[OpenID board] Motion: allow use of OpenID trademark on Google Code (part 1 of 2)

Chris Messina chris.messina at gmail.com
Sat May 30 21:58:23 UTC 2009

On Fri, May 29, 2009 at 8:57 PM, Johannes Ernst <jernst at netmesh.us> wrote:

> When the OIDF was started, we explicitly decided that the OIDF would not
> maintain or endorse any particular code base.

I agree that we should not endorse any codebase, but I disagree that the
foundation should not or can not provide resources, infrastructure or act as
a convening force to facilitate the development of libraries.

The OpenID libraries could be made much more usable, lightweight and
approachable if effort and resources were put into them. The reality is that
no one is going to do this "out of the goodness of their hearts" (least of
all, without community momentum providing a different kind of incentive to

We finally have interest from folks to move the PHP library forward, and
rather than have this work happen off to the side, I would really like to
see this work happen in plain view, where others will see that this work is
happening and then become interested in joining it.

Ideally we will have a mix of board and regular members of the foundation
running the project, and maintaining resources related to the libraries.

> While that decision can of course be overturned, I think the rationale for
> it is as good today as it was back then -- we want OpenID supporters to
> agree on the spec, and compete on implementations. In my view, that is
> essential for encouraging the growth of a healthy, innovative marketplace of
> both products and ideas.

I don't think that a spec alone is sufficient; you need high quality
implementations that are also interoperable, and to that end, the foundation
has an interest and responsibility to encourage the collaboration of
implementors to create interoperable and compatible implementations.

I also agree with using market mechanisms to increase competition, but I do
not believe that competition will occur until you've created a baseline
playing field in which to compete. I do think that the popup/UI extension is
one area were we're seeing alignment and competition occur, but it is work
that is happening to fill a void that has been made manifest by all the
different (and confusing) implementations of OpenID in the wild.

In other words, I believe that we need planes that are proven to fly before
we can expect people to build Harrier jump jets on their own.

I think that we've made tremendous progress in the last six months on
proving the viability of OpenID in the marketplace, but I think that we have
to double-down and make it *much easier* to implement and adopt OpenID, and
to have it work well out of the box for folks who have not been involved in
this community or identity technology from the beginning.

And that requires clean libraries and implementations that take little
fore-knowledge for granted and lead the way towards deploying a successful

We don't have those resources assembled today.

> There is nothing wrong in my for the foundation to encourage a vibrant
> OpenID open source project. Declaring it to be "the one and only" would be a
> big mistake, however. The naming that's proposed implies to me exactly that
> and that is worrying to me.

I agree with this. And that's not what is implied or intended by hosting the
OpenID libraries on Google Code. In fact, I hope that we can even provide
pointers to (or checkouts of) competing implementations in the same language
in the repository, but document their strengths and differences in an
accessible way.

At the same time, I think that the goal here is to bring together a great
deal of effort and might to push these libraries forward; I'm approaching
using a method that I've found successful in the past and will continue to
pursue it unless or until someone proposes an alternative and is equally
willing to seeing it through to completion.

It isn't that my approach is the only one that will work, it's just that
it's the one that I've used successfully in the past and seems appropriate
in this context as well.


> On May 29, 2009, at 18:40, Chris Messina wrote:
> On Fri, May 29, 2009 at 6:21 PM, Martin Atkins <mart at degeneration.co.uk>wrote:
>> It seems that github also satisfies all of the above requirements, with
>> the advantage of making it easier to pull changes from the individual
>> maintainer repositories due to github being designed with this in mind.
>> Github also supports multiple repositories per account, so each library can
>> have its own repository, maintainers, etc.
> Yes, but not everyone is familiar with GIT yet. SVN is much more widely
> known, I would think, in the general world of development at this time.
> I'm enamored by Github, but that doesn't mean that it's what everyone's
> using yet.
> (I'm also a little confused as to what the advantage is of having "a
>> central place to check out", given that the purpose of checking out is to
>> contribute changes and changes will be contributed somewhere else. What is
>> the purpose of checking out a working copy of repository other than the one
>> you want to ultimately commit to?)
> My goal is raise the visibility of the libraries and the current home on
> OpenIDEnabled.com has failed to produce a community of active maintainers,
> from what I've seen.
> Perhaps it's just a matter of setting up a page at http://openid.net/codethat's a cleaned up version of
> http://wiki.openid.net/Libraries. I could certainly start there.
> The purpose of checking out the latest stable version of a library (or even
> latest unstable branch) is to enable folks to run the latest code in their
> projects and then update them easily when new versions are released. Perhaps
> tarballs are sufficient, but it seems like giving different communities like
> WordPress a simple place to do an SVN checkout from would be valuable.
> Feel free to tell me I'm wrong, or to support my proposal.
>> Both the PHP library and the Perl library I maintain are already on
>> github. I'd be happy to have the libnet-openid-perl repository on my github
>> account (apparentlymart) forked into the openid account on github as long as
>> someone's going to commit to maintaining that fork.
> Unless someone steps up, it's unlikely to happen, I guess.
> But therein lies the rub: we have failed to develop a community of
> maintainers for the OpenID libraries and I think we're worse off for it. I'm
> attempting to get some momentum for such a community by centralizing at
> least a listing of the libraries in a familiar place that developers are
> used to seeing.
> GitHub doesn't provide a way to customize the homepage of a project, and so
> we need a place that is clean, approachable, well-designed and is easy for
> someone on the board (or some other dedicated community member(s)) to
> maintain.
> Again, I can start with creating a page on OpenID.net, but the symbolic
> achievement of having a central repository to me somehow seems important,
> and is what is motivating my desire to finally make this happen.
> Chris
> --
> Chris Messina
> Open Web Advocate
> Website: http://factoryjoe.com
> Twitter: http://twitter.com/chrismessina
> Facebook: http://facebook.com/chrismessina
> Diso Project: http://diso-project.org
> OpenID Foundation: http://openid.net
> This email is:   [ ] bloggable    [X] ask first   [ ] private
>  _______________________________________________
> board mailing list
> board at openid.net
> http://openid.net/mailman/listinfo/board
> Johannes Ernst
> NetMesh Inc.
>   http://netmesh.info/jernst
> _______________________________________________
> board mailing list
> board at openid.net
> http://openid.net/mailman/listinfo/board

Chris Messina
Open Web Advocate

Website: http://factoryjoe.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/chrismessina
Facebook: http://facebook.com/chrismessina

Diso Project: http://diso-project.org
OpenID Foundation: http://openid.net

This email is:   [ ] bloggable    [X] ask first   [ ] private
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.openid.net/pipermail/openid-board/attachments/20090530/fcd31d25/attachment.htm>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: image/gif
Size: 977 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://lists.openid.net/pipermail/openid-board/attachments/20090530/fcd31d25/attachment-0004.gif>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: image/gif
Size: 903 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://lists.openid.net/pipermail/openid-board/attachments/20090530/fcd31d25/attachment-0005.gif>

More information about the board mailing list