Monday, August 01, 2005

Wheat and chaff

Phil Windley (along with Kaliya Hamlin, Drummond Reed, and Doc Searls) is organizing the Internet Identity Workshop (IIW) 2005 at the University of California in October. The goal, according to Windley, is "...to provide a forum to discuss architectural and governance proposals for Internet-wide identity services and their underlying philosophies." Specifically, he mentions:

* The Liberty Alliance
* Microsoft's InfoCard system
* Identity Commons
* SXIP
* OpenID
* LID
* XRI/XDI (i-names)
* Passel

And therein lies the problem. There are simply too many proliferating and competing architectures, governance proposals and philosophies to ever hope to arrive at some sort of world-wide scalable identity metasystem! To invite people to step forward and present new ones simply creates more problems.

Of course, each of these systems has pros and cons, pluses and minuses. But each also has creators, inventors and evangelists who believe that their way is the right way to create the new identity paradigm.

Just as in a business there comes a time when the visionary entrepreneur must give way and bring in new leadership or face the business becoming an afterthought or a footnote, so too must those visionaries, idealists and "identity entrepreneurs" now give way to the pencil-pushing, spreadsheet wielding, bean counting administrators, accountants and maintenance workers who can distill the best of these schemes and craft them into something that's both workable as well as palatable to the great majority of potential users.

It's time to start the winnowing process.

Comments:
Many (all?) of those systems can easily work together.
 
Xageroth Sekarius said...
"Many (all?) of those systems can easily work together. "

Well, they can be made to work together. But that's not exactly the same thing. A lion and a lamb can be made to work together, but neither really likes it that way...
 
Well, adapting identity systems to work with a meta-system follows the same "made to work together" philosophy except with a level of abstraction. Unless I'm wrong to assume the meta-system is not the system(s) itself. If all can work together (even if it means taming that lion), I don't see a problem.
 
Boy, I hope it didn't sound like this was a call for *more* systems. I'm actually hoping that thiss can start the winnowing process by letting people see what philosophies are built into the various architectures and governance proposals that are *already* there.
 
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