Implementing YADIS with no new software

Christopher E. Granade cgranade at
Tue Nov 1 09:04:31 PST 2005

Hash: SHA1

Ernst Johannes wrote:
> It's interesting to me how many people think only of
> authentication/single-sign-on as a feature when they think about digital
> identity. (This is a general comment but I thought I jump in to outline
> a broader picture.)
> If that feature was the only one that was of interest, I'd agree with
> you and others and say that a simple add-on to HTML HEAD was sufficient.
> But if you take, for example, Doc Searls' often-repeated car-rental
> example (a variation of which I also talked about at IIW 2005 -- slides
> are at ), then this points to a future where,
> among many other things, many different kinds of digital
> identity-related protocols can enable a Cluetrain-inspired inversion of
> control between people and organizations/companies and among people
> themselves. Such as: do I go to car rental websites to see what they
> have on offer and reserve a car, or do I publish what I need and the car
> rental companies come to me to make an offer according to what I want?
> I can't find a good place right now where this use case is described on
> the web (can anybody help?) but it's a little a bit of an eye-opener to
> the impact these kinds of technologies can (will?) have. I assure you
> it's much more exciting than single-sign-on ;-) but also that without
> single-sign-on, it won't get very far.
> In other words, authentication protocols a la OpenID, LID/SSO and
> whatever are only the very first baby step, and many are to come. One of
> the things we are trying to do with YADIS is to create a foundation on
> top of which these kinds of richer (and much more valuable) protocols
> can emerge. I let them speak for themselves, but I know that there are
> several people on this very mailing list that are trying to develop some
> of those higher-level protocols. To make this possible, we need to build
> the foundation right so the higher-level stuff can scale and lots of
> people can come up with lots of cool stuff without everybody hacking yet
> another special case into HTML HEAD or whatever.
> Which is one of the reasons we came up with a ?meta=capabilities query
> with a "clean" format behind it. I hope this clarifies a little.
> Cheers,
> Johannes.
The only problem I see with the x-meta-identity format is this: why
develop another ad-hoc format for which a specialized parser must be
written? While the format described is probably /better/ than XML or RDF
for the specific purpose, it is nonetheless less well understood and
implemented. Hell, there are probably even generalized Unix conf file
style parsers out there. If RDF as XML is too much, then RDF as N3 might
work, or perhaps some other format for which a pre-existing parser can
be found. If the goal is to make implementations portable and easy, then
we must require as little additional software be developed as possible,
or that such software have uses outside of YADIS/OID/LID.

- --Chris
Version: GnuPG v1.4.2 (GNU/Linux)
Comment: Using GnuPG with Mozilla -


More information about the yadis mailing list