W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-xg-webid@w3.org > July 2011

Re: Browser ID

From: Ben Adida <ben@adida.net>
Date: Fri, 15 Jul 2011 09:46:32 -0700
Message-ID: <4E206EE8.4020706@adida.net>
To: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>
CC: WebID XG <public-xg-webid@w3.org>
On 7/15/11 1:47 AM, Kingsley Idehen wrote:
> Remember, WebID is URI rather than HTTP URI based. It too works fine
> with mailto: scheme URIs.

Sure, but that doesn't solve the problem we're trying to solve.

We see web sites asking for email addresses. Even after you do OpenID, 
they want an email address. We see users understanding quite well that 
emails represent personas. They have their work email, and their home email.

So, we want to build a protocol where web sites *always* get a valid 
email address. Not a URI that could be an email address.

> I assume WebFinger is still part of the email verification protocol that
> underlies BrowserID? I ask because this is the most important point of
> integration between WebID and BrowerID.

In fact, we're about to phase it out. Not because we want a different 
discovery mechanism (that would be silly), but because we want very 
short-lived keys and we currently don't want to depend on revocation.

We're trying to solve a very thin problem: login. I don't think we need 
to build that on stable, long-term keys, as crypto tokens with long 
validity periods create all sorts of problems when users lose devices, etc.

>> and we're using JSON-based assertions and certs (JWS and JWT) to keep
>> things very simple.
> Do you mean "simply simple" or "deceptively simple" ?

I'm not quite sure I understand the implications behind each term, so 
I'd rather we spell them out lest we misunderstand each other.

"Simple for the developer" is very important. Of course, there is a 
lower bound if you want to be secure, but we want to get closer to that 
simplicity lower bound than other technologies have done so far.

> For the record, "simply simple" doesn't scale,
> never has, and won't break the mould now.

I would disagree with the above statement. Simple is the only thing that 
has ever worked on a large scale.

> Thus, please take this
> opportunity to lay down vital integration hooks re. WebID.

I'm going to be blunt here: integration with WebID is not a use case. If 
integration with WebID helps our use cases, we'll happily consider it, 
of course. So, what would it get us? What would we lose? Help me 
understand those points.

Received on Friday, 15 July 2011 16:47:02 UTC

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