[foaf-protocols] W3C WebID review

Melvin Carvalho melvincarvalho at gmail.com
Fri Aug 20 03:41:30 CEST 2010

On 20 August 2010 03:03, Manu Sporny <msporny at digitalbazaar.com> wrote:

> On 08/19/2010 04:19 AM, Henry Story wrote:
> > As a community we need to perhaps build some structure here so that
> > we know how to deal with future situations such as this. I have
> > always conducted all conversation in the open, from this mailing list
> > to the blogs I produced to the wiki at http://esw.w3.org/foaf+ssl .
> Henry, I really don't like the tone in the last several e-mails that you
> have sent. Whether intentional or not, you seem to be implying the
> following:
> 1) That we don't intend to be "open" about the process when moving
>   forward.
> 2) Creating an undertone that there is a "situation" here when there is
>   not, and
> 3) That certain WebID interests aren't being properly represented.
> I don't know what structure you want to build to "deal with future
> situations such as this" because I don't understand what "this" is at
> the moment, other than not extending the courtesy to Doug and some of
> the other folks at W3C before generating a great deal more work for them.

I dont want to speak for henry, but this may be a slight misunderstanding
that can sometimes happen the email medium.

Just want to say as a member of the community, I'm massively appreciative of
the leadership and work from both Henry over the last 1-2 years, and more
recently, Manu.

Looking forward to great presentation, and feedback!

On the broader subject of Identity, it may be helpful to take a look at the
slides the Paul Trevithick presented to the W3C Social Web Incubator Group

Main Slides: http://www.slideshare.net/ptrevithick/swxg-201069

Secondary Deck:


> Point #1: Openness
> As far as openness, you are no stranger to W3C and I'm surprised that
> you insinuate that the process is going to be anything but open. So,
> since you have doubts, and since others that are not familiar with W3C
> may take away the false impression that the W3C process is a closed
> process, let me re-iterate a few points:
> I say this having worked in the W3C RDFa Task Force, W3C Semantic Web
> Coordination Group, W3C HTML Working Group and W3C RDFa Working Group
> for the past several years - the current process is public and wide
> open. I've also participated in the Microformats community and other
> online standards-making communities, but none has generated the same
> quality of specification as the W3C process.
> I'm currently an Invited Expert to W3C - I was invited because I had
> done a great deal of work in the Microformats community and wanted to
> help push RDFa forward. I have, and continue to do a great deal of
> chairing, spec writing and development work at W3C. All of it is open to
> the public, all publicly accessible. The only barrier to entry is
> producing solid work and demonstrating that you bring something to the
> Working Group... and that's only if you want to participate in every
> single WG meeting.
> For those that don't have the time, energy or skill to do that, you can
> always comment via the mailing list - which is no different than what
> we've been doing on this mailing list. Speaking as a chair of a W3C WG,
> it is irritating to see someone that has spent time in a W3C group
> insinuate that public comments are not taken very seriously.
> To give you a single example, of which there are thousands, the RDFa WG
> has spent the past three weeks addressing a single set of public
> comments provided on the RDFa API by Nathan Rixham (who is also active
> in this group). I have personally combed over every sentence that Nathan
> has written to ensure that we have addressed everything that he raised
> in one way or another. Others in the group have also painstakingly
> reviewed responses to Nathan by the WG. We are required by W3C to do
> this, it's part of the process... we have to prove that we responded to
> every unique public comment before we can publish a specification via
> the W3C process. Public comments are taken VERY seriously.
> Contrast this with what has happened to people like Seth Russel on this
> mailing list... I feel that some of his concerns are repeatedly being
> downplayed or ignored. Other bugs and comments aren't being tracked at
> all. I have also spoken with some others at large companies over the
> past several weeks that feel like their concerns about WebID have not
> been taken seriously and therefore, they've chosen not to participate in
> this community.
> The W3C's process is in place to prevent these things from happening...
> it's not perfect, but to insinuate that it's not open is very far from
> the truth.
> Point #2: The "situation"
> The only situation that I can see is one where Doug - who is a champion
> for openness at the W3C and is fantastically gifted at seeing the
> importance of new technologies and getting things done at W3C was placed
> in a very uncomfortable position. He had no choice but to use his
> precious time correcting a mis-informed invitation to the general public
> to join a project review meeting that he had put together in order to
> help WebID become accessible to a wider audience.
> Doug's really helping WebID out here and the repayment for his
> generosity was that more work was dumped on his lap. It would have been
> good to extend him the private courtesy to see how we could have made
> his life easier, not more difficult.
> Point #3: WebID interests not being represented
> As Doug mentioned, the project review meeting is on identity on the Web,
> not specifically WebID. I think WebID is the best solution out there,
> and I'll push that point, but that's not for me (nor W3C management) to
> decide... it's for W3C's membership and the general public to decide.
> I'm merely presenting the myriad of solutions to W3C to demonstrate that
> this is an area of interest, should they have the time and resources to
> pursue it at the moment (which they very well may not). As I mentioned
> previously, I have been getting in touch with a number of people that
> are concerned about identity on the Web - the OpenID folks, people at
> big companies that have an interest in this technology, and others that
> have had criticisms about WebID.
> We should not only be concerned about WebID being represented well
> (which it is - you'll be there, I'll be there), but also the WebID
> alternatives such as OpenID and WebFinger as well. To ignore those
> solutions would do a great disservice to the openness of specification
> creation. We need to bring the OpenID and WebFinger communities closer
> together when working on this stuff... not marginalize them by packing a
> meeting with people that only represent WebID's view of the world.
> > It is remarkable that the WebId protocol - the protocol to help
> > people conduct business in private - is the one that we would never
> > have discovered  had we not conducted our work in public.
> This seems to insinuate that the "conducted our work in public" part is
> going to go away. You know better than that, Henry.
> > At our next WebId meeting we should discuss the issues of how we can
> > legitimately represent the WebId community.
> You seem to be implying that the WebID community is not being
> legitimately represented at this point in time? Could you please
> elaborate on that?
> I'd rather keep discussions like this on the mailing list and spend the
> precious time we have on the telecon discussing technical issues. Others
> may feel differently, but discussions that are not purely technical in
> nature, without a strict measurement of success, are rarely good
> candidates for discussion on a telecon.
> Speaking of which... we need to get together an agenda for the next
> telecon, which is this coming Tuesday.
> -- manu
> --
> Manu Sporny (skype: msporny, twitter: manusporny)
> President/CEO - Digital Bazaar, Inc.
> blog: WebID - Universal Login for the Web
> http://blog.digitalbazaar.com/2010/08/07/webid/2/
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