[foaf-protocols] First WebID Teleconference minutes (July 27th 2010)

Kingsley Idehen kidehen at openlinksw.com
Mon Aug 2 14:11:15 CEST 2010

Bruno Harbulot wrote:
> Hi all,
> Sorry, I was unable to attend this first teleconference as I was 
> travelling at the time. I've managed to listened to the audio recording.
> Here are a few comments:
> On 30/07/10 21:05, Stéphane Corlosquet wrote:
>> 2) Discuss short-term (spec) and long-term goals (PaySwarm)
>> ===========================================================
>> [...]
>> Doug: the faster you can move, the better. I support the idea of
>> iterating quickly. We can make an interest group around this, but might
>> not be more effective. I volunteer to bring WebID toward a W3C rec
>> track, though we don't need to discuss W3C matters now.
>> Manu: everyone would be happy if WebID was brought on a W3C rec track,
>> that's the goal for everyone.
>> Doug: I would not be surprised if W3C started to have an interest in
>> identity online (OpenID, FOAF), that's another way "in" to get WebID on
>> W3C rec track.
> If I remember the audio recording well, someone asked whether some of us 
> were W3C members. As far as I'm aware, the University of Manchester is a 
> W3C member, so I could ask our local representative for more details.

OpenLink is a W3C member.

BTW - I notice there is next to no link between OpenLink and WebID when 
I take a superficial look at the current spec.

>> Henry: 2 layers: (1) core WebID, and (2) there is another layer above
>> which ties WebID with OpenID: openid4me (could be standardized). Other
>> projects to tie WebID into the other identity schemes out there.

Please note: openid4me is just an implementation no different to 

As per my comments above, we actually have working implementations of 
WebID that are deeply integrated into both Virtuoso, ODS, and the recent 
id.myopenlink.net service.

We should really make an effort to be clearer about what we are saying 
about stuff.  Our involvement (using the just "Do It!" approach) has a 
lot to do with WebID being taken seriously.  This effort does cost us a 
lot of time, effort, and money etc..

>> Manu: re. long term goals. We know WebID as a universal login mechanism
>> and we have some use cases to demonstrate it, but we might need
>> something else to complete the story, to show people why it's useful to
>> have a universal identity along with info which you can associate with,
>> and how you can relate it to the rest of your activities online, e.g.
>> list you name, email, picture, plus other services like twitter as your
>> microblogging, facebook as your social network, payswarm as your
>> transaction service, etc.
>> You can use WebID to integrate with openID, but also use WebID in the
>> OpenId protocol for example for OpenID providers to verify the HMAC
>> signature: the key being not only can you use WebID as an OpenID, but it
>> can be part of the core OpenID protocol as well. See WebID not only as
>> universal ID, but see it to help other services like twitter and
>> facebook. ACTION: create an "Integrating WebID with other identities"
>> document.
>> Reto: Conflict of interest between integrating all the other services
>> with WebID and keeping the WebID spec small and beautiful. There is too
>> much about OpenID in the current spec, could be moved at the bottom or
>> in an appendix.
>> Henry: or move it to a different document.
>> Stephane: it's still good to keep some aspects of OpenID in the main
>> spec as a mean to explain what WebID is in comparison to OpenID, but not
>> to the extend as it is now in the related to openID section, which could
>> be moved to another document.
>> Henry: the more core is technology agnostic, the longer it will be
>> valid. Specifics or comparison with other technologies should be placed
>> into separate documents. It also allows us to save time and rapidly get
>> the core spec published, and spend more time later on these other matters.
>> Manu: what about putting this into a primer?
>> Henry: makes sense
>> Reto: primer should be something else. primer should explain
>> implementers how to provide a WebID and authenticate with WebID but the
>> OpenID comparison should live elsewhere.
> I think it's a good idea to put as little (or nothing) about OpenID in 
> the core spec, but have it in a separate document instead.


Hybrid protocol should focus the compatibility aspects relative to 
OpenID. We don't need to knock or try to kill OpenID (irrespective of 
shortcomings that are clear to many of us re. Linked Data etc..).
>> Manu: several documents: core spec, use cases and requirements, primer,
>> comparison with OpenID. volunteers needed.
> I'm also half-tempted to split the document between the verification 
> part and the interaction with TLS, in the same way as the PKIX 
> specifications and the TLS specifications are kept separate.
> This effectively allows for the certificate verification and binding to 
> an identity to be independent of what it's used for. WebID certificates 
> could be used for e-mail via S/MIME in principle.

Correct, and we are doing exactly that with S/MIME re. dealing SPAM a 
severe blow.




Kingsley Idehen	      
President & CEO 
OpenLink Software     
Web: http://www.openlinksw.com
Weblog: http://www.openlinksw.com/blog/~kidehen
Twitter/Identi.ca: kidehen 

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