[foaf-protocols] A New Idea of Identity
melvincarvalho at gmail.com
Tue Mar 2 13:44:05 CET 2010
Identity and SCM
Like many people I've recently learnt to recognize the merits of a
decentralized SCM ( git / hg / bzr ) over centralised ( cvs / svn / p4 )
The underlying principles of git is that, branching are cheap, merges are
hard but common and both are very useful.
This got me thinking as to whether the same principles could be applied to
Cloning and Branching
In a sense we're already at this point, our digital identities are
incomplete clones of our real world identity.
However, can we take this a stage further, but cloning your WebID?
Why would you want to clone your WebID?
One reason might be (psuedo) anonymity. Perhaps you want to interact with a
certain group / subsystem but want to show that you have (cloned)
credentials, without revealing personal information, such as your name/email
etc. This way you can have a user experience similar to that of a (trusted)
registered user, without having to either register, or leave a footprint.
The git equivalent of this could would be to clone a repository and and play
with it in your master branch.
Another example might be that you want to develop your persona in an
experimental way, without damaging your main reputation. Let's say Im a
rusty chess player want to play a few games at the local online chess club,
but might be to embarrassed to give my full name. I try it out and it seems
I'm still a strong player. I lose my inhibitions and decide to reveal who I
am to the group.
This takes us to merging.
So now that I've acquired assets in one of my identities, I may want to
merge back the useful changes that have been made. Traditionally in SCM
this is very hard, but the revolution of DSCM was to enable the merge not
only to be easy, but to be the standard model. In the chess example above,
this would be equivalent to committing an enhancement, then merging back to
the 'master' branch. Similarly I may want to merge back my (RDF) changes
into my master identity.
Another use case is for consolidating identity. Suppose I've received a lot
of karma on one of my WebIDs but now have decided that I wish to use a
completely different URI, it should be possible to initiate a transfer of
karma from one identity to another, similarly I may wish to attribute
another WebID that helped me along the way.
One more example, might be to import your idenity from a centralized
system. Most git repos let you import from things like svn/cvs etc.
Similarly, you might want to make a distributed WebID based on another
social network that you are part of (assuming you are allowed to own your
own "data"). This brings you a new identity that you can start developing
in various ways.
I've just illustrated a couple of 'workflows' in the decentral model,
systems like git have dozens of possibilites. Just some food for thought :)
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the foaf-protocols