[foaf-protocols] WebID talk at W3C

Kingsley Idehen kidehen at openlinksw.com
Sun Aug 22 22:57:39 CEST 2010

  On 8/22/10 1:57 PM, Seth Russell wrote:
> It sound like you are poised to hit the perfect note that will 
> convince the W3C to take up the project.   I hope you also have some 
> time to address the political elephant that will be in the room.

Can't address them directly. What Henry has to do (which I believe he 
groks anyhow) is be aware of the vested interests and the inflection 
that's inherent re. WebID protocol :-)

> As you know providing identity is a lucrative plum that all of the 
> major players, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, twitter, etc want to pluck. 

Exactly! And they will try forever to build a centralized rather than 
distributed solution. Of course we know, this is futile, but it won't 
deter them :-)

> They all have been competeting for that plumb and should anything 
> really start working, the outfit which provides it will be sitting 
> pretty.


> So i see this as an opportunity which the W3C has at this moment in 
> history to take this plumb and define it so that it is designed for 
> the benefit of we the people rather than a profit center for corporate 
> competition.

Yes, but it takes more than the W3C to pull this off. They are a part of 
the puzzle for sure, but no more than that.

> Should that happen we will all benefit, none the less the giant 
> corporations ... the same argument applied to the birth of the 
> Internet itself.  Does the W3C have the courage to push that agenda or 
> not?   So,  do you think that is a point that needs making?

The WebID community is what will make WebID happen. We should really 
spend more time bringing other players into the fold. The W3C helps, but 
that's all it can do. We have to make this happen by getting to the 1 
million WebIDs goal this year.

On our side we already have in excess of 37K WebIDs that will be 
unleashed. We already have WebIDs growing organically since all our 
customers and technology evaluators have WebIDs :-) What happens next 
(on our front) is simply unveiling this gem to our customers and 
evaluators via some practical use case demos (the kind the showcase 
WebID addressing real problems like SPAM, ACLs, NASCAR-Less 
Authentication without Username and Passwords etc..).

> Seth Russell
> Podcasting: tagtalking.net <http://tagtalking.net>
> Facebook ing: facebook.com/russell.seth <http://facebook.com/russell.seth>
> Twitter ing: twitter.com/SethRussell <http://twitter.com/SethRussell>
> Blogging: fastblogit.com/seth/ <http://fastblogit.com/seth/>
> Catalog selling: www.speaktomecatalog.com 
> <http://www.speaktomecatalog.com>
> Google profile: google.com/profiles/russell.seth 
> <http://google.com/profiles/russell.seth>
> On Sun, Aug 22, 2010 at 2:12 AM, Henry Story <henry.story at gmail.com 
> <mailto:henry.story at gmail.com>> wrote:
>     On 22 Aug 2010, at 09:12, Henry Story wrote:
>     > As it happens I just realised that I will be travelling at the
>     time of the meeting myself on Tuesday. You yourself told me won't
>     be able to make it either. So I think we should push this meeting
>     back a week or two perhaps.
>     It may also be good to move the teleconf to Wednesday where we
>     could discuss what will be presented at the W3C meeting. At the
>     very least I should talk this over together with you Manu more
>     carefully.
>      I have given many talks on WebID over the past two years, to many
>     different audiences from the academic to the hacker world, and I
>     have been thinking very carefully of how to present the message in
>     a way that is both short, to the point and convincing. This is not
>     an easy task.
>      It can be very difficult to structure such a talk in a way that
>     both captures the originality and simplicity of WebID. Reduce
>     WebID too much (say to a login button) and anything interesting
>     that it may have will vanish. Make WebID too big: the solution to
>     the Social Web, and you are closer to what it is about, but you
>     may run out of time. Keep technical and people will get lost in
>     the sea of competing protocols, but move too philosophical and
>     they won't see how what you say relates to any practical question
>     at all. WebId is a solution that is interesting because of its
>     potential to answer a question few people have voiced - at least
>     until very recently: the creation of the global decentralised
>     social web. So one has to at the very least paint that picture in
>     a few brush strokes.
>      Then there are of course the technical issues. Here we are
>     confronted with a very odd space of mostly coherent browser
>     implementations and browser flaws, with possible temporary
>     workarounds to get things going. A bit like Ajax allowed people to
>     work around browser incompatibilities, so in the WebID space there
>     are a number of ways of working around limitations - though we
>     have not fully solved the puzzle yet.
>      Finally WebID is not and should not be limited to web browsers -
>     as they are now. When I embarked on the project, it was because I
>     was thinking of building my own client - a semantic address book,
>     which was to be to foaf what TweetDeck is to twitter - where it
>     would have been completely feasible to work around any issues:
>     though there are very good reasons there to have a protocol that
>     is simple too. It was quite a surprise to me that we could get so
>     far with Web Browsers at all.
>       Finally we are trying to solve issues that because they overlap
>     with issues others are trying to solve - and have been trying to
>     solve for so long - may easily lead people to think the issues we
>     are trying to solve are identical to others they tried to solve
>     unsuccessfully, or have solved already. Working one's way with
>     people trough this space that has been explored so much and so
>     often is very much a philosophical task.
>     There is something to this in what Wittgenstein wrote in the
>     Philosophical Investigations:
>     "The aspects of things that are most important for us are hidden
>     because of their simplicity and familiarity. (One is unable to
>     notice something—because it is always before one’s eyes.)"
>      And bringing out the familiar is even more difficult than
>     bringing out the new, because the tendency people will have to
>     think that they already understand what you are trying to show
>     them :-)
>      So we need to make sure that the message presented at the W3C
>     does justice to what WebID is about, in the very short time
>     allotted there to us. How much time is it in fact?
>       Henry
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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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