages in SSL handshakes". Imply in that page - by contrast with such as
the case of PGP certs in GNUTLS https implementation -  that there REALLY IS
a world of https beyond the X.509 format (and PKIs consisting of CRLS, and
OCSP, and trust anchors). This world is facilitated by the richness of the
query-powered semantic web, and its ability to express relations. It can
chain, better than cert chains (and STS chains, and websso bridges). Just
look at foaf cards, which are better than the identity pages of openid...
because they can be properly queried....

BY talking about a contrast with PGP and then STS and websso... one shows
one is familiar with the OTHER art in the space, since all those communities
are pressing on the browsers, too. Its show refinement. It argues for the
big picture - chaining and relationships... the nirvana of trust chaining.

That's 2 pages. Max. Take the hint: No-one needs a lecture on the obvious,
that everyone already does with different method(s). Remember, we have
competition, pitching for the same space.

In the next 3 pages, show the changes that enable - the delta from now to
then. What stops take off of webid, and what 5 features would make 10,000
independent software vendors excited? Strangely, pick 3 that also benefit
the STS and websso crowd. Remember, it's a political world, and you need to
coopt your competition (especially given the munge process, described

The 5 CAN be express a dual-use benefit - in that the 5 also "just happen"
to be enablers for the semantic web. But, they must not look like a foil.
Play this carefully, as of all the semweb projects ill guess that webid is
JUST about allowed to present a semweb-themed double benefit enabler list -
because our pragmatism reputation is such that we are already trusted NOT to
be bible bashers on the underlying religion or the cult of personality (that
just turns off many in the community). Remember, the paper is as much about
tone, as content - especially to the reviewers who will only scan-read it -
picking who can be trusted not to abuse the opportunity (by bleating on and
on about their favorite cult).

If  were choosing, Id be arguing around the inoffensive topic of the foaf
card (that happens to bring along the semweb with it). Id love for all
browsers to take the wallet feature they already have (that takes user
profile info), and a uri of form javascript:aboutme in the address bar
auto-renders those properties in a window as an HTML/RDFa stream - ready for
cut and paste. It can already include a cert IN THE cert ONTOLOGY, using the
"default" cert in the browser cert store. Something VERY simply, that
"facilitates"... and which can be obviously improved later when websites get
involved, as the economy boots.

Its tempting to treat the paper as an exam, to get to the conference and
speak in corridors (and one's 20m) on content OTHER than that in the paper.
Ive seen that done many times.  But remember, the final method is to take
the 5 points FROM THE PAPER for the top half of contributions (as examined
orally, in 20m), and do a union. This union munge will be what all browser
vendors do. If webid gets 2 out of its 5 enablers on that list, that would
be a miracle. But, THIS IS YOUR GOAL - have 2 (of 5 suggestions) actually go

Now, what would I do with my magic wand, if I had one, and its two wishes?
(or magic lamp, perhaps) 

Be known in the paper

-----Original Message-----
From: public-xg-webid-request@w3.org [mailto:public-xg-webid-request@w3.org]
On Behalf Of Henry Story
Sent: Wednesday, April 20, 2011 6:57 AM
To: Harry Halpin
Cc: public-xg-webid@w3.org
Subject: Re: Position Paper for W3C Workshop on Identity

On 20 Apr 2011, at 15:48, Harry Halpin wrote:

> +1. All of these seem like fairly sensible low-hanging fruit that(I hope!)
browser vendors would be interested in. So if the position paper could talk
about WebID, and then have something around this last as *action items*,
> The only issue may be standardizing UX across vendors, which is hard as of
course browser vendors compete re UX. But saying "something should happen"
(think "download buttons") is great, and then pointing how how terribly
unintuitive current cert handling UX is and how parts of it (i.e. the tab
handling) are just missing.
> If this was accompanied by screenshots across different browsers, I'd be
very, very happy.

The paper can only be 5 pages long. Screenshots take a lot of place. We were
thinking of going into details in the presentation, where I hope we can get
a bit more time than 20 minutes.

>   cheers,
>     harry

Social Web Architect
Received on Wednesday, 20 April 2011 15:34:06 UTC

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