Monday, April 07, 2008

The blind philosophes of Identity

Kim has now responded ("Through the looking glass") to my Humpty Dumpty post, and we're beginning to sound like a couple of old philosophes arguing about whether or not to include "le weekend" and "hamburguer" and other Franglais in the French dictionary.

We really aren't that far apart.

In his post, Kim recalls launching the name "metadirectory" back in '95 with Craig Burton and I certainly don't dispute that. In fact, up until 1999, I even agreed somewhat with his definition:

"In my world, a metadirectory is one that holds metadata - not actual objects, but descriptions of objects and their locations in other physical directories."

But as I continued in that Network World column:
"Unfortunately, vendors such as Zoomit took the term 'metadirectory' and redefined it so it could be used to describe what I'd call an ├╝berdirectory - a directory that gathers and holds all the data from all your other directories."


Since no one took up my use of "uberdirectory," we started using "metadirectory" to describe the situations which required a new identity store and "virtual directory" for those that didn't.

So perhaps we're just another couple of blind men trying to describe an elephant.

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Comments:
Dave,
a few years ago (late 1998), i got started on a paper for "metadirectories", & virtually stopped in my tracks when i realised where it was headed.

I hope i've still got that scrap of paper lying around somewhere, unless by some sort of accident, it's disappeared like everything around me, including my last two relationships.

I did however, get the opportunity to sit in the corner, when @ IBM ANZ,in a "Coverage transformation" role.

I f i'am a little slurred in my train of thought, it's because, i've had some wine, hence sincere apologies.
 
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